TaxSlayer is a tax preparation provider with roots going back over 50 years in the business. The company offers an entirely online suite of plans for electronic filing of federal and state tax returns. A standout feature of TaxSlayer is they provide free email and phone support even to users of the Simply Free Edition. Live chat and assistance from IRS-enrolled agents are available in the Premium, Self-Employed, and Ultimate Editions. The company supports all major federal forms.
TaxSlayer’s plans are definitely on the more affordable side of the companies we evaluate, especially considering their reputation for customer service. One state return is also included with the Simply Free Edition. Customers can also upload tax forms via mobile app, which is a serious time saver. To date, the company has successfully completed millions of returns and processed over $12 billion in refunds.
Plans & Pricing
The TaxSlayer Simply Free edition has been updated for the new tax law and now enables free filers to claim student loan interest and education credits. It doesn’t have a W2 importer, but if you only have one or two W2s that’s probably not a big deal.
As a freelancer, I’m pleased that the free option lets you do a basic Schedule C – something a lot of “free” software won’t allow you to add. This is place where their pay for service (instead of paying for forms) model really works for people who have somewhat complex taxes but are capable of filling out the forms without assistance.
In 2020, TaxSlayer is offering their refund advance option to anyone using Classic, Premium, Self-Employed, or Ultimate (so anyone but free filers).
The Classic option is low cost software that includes all major forms (including a business schedule C), but this version doesn’t come with audit assistance and help from tax professionals.
The Premium and Self-Employed plans are nearly identical to the Classic option, but they come with live chat support and help from tax professionals and audit assistance. The Self-Employed version is also streamlined to help side-hustlers and contractors figure out their taxes, and it has dedicated support that lets you speak to a tax pro trained in 1099s and Schedule C.
Military Discount: In 2020, TaxSlayer Classic will be free to individuals and families with a military EIN for their Federal return.
Pros & Cons
- Affordable pricing
- Free Filing for Military personnel
- Low add-on fee for state returns
- Premium editions are less expensive than most competitors
- Determine your refund quickly and easily with the Tax Refund Calculator
- Limited professional support available
- Email support responses can take 24 to 48 hours
- Most of its extra features require a plan upgrade or paying extra
- There is no direct representation for an IRS Audit
TaxSlayer remains one of the best tax filing software options on the market. It offers a great interface, a range of valuable features, and several support options at a competitive price.
Most of its competitors charge about twice the price for similar features. Moreover, it works on all devices, and even has iOS and Android apps, so you can file your returns wherever you are.