TaxAct is a lower cost tax software program suitable for simpler returns but can suit a variety of tax needs. Features include:
- Less expensive tax software product than some larger competitors
- Maximum refund protection
- Price-lock guarantee (you pay list price when you create your return, regardless of when you file)
TaxAct is a good tax software for those who have simple returns and don’t need added features to prepare their returns. The tax software isn’t the highest-powered product, but it manages to take care of the tax return preparation if you know what you’re doing. If you have a more complicated tax situation, TaxAct is still a recommended option if you’re looking to employ a do-it-yourself approach when it comes to online research. Read our full TaxAct review to learn more about this tax software option.
Our TaxAct review will go over the most important things you need to know if you’re considering this product.
TaxAct was founded in 1988 with the goal of providing quality tax preparation products at affordable prices. The company cites that over 45 million federal tax returns have been filed through TaxAct.
The company offers multiple do-it-yourself style products that require some legwork on your part to understand the in’s and out’s of your tax return. Further, TaxAct provides step-by-step guidance, helpful online tools and a maximum refund guarantee. If you want to learn a lot about the tax return preparation process, TaxAct is a great tax software to consider.
TaxAct reviews have many positive things to say about this software. Here are some of our favorite things about TaxAct:
- Data importation from TurboTax and H&R Block: If you’re looking to make the switch from TurboTax or H&R Block to a more affordable option, TaxAct makes the process easier. The tax software allows you to import data from PDF files of returns prepared by the two biggest brands in the market.
- Free basic federal and state return: If you file a Form 1040 with Form W-2 wage and salary income and claim the standard deduction, you can file for free. This includes federal and state tax returns.
- Maximum refund protection: The tax software guarantees your return will be 100% accurate and will calculate your maximum refund under applicable law. If an error in the software results in you receiving a smaller refund or having a larger tax liability than you receive using the same data on another tax preparation product, TaxAct will pay you the difference and refund the applicable software fees you paid.
- Product variety: TaxAct gives you five different options depending on the complexity of your tax return. From the most basic 1040 tax return to the most complicated, self-employed tax needs, TaxAct offers multiple tiers suited to your needs.
Unfortunately, TaxAct reviews also have to go over some of the negatives, including:
- Not an interactive user experience: TaxAct has a user-friendly interface easy for inputting tax information, but it can appear plain. Like other tax software packages, it uses an interview question-and-answer approach. However, TaxAct does not come with an interactive style seen elsewhere.
- Not geared toward more complicated returns: If you’re hoping to find useful educational content, you might want to look elsewhere. TaxAct doesn’t provide robust assistance or content to answer questions while you prepare your return.
$100k/100% Accuracy Guarantee
A nice feature offered is the $100k/100% Accuracy Guarantee, which guarantees accuracy and will result in the maximum refund possible.
If you discover their tax software isn’t living up to this standard, the company will pay any difference in your lower refund or higher tax liability, refund you the purchase price and cover any legal or audit costs up to $100,000.
In addition to the Accuracy Guarantee described above, TaxAct partners with Protection Plus, a separate company geared to provide audit services if your return is targeted. The partnership offers a product called Protection Plus Audit Defense. This is a comprehensive response to any possible IRS audits you encounter. Protection Plus covers your tax return for three years and provides assistance with both Federal and State audits to the tune of around $50.
If you receive an audit notice or inquiry from the IRS or State, Protection Plus will guide you through the process and handle all correspondence on your behalf. Protection Plus also offers assistance with denied credit, tax fraud incidents and tax debt.
This service does not automatically come with any TaxAct filing product. You will have to pay extra to receive this protection.
Pay With Your Refund
A nice feature that reduces out-of-pocket expense is the ability to pay for the software with your tax refund. This saves you from needing to make an upfront payment or from needing to pay from our debit or credit card.
You can deduct the cost of the program directly from your tax refund if you choose to receive your refund via direct deposit to your bank account and if your expected refund is at least $100.
To incentivize you to attract more people to use their program, TaxAct offers a membership referral program.
For each friend you refer who did not file with TaxAct last year, they receive a 20% discount on their TaxAct 2018 paid filing software and you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
TaxAct Review Conclusion
After our TaxAct review, we think that this is a good tax software program for some people. It offers a variety of plans, each targeting slightly different financial situations from the simple to complex.
It might not have as many features as its competitors, but it gets the job done at an affordable price. This tax software is considered a budget pick and comes with less support than the pricier software packages available on the market. If you’re up to the challenge (or have a simple return), TaxAct is a cost-effective choice to consider.
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