TaxAct Review 2022: Features & Alternatives

Christine Smith - Bizreport
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Reviewed by Randolph Vialva, MBA
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TaxAct.
Editor Rating:
4.4
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Our references are based on the analysis and synthesis philosophy, which are conducted by a team of experienced and well-qualified researchers.

  • Cost Value
  • Customer Service
  • Ease of Use
  • Included Features

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TaxAct is a tax preparation company that offers online tax preparation for individuals and businesses. They’ve been operating for more than 2 decades, serving 80+ million customers.

Pros

  • Import previous tax returns quickly
  • Access to expert tax support
  • Free federal tax filing available

Cons

  • Bad customer reviews
  • Inconsistent phone support
  • Hidden fees

Online federal and state tax filing, customer service with certified tax experts, direct tax document uploads, form filling progress saved, mobile app

Competitively priced and offering filers access to tax experts, TaxAct is a useful software for anyone who needs simple online filing with a good customer service safety net.

TaxAct Review.

TaxAct is a popular tax preparation service in the US that allows you to file your federal and state taxes. They offer online software as well as downloadable software for both individuals and businesses of all sizes to prepare their taxes. Depending on the complexity of your tax returns, you can choose between the basic free package or one of the premium packages.

TaxAct offers a few different guarantees to let their customers feel confident they’ll get the best service. As long as you fill in your information correctly, TaxAct guarantees you the maximum refund and accuracy up to $100k.

Before the IRS filing deadline, you can reach out and get assistance from tax experts at TaxAct. Their deadline for free access is usually around 1 week before the IRS filing date, after which you will have to pay for Xpert Assist service separately. 

What Do You Know About TaxAct? 

There are many similar tax preparation software options on the market today. Is TaxAct the best tax software for you? 

While it’s not the cheapest or the most feature-packed, TaxAct differentiates its service by prioritizing convenience and expert customer service. If these are areas you care about when you’re filing your taxes, it might be a service you should take a closer look at.  

TaxAct Advantages

TaxAct has a few advantages that could make it a good fit for you. Their main advantage is convenience, giving you the tools to file your taxes quickly and easily at home. 

Easily to Switch Between Sections Without Repeating Interview Questions

If you’re filling out your tax return and you need to go back to change an answer in a previous section, you can switch back and forth without everything getting reset. 

CPAs, Enrolled Agents (EAs), Tax Attorneys Support Without Cost

When you’re filing your taxes with this tax software, you can get in touch with a tax expert to help in your filing. Taxes are complex, which is why the best tax software should give you access to a tax professional when you’re not sure how to answer questions or complete unusual forms. You’re also more likely to avoid IRS penalties and get the highest tax refund when you understand what you’re doing and how to file the right forms for your tax return. 

This service is particularly important for people with self-employment income filing their federal tax returns. If you’re not working directly with a CPA or tax professional, you can make mistakes that cause you issues later. Pairing online tax software, deduction maximizer formulas, and expert support leads to better results for your tax situation. 

Easy to Import An Electronic Copy Into The Software

TaxAct lets you upload electronic copies of previous tax filings in order to pre-fill some of your tax return forms, even importing from other company software. You’ll still be able to make any adjustments you need to, but the pre-filling helps you get the right information on your paperwork without having to do everything manually. 

Free Federal Filing 

If you’re filing basic federal returns, you can file for free. This is a great option for retired people, students, dependents, and anyone with limited sources of income. 

TaxAct Packages

Compared to other popular tax filing companies, TaxAct has competitively priced packages for individuals, small businesses, trusts, self-employed people, and other business entities. While the basic federal returns package is free, it doesn’t offer enough value for all tax filers, meaning you may need to upgrade to a premium package in order to file certain income, credits, and deductions. 

What does TaxAct cost? Here’s the breakdown of the packages they offer. 

Free Package$0 Federal
$39.95 Per State
The free package works for anyone with simple federal tax returns. Ideal for dependents, retirement income, unemployed people, college students, or anyone with simple W-2 income. 
Paid PackagesDeluxe
$46.95 Federal
$54.95 Per State
This package provides more support for deductions and tax credits, making it suitable for those who own homes, have dependents, take out loans, or want to use itemized deductions. 

Premiere
$69.95 Federal
$54.95 Per State 
With the premier package, you get access to extra income source filings. You’ll be able to file for most types of personal and investment income, including rental property income, only excluding freelance and business income. 

Self-employed
$94.95 Federal
$54.95 Per State 
This package allows for filing for all types of income, including freelance income and business income. You can also take advantage of business deductions, depreciation calculators, and year-round tax planning. 

TaxAct Quick Overview

TaxAct.

4.5 stars

Best Overall Value

  • Expert support available
  • Maximum refund guarantee
  • Import previous year’s tax returns from other software

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TaxAct Customer Reviews

Easy to use, asks all the right questions and provides answers you might need in each category. Brings up items that the average citizen does not think of without help. This is the 5th year that I have used TaxAct for myself and family without any problems.

Roger

I use to professional version and have for over 20 years. Highly recommend! Their customer service is top notch. They are prompt to return phone calls and answer any tax or software issues that may come up.

Mike

Tried to use them. Had a technical glitch. Called, but was on hold for a long time today. VERY SLOW. Not recommended.

Andy Sousa

Limited archiving for previous years. Limited details when pulling old information from previous years. Overall helpful information when filing taxes, but a few more explanations or examples would be helpful.

Carolyn

TaxAct Service Review

Review of TaxAct

Overall Pricing and Value
85%
85%
Cost Value
80%
80%
Customer Support
90%
90%
Ease of Use
100%
100%
Included Features
70%
70%

TaxAct is a tax preparation product that’s been operating since 1998. They’ve served more than 80 million people, mostly through their online and downloadable tax software. Although it has a good reputation, it’s a little less affordable for anyone looking for more than basic federal tax filing. There is an additional fee for anything more than the very basics, with high prices for self-employed filers. 

Is TaxAct Software Right For You?

If you’re looking for a simple tax preparation option that gives you access to tax experts when you have questions, TaxAct might be the right service for you. The Xpert Assist feature is particularly useful for filers who have questions about complex tax forms, deductions, or tax credits.

Although TaxAct offers all the basic necessities and a few customer service extras, there are some more advanced features available from other services that might make more sense for you if you need more assistance with your taxes. 

Cost Value 

For federal tax filing, TaxAct offers good value for money when compared to other top tax preparation products. There is a free package for simple federal filings, and competitively priced federal packages for more complex filing situations, including child tax credit, capital gains, and access to the deduction maximizer.

State filing packages with TaxAct are more expensive per state than they are with most other services, for anything beyond the most basic filing. 

Customer Service

TaxAct has online and phone support. If you have issues while you’re filling out your tax returns, you’ll contact their TaxAct Xpert Assist team who can answer your questions and help you understand what to do to continue.

While you’re filling out your forms, there are tips and instructions to guide you through the process from start to finish. If you need extra help, you can reach out to their customer support team at any point.

During the peak of tax season, some customers have experienced difficulty reaching customer support via the phone line. While it’s common for large companies to have some complaints, it could be an issue for you if you need something resolved quickly. 

Ease of Use

TaxAct has a good user interface that’s intuitive and very easy to use. Instead of filling in all you tax return forms from scratch, you’ll be asked questions relevant to your taxes and TaxAct will populate the forms for you based on your answers. You can review the forms before e-filing them with the IRS.

One of the convenient parts of the TaxAct platform is that you can move around between the different information sections without losing the data you’ve already filled in. You can also save your form and return it later if you can’t complete it all in one sitting. There’s also a mobile app you can use to get back to your taxes from anywhere. 

Included Features

The data input features of TaxAct make it simple for you to complete your tax returns. In addition to uploading the previous year’s tax returns, you can also input data into your current forms by scanning, uploading, or taking a picture of the relevant documents.

For tax credits and deductions, TaxAct has a donation calculator feature that helps you calculate the deductible value of items you may have donated personally or through your business. Features like these, combined with their maximum refund guarantee, make it simpler for you to get the most beneficial result from your returns. 

Overall

For ease of use and access to expert help, TaxAct is a good option. They’re competitively priced for most packages, especially if you’re filing a simple return. The more you need to file, the more upgrades you have to add to your filing bundle, making it less affordable than some other services. These fees may not be apparent to you until you’re already halfway through the process or checking out at the end.  

2 Top TaxAct Service Alternatives

H&R BlockTurbo TaxTaxAct
Free PackagesBasic Federal + StateBasic Federal + StateBasic Federal
Paid PackagesState: $0 to $45
Federal: $0 to $109.99
State: $0 to $45
Federal: $0 to $119
39$ State: $39.95 to $54.95
Federal: $0 to $94.95
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H&R Block

One of the largest tax services in the US, H&R Block has a robust variety of tax services available for customers online, including US ex-pats. The free filing package from H&R Block has a lot of forms, so it works for more people. However, the paid packages are fairly expensive compared to other services. 

Turbo Tax

Intuit’s TurboTax is one of the longest-standing tax preparation services in the US, operating since 1984. It’s a little pricier than TaxAct, but it’s known for being easy to use and reliable. If you deal with crypto, TurboTax allows integrations with many different crypto services to record that data into your tax filings automatically.  

Conclusion

TaxAct is a useful software for those looking to file their own taxes, whether that’s your individual income taxes or your business taxes. While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features that other platforms do, the rates for federal filing are competitive and it’s convenient to import all your tax documents. This can be a good choice if you’re looking for simplicity and ease of access. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is TaxAct’s guarantee?

TaxAct has a Maximum Refund Guarantee, a $100k Accuracy Guarantee, and a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. The catch with these guarantees is that they only apply if TaxAct makes errors, not you. For added protection, you can also get their audit defense package. Audit defense is a valuable service for self-employed people and small businesses who may not know how to go through an IRS audit. 

Does TaxAct have downloadable tax products?

Yes. If you want to use the tax filing software offline, you can download them and use them locally on your personal or work computer. Once you complete your specific tax forms, you can file them online as usual. Downloads are not available with the free version.

How can I get help filing with TaxAct?

Yes. If you need help while you’re filling out your taxes with TaxAct, they have customer support for your account, technical issues, or help from tax experts to understand tax forms and how to fill them out. The Xpert Assist service is available to all premium customers until a set deadline leading up to Tax Day.

Do I have to file federal and state returns together with TaxAct?

No, you’re not required to file both federal and state taxes with TaxAct. You can choose to file one or the other, or both. Although you may have to push through a lot of prompts and upselling, you can choose to only file either your federal or your state returns with TaxAct. Federal filing is available in the free version if you’re filing a basic return, but state filings cost a minimum of $39.95 per state.

Does TaxAct charge for direct deposit?

No, there is no charge for using direct deposit to pay for TaxAct. There is an extra charge if you select the option to pay for the filing package out of your refund cash instead of your bank account, even if you’re using direct deposit. TaxAct partners with Republic Bank for all direct deposit payments.

Can you use TaxAct from outside the US?

Yes. If you are outside the US and you need to file US taxes, you can use the online tax software. While you can also access downloadable software, it may not be as instantaneous as the online version. You cannot use all foreign bank accounts to pay for the applicable software fees, but there are many payment options if the free version is not enough for your tax situation.

Can I get tax deductions and tax credits with TaxAct? 

You can only access tax credits and deductions with premium packages. For example, the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, health savings account deductions, mortgage interest deductions, and childcare expenses are all available through premium packages rather than free federal filing. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christine Smith - Bizreport
Christine Smith
Business Writer
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER

He is an organized and creative thinking sales management professional with experience in outside and inside sales in various markets. Working as freelancer in the Greater Boston Market, he moved to St. Louis and became an Account Executive, then a Sales Manager managing and coaching 12 sales reps covering a nationwide territory. He has developed his team with a combination of consultative selling and value before price coaching mindset which has won him a President’s Cup and many other financially rewarding awards at RICOH. His most recent role as a Continuous Improvement Manager provided insight into the importance of delivering a quality product in alignment with the value and reputation of his organization. It further enhances the aspect of selling on value as opposed to price.

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  1. Top 666 TaxAct Reviews. ConsumerAffairs. Published September 13, 2022. Accessed September 27, 2022. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/taxactonline.html
  2. TaxAct is rated “Poor” with 1.8 / 5 on Trustpilot. Trustpilot. Published September 22, 2022. Accessed September 27, 2022. https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.taxact.com
  3. TaxAct. TaxAct Guarantees | Online Tax Software | TaxAct. TaxAct. Published 2017. Accessed September 27, 2022. https://www.taxact.com/company/guarantees
  4. Redirecting. Google.com. Published 2022. Accessed September 27, 2022. https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/taxactonline.html?page%3D2%23scroll_to_reviews%3Dtrue&sa=D&source=docs&ust=1664242649099847&usg=AOvVaw13bQ5JO27eyz6ioCzrwLLb