Credit Karma was founded in 2007 to help people monitor and improve their finances. Credit Karma offers credit scores and reports and has three offices in the San Francisco area. They have more than 85 million users and are experts in providing all their services for free.
With Credit Karma, individuals can access their credit scores and reports whenever they need to, view important updates about their financial accounts, and review which accounts are contributing to recent changes in score.
Credit Karma started offering Credit Karma Tax in 2016, adding to their suite of free products and solutions to help you manage every aspect of your finances without contributing to your financial burdens by charging excessive fees.
Their tax preparation and filing services are completely free all the time with no hidden fees or up sold features.
Credit Karma Review: Starting With Tax Services
These services include much more than what’s listed below, but these are some of the most convenient services we have found.
Credit Karma has an online help center that provides assistance for technical issues as well as answers to basic preparation questions.
The search function gives you a user-friendly way to find what you need quickly without scrolling through pages of irrelevant materials. The FAQ section has comprehensive answers to the most common tax questions.
If you have a smartphone with a camera, you can quickly import your W-2 documents. All you do is snap a photo and upload it to the system.
Credit Karma will read it, fill out your information, and allow you to review the fields for accuracy. This is a convenient feature for preparing your tax documents online as well as on your smartphone or tablet.
Prior Year Imports
This makes it easy to use Credit Karma even if you didn’t use it last year. If you didn’t use any of these platforms, you need to input your information manually, but that’s easy to do as well.
Just like many other online tax preparation platforms, Credit Karma Tax will show you your refund in real-time as you enter your information.
You will know immediately how much of a refund you’ll get or how much you owe. Every piece of relevant information you enter updates this number for you.
Tax Preparation Plans
Credit Karma Tax only has one plan, and it’s free.
While other services have tiers, Credit Karma Tax will allow you to file both your federal and your state returns for free with all the schedules and deductions you need. You won’t encounter any hidden fees, annoying upselling, or income limits.
While other filing services may upgrade you automatically and without your knowledge as you select things that aren’t included, Credit Karma Tax is always free. This makes it a pain-free, hassle-free experience for everyone.
Credit Karma Tax offers plenty of benefits besides filing your taxes for free. Below are some of the best and most convenient benefits available to you through Credit Karma Tax.
Tax Audit Services
Credit Karma provides one year free of their Audit Defense program in case you get audited.
Credit Karma partners with a third-party service called Protection Plus to offer this service. Protection Plus is experienced in providing this protection because they work with many other tax services, too.
If you have questions about what to do when you get audited, you can contact Protection Plus, and they’ll walk you through it. They can help you review your documents and act on your behalf in meetings and negotiations with the authorities.
All the forms you need to file your taxes fall into what’s called your tax packet.
Credit Karma’s user interface is custom built to guide you efficiently through your tax packet, so it’s easy and convenient.
Credit Karma builds your tax packet by using the answers you provide about your finances and personal information like marital status, employment, and other deductions.
After preparing your tax packet, you can fill out each clearly labeled section in order or skip around as needed. Credit Karma will also prompt you to enter additional information if it suspects you need more than the standard deduction entries.
When you’re ready to file, Credit Karma will prompt you to enter missing information and verify everything is correct. It can walk you through reviewing each section, after which it makes it easy to submit at the click of a button.
Unlike other tax preparation services, Credit Karma Tax offers 24/7 live support. It’s easy to fill out the online ticket and chat with a representative who can help.
The support personnel are knowledgeable in technical questions regarding your account or software navigation issues and can answer basic tax return questions.
Maximum Refund Guarantee
Credit Karma Tax offers a maximum refund guarantee just like most other competitors. If you prepare your return with another provider and they estimate you’ll receive a bigger refund, Credit Karma will give you $100.
The preparation service is already free, so that’s a huge offer.
Credit Karma’s tax services have only been around since 2016, so they’re relatively new compared to other providers.
They don’t support the more complicated tax situations that some people might need. They can’t work with foreign income, married people filing separately, or business owners who operate an LLC.
Credit Karma Tax is a bare-bones system without the same capabilities as other competitors.
They don’t have some of the same complex features or tools that others might provide. However, with the simple functions and user interface, a lot of users may find they prefer filing their taxes this way because it’s not complicated or hard to understand.
If you work live in one state but work in another, the site does not provide a way to file that state’s income tax. Some of the complexities of military tax filing might be better suited to other platforms.
Some may find it a hassle to sign up for the entire Credit Karma suite of services like credit scores and reports, but you don’t have to use these services if you find them unnecessary. You can simply sign up to use the tax services portion of the site.
It can also be difficult to use Credit Karma Tax if you’ve never filed your taxes on your own before and have expert-level questions the system can’t answer. Complicated situations may not be available, but it is one of the best services for small business owners to file for free.
The Bottom Line
Although Credit Karma doesn’t have some of the same services as other providers and they can’t handle more complex tax situations, they have a user-friendly system that allows you to file your taxes for free.
Their importing features make it convenient to use Credit Karma Tax even if you didn’t use it last year.
The online help resources are comprehensive and easy to search so you can find answers to your questions quickly.
One of the best things about Credit Karma Tax is that it’s free, so it’s a comprehensive solution for most people.