Does tax season give you sleepless nights? Don’t feel alone; most people have some idea of how to fill in their tax returns, but they worry about the details. There always seem to be sneaking suspicions that something is not quite right.
Did I make a mistake on the form?
Did I submit what I was supposed to?
Did I claim all the deductions I was entitled to claim?
It’s enough to drive anyone nuts. It’s also completely unnecessary if the people at TaxAct are to be believed.
Some of those concerns are amplified when you serve in the military, with issues such as combat-pay exclusions and deductions for uniforms, travel and frequent moves factoring into the equation.
TaxAct offers a solid solution for your tax return needs. Improvements for the 2023 calendar year (2022 tax season) include free Xpert Assist included with all programs, including the free version. Additional features include being able to import data from stockbrokers and versions that cover almost any tax need, from a simple tax return up to investors and small business owners. The biggest downside is pricing. Even users of the free tax return will need to pay additional fees to file their state return, something not all tax software programs require. Beyond that, the pricing on federal tax returns is competitive with other major tax software companies.
Table of Contents
- My TaxAct Review: File Your Returns, Simply
- TaxAct Gives You Piece of Mind
- Tools for a Quick and Accurate Process
- What If My Situation is Unique?
- TaxAct Has You Covered in the Event of an Audit
- Useful Free Apps
- How Much Does TaxAct Cost?
- Available Versions of TaxAct Software
- TaxAct Pros & Cons
My TaxAct Review: File Your Returns, Simply
No muss, no fuss – this program gives you simple advice and an indication of which documents to complete.
Choosing the right service level with TaxAct is easy. If you need to complete a form not available with the current package, the system prompts you to upgrade.
TaxAct Gives You Piece of Mind
It’s not so much that the forms are difficult to complete. What is difficult is ensuring that you have all the right addenda and supporting documents.
Depending on the complexity of your personal tax situation, you may require your W-2, 1099-INT, 1095 and so on. Leave anything out, and your refund may be delayed. This is why the interview system used by TaxAct is such a great idea.
They’ll ask you questions you might never have thought of to ensure you get the right information.
The system will then:
- Populate the information onto the relevant forms
- Advise you on what credits or deductions you may qualify for
- Tell you what documents to attach to the app
- And then help you file with the relevant tax authority
What’s more, the company is so confident in the accuracy of their product that they offer the following guarantee: Should there be a penalty charged as a result of an error made by the software, TaxAct will pay it, as well as any interest accrued.
Tools for a Quick and Accurate Process
With TaxAct, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you file your taxes. If you filed with TaxAct last year, the information will be automatically entered into this year’s return.
If you’re on one of the paid plans, you have the option of importing a prior tax return. It must be in PDF format for this to work. You’re guaranteed to get the right documents simply by completing the interview as accurately as possible.
What’s more, if you need assistance with any aspect – from completing the documents to a query about deductions – the company has a comprehensive support feature.
It takes time to get used to how the information is ordered, but you’ll find all the information that you might need in the support section. Should you need further assistance, you can contact the company’s help desk.
What If My Situation is Unique?
If you have rental income or are self-employed, for example, you’ll want to make that clear in the interview. It will mean that the free plan won’t work for you, so be prepared to fork over the cash for a slightly more expensive one.
In this case, you are probably looking at the:
TaxAct Has You Covered in the Event of an Audit
If you just need advice, the Audit Support database can help. It will tell you, among other things:
- Which documents are required
- How to answer audit questions
- How long to keep your documents
If you’re looking for more hands-on assistance, Audit Defense, provided through Protection Plus, is the service you want. An additional fee may apply.
You have the option to cancel it within 30 days of buying it. You can cancel if you don’t receive an audit request.
Audit Defense is a valuable service for those with more complex situations that the IRS is likely to audit. It puts you in touch with experts that can assist in negotiating with the IRS on your behalf and defending you during an audit.
Useful Free Apps
The company makes the following apps available for free to everyone, clients or not:
- Tax Return Status App: Check whether or not your return has been accepted, and get an idea of when your refund will be due.
- DocVault: Take a picture of any documents that you might need to support your tax return. You have up to 3 GB of storage space to store all your receipts and invoices.
How Much Does TaxAct Cost?
That depends on which package you choose.
- Free: No cost for federal returns; $39.95 for state returns
- Deluxe: $24.95 to file a federal return; $44.95 to file a state return
- Premier: A federal return is $34.95; a state return is $44.95
- Self–Employed: $64.95 for a federal return; $44.95 for a state return
Compare all TaxAct versions on their website, or keep reading for more info.
Available Versions of TaxAct Software
Tax Act offers four versions of its tax software, each catering to tax situations of varying complexities.
If your return is simple, with no need to list dependents or deductions, this is the plan to use. You do get access to the company’s comprehensive knowledge database.
Features here, however, are limited. For example, you won’t be able to list deductions.
This package is pricier but it can handle a lot more calculations.
If you are a homeowner and expect to deal with deductions, credits and adjustments, this is the right plan for you.
It doesn’t include some income types, such as stocks, gains and losses.
Those with investments and rental properties are best served by the Premier package. You can even import your stock data.
If you work for yourself, your returns are going to be more complicated by nature.
This product will help you deal with those situations and also includes TaxAct’s Deduction Maximizer to help you lower your taxes.
TaxAct Pros & Cons
- Federal Tax Returns are competitively priced compared to other major tax software programs
- All options, including TaxAct Free, include free Xpert Assist
- TaxAct Xpert Full Service is available for an additional fee.
- Ability to import csv data files from stockbrokers
- Cryptocurrency support
- TaxAct has different versions to cover virtually any tax need, from a basic tax return, to investors, to small business owners.
- State tax returns are more expensive than some tax software providers, especially for TaxAct Free
- The experience is not as user-friendly with TaxAct as it is with some competitors.