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TaxAct has been on a mission to compete with more renowned players in the tax software providers. This year has seen the company advance its products and improve the quality of the software to a level that it can compete with H&R Block and Turbo Tax while costing less.
By all accounts, TaxAct is a great consumer tax predation software with plenty of features. The program has been designed to be robust, with a relatively in-depth question-and-answer interface to capture all the necessary data. Moreover, there are numerous ways you can access the helpful content while the data import utility makes analyzing the tax return and checking for error much more straightforward.
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While the user interface might seem a tad busy for some people liking, the bright blue and orange buttons, black lettering on a gray and white background makes for an easy to use interface. The software designers have used a mix of font colors, sizes, and thicknesses to make it a tad more exciting to read and explore everything therein. There is also generous use of navigational links that take users to the different pages they need.
- When using the Deluxe version, you can itemize deductions. You also get additional features such as a wizard that helps you calculate the deduction, such as charitable donations. There are two editions of the Deluxe software – the State program that costs $39.95 and the Federal program that runs $47.95.
- here is also the Premier edition that costs $39.95 for the State program and the $57.95 for the Federal program. The Premier version of their software is well placed for taxpayers with rental properties and other investments.
- Finally, you can also choose the Self Employed version, where the Federal program costs $77.95, and the State program goes for $39.95. This is the high-end package of the TaxAct software. Small businesses and freelancers will benefit from this version of TaxAct the most.
Some of the new TaxAct features introduced in 2020 include:
- The FAFSA Assistance: The software fills out your FAFSA using your tax info when applying for college aid.
- Import Tax Returns Data From Other Software: You can import the previous years’ tax return to TaxAct thanks to this new feature.
TaxAct 2020 Price and Plans
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20% Off TaxAct Plus Federal & State Returns.
The three packages TaxAct packages come with support from Enrolled Agents. Additionally, the Premier+ and the Self-Employed+ packages come with a screen sharing option. Below are the listed prices for the tax season 2019-2020.
You should note that the TaxAct’s Premier+ costs less than the H&B Block prices. However, you get Schedule C-EZ for less than $5000 in expenses with H&B Block’s Premier package. This is a huge saving to consider and have in mind. You should also note that TaxAct charges State and Federal Tax accounting separately. However, W-2 jobholders who do not need to make any credits or deductions can use the software for free.
All things considered, the TaxAct cost is considerably less than the average price of online tax preparation for State and Federal taxes. While its free version comes with limited features, users can still use it in tax preparations.
You can file your state taxes for a $19.95 fee if you only need to make standard credits and deductions. For $14.95, you also get added support for your Federal Tax preparations.
• State: $44.95
• Federal: $54.95
With this package, you can itemize your data. You can also claim tax credits and tax deductions. You get unlimited phone and email support from specialists. For landlords, investors, and individuals filing Schedule C’s (the tax filing used by small businesses and freelancers), you need to upgrade to more capable packages.
• State: $44.95
• Federal: $79.95
This package has been tailored for people who need to report rental properties and investments. It supports Schedule D and E. You also get priority support with access to a dedicated phone line, in-app chat support, and screen-sharing capabilities.
• State: $49.95
• Federal: $109.95
The Self-Employed+ is TaxAct’s high-end version. It caters to all the needs of online tax filers, especially the self-employed. You get unlimited tech and tax phone tax support, chart and screen-share, and tools to maximize business deductions.
On the payment front, TaxAct accepts the vast majority of online payment methods. Additionally, if you are filing for a tax refund, you can pay for the software from the refund you get. However, this payment method is not for everyone, as you will pay an additional $17.99.
Who Is TaxAct For?
TaxAct has been designed and optimized to meet the needs of individuals who want more functionality and support than a free tax preparer can provide while paying affordable prices. The packages slot in between the free and costly offerings such as the TurboTax.
That said, if you want a lot of assistance, the more expensive options might work for you. Additionally, individuals who want a straightforward experience at no cost should consider taking up the free option provided by TaxAct competitors.
Help for TaxAct users is available by email and phone. If you need help with tax-related issues, you need to phone the support staff. You can get phone assistance during the tax season, which spans from mid-January to April 15th.
Best TaxAct Alternatives
FreeTaxUSA is a straightforward tax preparation and filing software. While its name suggests that the service is free to use, you can prepare your taxes, but you have to pay $14.99 to file your state taxes. Moreover, you can purchase the Deluxe version, which comes with priority support. You can pay $6.99 to get audit assistance.
Credit Karma Tax
This is a completely free tax preparation and filing service. The service provider does not have premium features, upcharges, or hidden fees. Nonetheless, the service is quite robust and can handle complex situations such as investment income, self-employment, and homeownership.
TurboTax is a leader in the tax preparation market. Their online and downloadable tax preparation and filing software is an excellent alternative to TaxAct. The company charges different fees for different financial situations, much like TaxAct. The more complex the tax preparations, the higher the prices. Their product ranges from free, which handles simple filing to $120 for most complex filings – the self-employment filings. Read our review of TaxAct vs TurboTax for more detailed explanations of the differences
While this program does not have huge brand recognition like H&R Block and TurboTax, it is still a good alternative with great pricing. You should note that to get meaningful support, you must be willing to pay extra.
H&R Block software is a contender for the best tax software. Moreover, the company’s network of physical offices ensures you have somewhere to go for help. The software is intuitive and easy to use, with the free version being the best of the bunch.
TaxAct is still an ok tax preparation software, especially for people who have used it in the past. However, using TaxAct can be daunting for first-time users, and there are better offerings to consider. If you are looking for a better alternative to TaxAct, the TurboTax software will meet your needs.