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TaxAct vs TurboTax For 2019 and 2020

Reviews, Tax Tips, Taxact, Turbotax

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Written by Mike Piper Updated on February 14, 2020

TaxAct vs TurboTax : Features Options and Comparison In 2019

Competition is quite fierce between two of the most prominent providers of tax-preparation software’s, so in this article, we take a more in-depth view of whether can offer you the best service and also which tax site gives the biggest refund.  Of all the Turbotax competitors in the market we feel Taxact ( see our Taxact Review here for an indepth look  intio it ) offers the best alternative view. We outline the pros and cons for both and provide you with what we think is the clear winner between these two giants in tax preparation and ask the Question, Is Taxact a good program and is it better than Turbotax. Are you ready? Here are the reviews

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TaxAct vs TurboTax

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Updated March 2020 And Fact Checked for accuracy

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TurboTax Overview and Review

TurboTax

turbotax 2018 Tax Preparation SoftwareThis is arguably the most common DIY tax software , which has become a household name over the years. Turbo tax rates highly among users as its easy to use and cost effective .It’s also quite appealing that almost every bank offers a discount for Turbotax, an excellent example of this is Chase bank where customers can click a link from their website. We have a full Turbotax review if you wish to get a full in-depth rundown of the tax capabilities and make sure you also see our turbotax.com service codes and deals .

Related : Turbotax Review 2020: Filing Taxes Online

TurboTax is famous for being a helpful program that is user-friendly and simple to understand so in this review we aim to guide you through why you should use Turbotax and compare products to get a better idea of the best one for you. We checked the software application’s track record by preparing three various tax-filing circumstances and running each one through the online tax software program with free tools and calculator, the donation calculator will save you a lot of time and make it easier to locate all deductions available each year. We discovered that TurboTax’s track record is well founded when compared to H&R Block , Taxslayer or credit karma the other big heavyweights in Tax preperation.

  • Deluxe:

If you’re able to itemize, deduct mortgage interest, or have received a 1099-G (State Tax Refund) or a 1099-Misc (Freelance and Independent Contractor Income) you want to be in their most basic plan. Also be check out our Turbotax Deluxe 2019 Discount

  • Premier:

individuals who’ve sold any stocks or investments and are required to update the cost-basis data on their Schedule D will automatically be upgraded to the Premier service at the right time. This tier helps you to file a Schedule E in case you receive rental property income. Also be sure to check out our TurboTax Premier 2019 Discounts. State fee may apply

  • Home and Business:

for the self-employed or those who own a small business with miscellaneous expense’s that exceeding $100, you have to upgrade to the highest tier. But if your 1099-Misc expenses are the cellphone, Mileage, and other expenses less than $100, then you can use one of the lower options.State fee may apply after recent tax cuts

  • Self-Employed:

$89.99 to $119.99. For most small business owners Turbotax is a great choice and one we have used ourselves

  • TurboTax Live:

  • $149.99 to $179.99. This is a new service Appropriate for all situations, with a remote CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent consultation and on-demand live advice included. Also be sure to check out our turboTax Live Discount for additional savings
  • Free Federal File

  • This is offered and to make it easy to file a Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A. the upgraded or paid  version offers the best option for most people who are unsure on what to do

TurboTax Pricing, Compare Basic to Premium and paid options

Federal ProductRegular PriceAfter Discount
Federal$0 federal$0 federal
 Deluxe$54.99$49.49
Premier$79.99$71.99
Self-Employed$114.99$103.49
  • The free efile plan provides support for 1040EZ and 1040 A , no extra electronic filing fees
  •  There are four paid plans that range from $59.99 to $179.99 and you can always go with the new Turbotax Live with help from a CPA
  • For the free version, State return prep is $0, and $39.99 for the paid versions , choose either option but think download vs online is best for new users

TurboTax Pros And Cons

Pros of TurboTax To Compare

  •  A guaranteed maximum refund
  • CD, online, or downloadable software is available
  • It’s the best-selling tax filing software on the market
  • Free state and federal e-filing for 1040EZ
  • 5 e-files are available and can cover your whole family (typically with download or CD software)
  • Fully featured mobile version for both Android and iOS
  • Every edition comes with state filing including the student version
  • Free assistance with Affordable Health Care Act to calculate penalties and tax credits
  • Excellent customer service available through email, telephone, and live chat. Added support for tutorials, user forums, and FAQs section.

Cons of TurboTax

• Quite expensive

• Added charges for audit defense

• Lacks physical locations where you can meet with a tax specialist or file in-house

Every version of TaxAct costs less than TurboTax

Every version of TaxAct costs less than TurboTax , Yes Taxact is cheaper than Turbotax . Take TaxAct Premium, the most costly variation ( driven toward freelancers and entrepreneur), it costs $70 and consists of a single state return, while the comparable variation of TurboTax costs almost $130. And though TaxAct will interrupt you two times for up sells, it consists of some essentials for free– such as online access to your return for seven years– that other rivals provide as expensive add-ons. Note you can always use the taxact customer service phone number if you get stuck for free advice on (319) 536-3571
Further Reading : Canada’s Free Online Version  of Turbotax Can Save 10%

Top TurboTax Complaints

Longer wait times and customer seems to be the most common complaints when compared to TaxAct. Especially around February as we get closer to the cut off dates for filing as things start to get very bust for tax agents as well. The actual software does not seem to get many complaints as its easy to sue and offers great value for money so that’s a good sign for users of Turbotax.

TurboTax Support

TurboTax has a huge support knowledge base and very active community of users who are also willing to help answer questions  . If you have a paid versions also get real-time help using SmartLook, and this will get you connected to a tax specialist who will run you through and tricky questions and advise you ho to use the software. This is a great feature and well worth paying to have an expert on your team fro a very small price compared to paying an accountant or other professional.

Turbotax Live Compare

TurboTax Live provides you with the Expert Services of a professional tax expert to assist you getting your return 100% correct. If you have concerns or questions associated with your return. When you use TurboTax Live, either an experienced EA (Enrolled Agent), Practicing Attorney or CPA (Certified Public Accountant) will work on reviewing your tax returns and provide you with approval when you can file, making sure that you receive as much money as possible, and to ensure your taxes have been done correctly.

taxact get the best advice in the 2018 tax yearTax Act Overview and Review

Tax Act

TaxAct’s products are less expensive than competing packages from bigger names like TurboTax or H&R Block. Thats especially ideal especially for people who need advanced tax software, which can run $100 or more elsewhere when you factor in the price of preparing a state return. TaxAct also has a price guarantee too and offers a great cost effective turbotax alternative for most people, which means you pay the listed price when you start your return rather than when you finish and we like that . This might be helpful because, from my experience, tax software prices tend to go up about a month before the filing deadline.

TaxAct’s free version is safe , legit and available only to people who qualify to file the 1040EZ; folks who have to file a 1040A or regular 1040 will need to get one of the paid versions. The paid versions import last year’s TaxAct return. Also use taxactonline to file your returns faster for a better experience.

TaxAct provides several products based on your income tax status. They primarily offer four central plans that you can choose from free, basic, plus, and premium. The free option assists with tax returns, and the service is free of charge when you file for state and federal tax returns. While the free plan of TaxAct comes with a $15 fee when you want to import your last year’s TaxAct return file, it’s quite reasonable considering how crucial it is to get this year’s data correctly.

TaxAct Pricing

taxact coupon 2018 save 20% top offer

  • The free plan offers support for 1040EZ and 1040A
  • Taxact filing fees are reasonably priced and not too expensive this year
  • There are three paid versions that range from $27 to $51 , get in early to avoid a price increase
  • For the free plan, the State return rep is $0 and $37 for the paid versions

MyDealsClub has great discounts and coupons for Taxact Click here

Tax Act Pros And Cons

Pros of TaxAct To Compare

  • Accuracy guarantee, price lock guarantee, maximum refund pledge, and a satisfaction guarantee.
  • 5 e-files and with every purchase of the higher-level download software you get 1 state return
  • Free state and federal e-filing for 1040EZ and 1040A
  • Mobile versions are available
  • Professional audit defense
  • Q&A interview guide filters for details about the previous year’s taxes and health insurance
  • Provides professional tax products for accountants, CPAs, and other professionals
  • Ability to import W-2 forms from the participating institutions, previous year returns, as well as charitable donations.

Cons of TaxAct

• No feature for user forums

• Can only import 1099-B CVS file formats

• No Coupon code

Top TaxAct Complaints

The most common complaint about TaxAct are additional charges .For example they charge you $9.99 to keep your federal tax return available and $20 to keep both federal and state returns viewable into the future , we think that’s just gouging and not something turbotax does. You can however save your returns in hard-copy or pdf after you file but you cant re access them without paying the fee. And if you want to import old returns and direct deposit you now need to pay a fee the upgrade which again is a common complaint of using TaxAct

Tax Act Support

If you need help, TaxAct will also help you connect with a CPA or Enrolled Agent to chat live or on a phone call. They also have Free helpline for users who have subscribed which also makes TaxAct well worth the money . They wont offer any detailed tac advice that will require the use of your own accountant but for the basics its a great thing to know that backup is available.

TaxAct  has an online knowledge base similar to Turbotax and this allows users to search for answers about  tax issues.However I would say on balance there’s is not anywhere near as good as Turbotax’s

Additional Considerations

Both TurboTax and TaxAct allow you to use your refund to pay for the fees incurred during tax-prep. However, there’s a fee for that: $39.99 with TurboTax and $25 with TaxAct Plus.

TaxAct has an audit assistance feature that consists of an FAQ page on their website. You also have the option to purchase ‘Audit Defense’ a product offered by a company they partner with; Protection Plus. The coverage includes 3-year audit services for the current year’s return, and a comprehensive resolution and response strategy, assistance with denied credits, state and IRS correspondence, as well as tax fraud and tax debt assistance. The service is also included in their Premium package.

When you get an audit notice, you’ll receive free guidance from tax experts on how to prepare and what to expect. If you want to have someone physically represent you in front of the IRS, you have to buy their Audit Defense product when you file. TurboTax charges $44.99 for it.

Final Word,Conclusions and Verdict

Which Is Better Taxact Or Turbotax ?

In the battle between Taxact vs Turbotax the price difference between TurboTax and TaxAct starts to be a clear indicator of who is the better option we found. For most people, this is a non-issue, but if you’ve worked in different states with different income taxes, the $37 fee charged by TurboTax per state can add up quick. On the flip side taxact premium cost is  $24.95 to $104.90 which is also not cheap

However, every battle has a clear winner, and this year, we crown TurboTax the winner of tax-prep software in 2019, based on personal experiences and the experiences of our team. Its reliable ,dependable and not overly expensive and we think the best overall online tax preparation company.

Satisfaction Guarantee: Both TaxAct and TurboTax offer money back guarantees if you are not totally satisfied with their tax software but it doe not apply after you print out your return which is good to know.

Have Your Say

Today I got an email asking the following : Is there a taxact vs turbotax reddit write up you can point me to ? Im like sure , but you found it and are on it right now . We feel our guide is very comprehensive for most readers and offers a great amount of details you need to decide which of these two tax juggernauts offers you the best return bang for buck .

We encourage you to comment below on your thoughts feelings about these two giants in tax prep to further assist others in making up their minds. Ultimately its your choice ,TurboTax is more expensive sure but if are running multiple returns or need extra special help you will want to go with it when compared to Taxact as it has all the bells and whistles to complete your filing on time and with the guidance of tax service professionals. But if on the other hand you a very low income to declare and just have basic needs then just go with Taxact and save some money  but as long as you dont get tangled up with the all the schedules and information , it can be very overwhelming

About Mike Piper

Mike Piper, CPA is the author of several personal finance books as well as the popular blog Oblivious Investor. He is a Colorado licensed CPA. Mike's writing has been featured in many places, including The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Forbes, MarketWatch, and Morningstar.

3 Responses to "TaxAct vs TurboTax For 2019 and 2020"

  • Darren Tatch says:

    Hi stj4mw
    No problem , Let us all now how your experience with Turbotax was ? I have used both and prefer it to Taxact myself, always wonder what other people think.

  • stj4mw says:

    Thank you for the detailed comparison . I have always used Taxact but after reading this I think I’m going to switch to Turbotax, it sounds much better and more suitable for my needs. Thanks again for sharing this information.

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