What We Recommend FreeTaxUSA For
FreeTaxUSA should be one of your top choices for tax preparation if you’re on a tight budget. Its Free Edition lets you access a wide range of IRS forms and schedules, making it ideal for filers that deal with various tax situations regardless of complexity, such as small business owners, landlords, and investors with multiple capital gains or losses.
FreeTaxUSA is also a top contender if you need some helpful guarantees when filing your income tax return. We selected it as one of the best small business tax software because of its features for freelancers, such as the ability to file an individual return with Schedule C.
FreeTaxUSA Is Especially Good For
- Employees with high income seeking to prepare their own taxes: Taxpayers can prepare their federal income tax return for free regardless of their income level.
- Self-employed business owners who need free federal filing and low-cost state tax filing: FreeTaxUSA gives you access to all major tax forms and more than 350 deductions and credits without extra cost. Federal tax filing free and add only $14.99 to file your state tax returns.
- Individuals who need to file prior-year tax returns: FreeTaxUSA lets you file prior-year federal returns for free and state returns for $17.99 each, which is very cost-effective if you need to file several returns.
FreeTaxUSA Is Not a Good Fit For
- Professional return preparers: As mentioned earlier, FreeTaxUSA is a do-it-yourself (DIY) tax preparation software and isn’t for professional tax professionals that prepare individual and business returns. For your tax preparation business, check out our article on the best tax software for tax preparers.
- Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) that file Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1065: While FreeTaxUSA supports most forms that an individual will need, it doesn’t support any forms for small businesses, other than sole proprietors, which file on the owner’s individual tax return. If you own a corporation or LLC, we recommend TaxAct.
- Filers who need personalized advice from a tax expert: One of the trade-offs to its free service is that it doesn’t offer advanced customer options and personalized advice from a tax professional. In this case, you may need a more robust tax preparation software like TurboTax.
Are you looking for something different? Read our guide to the best small business tax software to see what works best for you.
FreeTaxUSA Pros and Cons
|Supports all major individual tax forms for free without the need to upgrade||Doesn’t support partnership or corporate tax return preparation|
|Unlimited amended returns are free with the Deluxe Edition||Support is limited for free customers|
|Includes tax return backup if you need to print old returns||No support if you have foreign earned income, are a nonresident alien, or live outside the United States|
|Integration of previous returns from other tax software||Weak importing capabilities—not able to import W-2s or 1099s|
FreeTaxUSA lets you file federal returns for free and add state tax returns for $14.99. Upgrade to Deluxe Edition for $6.99, and you will get access to advanced features like amended returns, priority support, and live chat.
Federal Tax Return
State Tax Return
Deluxe Edition Upgrade
Printed Tax Return Mailed
Professionally Bound Tax Return Mailed
Whether you’re a self-employed individual or have rental income, FreeTaxUSA supports the most common tax forms that you need to file your individual and state tax returns. Check out its top features below to help you determine if FreeTaxUSA is for you.
FreeTaxUSA lets you access, print, and file past-due tax returns from 2014 to 2020. If you filed prior-year returns with another tax preparation program, you can upload a PDF of your return to save time in preparing your current tax return. Prior-year federal returns are free and prior-year state returns are $17.99.
Tax Refund Options
You can opt to have your tax refund deposited electronically into your account via direct deposit, loaded onto a prepaid debit card, or have a paper check mailed to you.
Unlimited Amended Returns
If you’re a Free user, you can prepare and file an amended return to correct a return that has already been filed with the IRS for a fee of $17.99. If you’re a Deluxe user, you can file as many amended returns as needed for free.
Available in the Deluxe Edition upgrade, the audit assistance feature gives you access to a specialist who’ll help you get through an IRS notice or the audit process.
As with other tax preparation services, FreeTaxUSA offers a guarantee on its tax calculations. Should an error occur, it’ll be responsible for paying any penalties and interest to the IRS. If it’s determined that you entered information incorrectly, the guarantee doesn’t apply.
Pay With Your Refund
FreeTaxUSA offers you an option to pay your fee with your tax refund, provided you’re eligible. To qualify, your refund should be greater than your total fee, plus the processing fee of $19.99. You can also pay the fee with your credit or debit card for no additional fee.
Printed Tax Returns
Even though your return is filed electronically, you may want to have a printed copy for your records. FreeTaxUSA offers two options: a printed tax return mailed to you for $7.99 or a professionally bound copy of your federal and state income tax returns for $14.99. It’s also possible to download a PDF and print it yourself for free.
While live chat is offered to all users, but Deluxe subscribers receive priority support with the ability to jump to the front of the line and have your questions answered by a tax expert. Live chat is available for Deluxe users from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time, except on holidays.
If you need more time to file your return, you can extend your filing deadline by filing Form 4868 for free. This will add six months to your filing deadline and allow you enough time in case your W-2 or other forms need to be replaced.
Tax Return Storage
FreeTaxUSA will store your finished tax returns in your account for up to seven years, and it’ll carry the prior year’s information automatically to your current year’s taxes if you use the software two years in a row. Your information is kept secure with data encryption, and the website requires multifactor authentication (MFA) to verify your identity.
Are you looking for accounting software for your small business? Check out our picks for the best small business accounting software, which includes QuickBooks Online.
Customer Service and Ease of Use
FreeTaxUSA’s interface is clean and easy to navigate with no downloads or special plug-ins or add-ons required. Upon logging in, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can set up your account information easily. It also includes user-friendly navigation tabs that let you jump to particular information, income, miscellaneous topics, deductions and credits, and a tax filing page. After you answer a few questions, you’ll complete the relevant tax forms to determine whether you qualify for certain credits or deductions. FreeTaxUSA includes helpful explainers of tax concepts for clarifications and will calculate the estimated tax refund or amount due manually.
You can seek help via email or search for support topics on its Customer Support page and question and answer database. Unfortunately, FreeTaxUSA doesn’t offer phone support, and the fastest way to contact a representative is to upgrade to its Deluxe Edition, which gives you access to its live chat feature.
Best for: Filers who want advice from credentialed tax professionals.
Best for: Business owners seeking a cloud-based program to prepare corporate and partnership returns
Best for: Expats seeking tax services
Self-employed returns from $170.00 for federal and state
Business returns from $154.90 for federal and state
Federal and state filing starting at $99
Overall, FreeTaxUSA is an extremely affordable solution for individuals and sole proprietors who want to file their own taxes. Its free service may come with some trade-offs, such as the lack of advanced support and personalized advice from an expert, but it offers nearly everything that you expect from DIY tax software.
If you love the idea of saving money on filing your income tax returns, you should try FreeTaxUSA today.