TaxAct is an online tax preparation software that supports all the major tax forms and schedules (both federal and state). Its features include W-2 import, a deduction maximizer, a maximum refund guarantee, and a mobile app.
It offers a free plan that allows you to file Form 1040 for free, plus a state return for $39.95. If you have investments, rental properties, or foreign bank accounts, you can file a federal return for $34.95, and self-employed individuals can file a federal return for $64.95.
Are you looking for something different? Read our article on the best small business tax software. We looked at a variety of solutions and narrowed our recommendations down based on the price of preparing the typical bundle of returns required by most business owners.
TaxAct Deciding Factors
Small business owners wanting unlimited tax assistance at no additional cost
Phone, email, and chat
Federal Return Pricing
$0 to $64.95 plus state return fees
State Return Pricing
$39.95 to $44.95
Free Trial of TaxAct
Maximum Refund Guarantee
Best for: Filers who need inexpensive tax software for corporate and partnership returns
Best for: Taxpayers looking for robust tax audit support
Best for: Freelancers who want free software to file an individual return with Schedule C
Business returns from: $89.95 for federal and $19.95 for state
Self-employed returns from: $119 for federal and $54 for state
Individual returns from: $14.99 for state
Read our H&R Block review
Read our TurboTax review
Read our FreeTaxUSA review
New Features for 2023
For 2023, TaxAct will support new tax provisions, such as the new 1099-K reporting requirements and tax savings related to the Inflation Reduction Act as these changes are standard across all tax providers. Also, beginning Jan. 3, 2023, users will receive free expert access at all price levels, plus the option to pay more to have an expert file for you.
TaxAct offers a free version that allows you to file a Form 1040 for free, plus a state return for $39.95. Prices for its paid online packages start at $24.95 for do-it-yourself (DIY) federal tax filing and $64.95 for self-employed filing plus $44.95 per state for state filing. Starting January 3, 2023, you’ll receive free unlimited assistance from TaxAct’s live experts with all plans.
Federal Return (DIY)
Royalty & Schedule K-1 Income
This plan lets you file federal returns for free, but you can’t file schedules 1 to 3. It’s suitable for taxpayers with wages, dependents, college expenses, and retirement income. The package handles W-2 income, child tax credits, dependents, current students, and earned income credits, and it includes prior-year import, free account, and technical support.
Considered TaxAct’s most popular tier, Deluxe is best for homeowners with deductions, credits, and adjustments. It includes everything in Free, plus itemized deductions, child and dependent care, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, student loan interest, health savings accounts (HSA), and adoption credits.
If you need to report rental properties or investments, this plan is for you. It contains all the features in Deluxe, plus advanced features like stock sales, sales of homes or other investments, rental property income, royalty and Schedule K-1 income, investment expenses, and foreign bank and financial accounts. Users also have access to prioritized support with screen sharing.
This package caters to freelancers and self-employed taxpayers looking to maximize their deductions. It comes with all the features in Premier, in addition to freelance income, business and farm income, personalized business deductions, depreciation calculations, and year-round planning resources.
Business Tax Returns
TaxAct also allows you to file business tax returns for sole proprietors, partnerships, C-corps, and S-corps. All products are for preparing, printing, and e-filing a single return. For sole proprietors, you can file form 1040 and Schedule C for $64.95 plus $44.95 per state return. For partnerships, C-corps, and S-corps, you can file forms 1065, 1120, and 1120S for $109.95 per return, plus $49.95 per state return.
We selected TaxAct as the overall best small business tax software because it’s ideal for business owners needing to file both a 1040 and a separate business return. It offers multiple paid plans for taxpayers in a variety of situations and useful tools like a tax estimator and tax planner. Below is a list of some of its top features.
TaxAct uses a question-and-answer format that provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you complete your returns in a way that maximizes your deductions. This tool helps self-employed individuals uncover common deductions specific to their work. Sales representatives, for instance, can uncover additional tax advantages on business travel and meals, credit card processing fees, supplies, and more.
Accuracy/Maximum Refund Guarantee
TaxAct says that its program is 100% accurate, so taxpayers can get the maximum refund. If you receive a reduced refund or increased tax liability or pay a penalty or interest because of a TaxAct error, your charges will be covered by TaxAct. The company will refund your full software costs. pay any difference in your higher tax liability or lower refund and cover any legal or audit-related costs of up to $100,000.
The TaxAct Express app is available for both iOS and Android and allows you to e-file your federal and state tax returns on your tablet or smartphone. Its top features include free federal extension filing, W-2 capture, IRS refund tracking, and enhanced support with live chat.
It supports all online products: Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self Employed. You can switch seamlessly from the app to the desktop and pick up right where you left off. It even lets you view, print, or save your federal return as a PDF. Security is also a priority, as you can use touch ID or face ID support and a two-factor authentication (2FA) security feature.
This lets you create what-if scenarios for future years in your current return. You can estimate your income and expenses for the next few years and then project changes to the information to estimate your tax liability for the current or following years.
TaxAct offers various tax tools that can help in different situations. The Forms Assistant gives you access to all available tax forms, while the Topics Assistant provides answers to various tax questions.
When recording a donation, you can use the Donation Assistant to find the deduction value of donated clothes, household items, and other objects quickly. Meanwhile, the Loan Calculator helps you determine your monthly payments for home, auto, personal, student, and any other fixed loan type.
Regardless of your previous tax program, TaxAct lets you import the previous year’s tax return, including those coming from TurboTax or H&R Block. However, it can only be imported as a PDF, and you can only bring over your 1040—not including all the supporting forms and schedules. You can also import W-2s or take a photo and upload them via the mobile app, and with paid versions, you can upload 1099-B information from your broker if it’s in a spreadsheet (a CSV file).
Deduct Your Fee From Your Refund
When you e-file through TaxAct, you can elect to receive your tax refund as either a direct deposit or on a PayPower Card, and you can deduct your filing fees from the refund. The transaction is processed through TaxAct’s banking partner Republic Bank. There’s an additional charge of $19.99 to deduct filing fees from a direct deposit or $9.99 to deduct filing fees from a PayPower Card deposit.
TaxAct Customer Service & Ease of Use
As with other tax filing programs, TaxAct features user-friendly navigation and an intuitive interview process, which is helpful for new users. It offers guided and unguided navigation that makes it extremely easy for filers to enter their information. The navigation bar also provides easy access to all other sections, and another nice feature is a quick summary of each section that allows you to catch data-entry errors.
TaxAct allows easy import of tax forms, such as 1099s, W-2s, and 1099-NECs. It also offers account and technical support through email, chat, and phone in all its products, as well as a huge knowledge base that provides answers to frequently asked questions.
Perhaps the most useful addition to TaxAct’s support offering is Xpert Help, which provides unlimited screen-sharing access to a tax expert. Help is available on-demand, and in some states, you can schedule a call with one of TaxAct’s CPAs, enrolled agents, or other tax specialists.
TaxAct User Reviews
There are limited TaxAct reviews online. Users appreciate the ease of use in filing tax returns and the variety of helpful tools such as the tax calculator. Reviewers also praised the accuracy and maximum refund guarantees.
TaxAct’s biggest drawbacks are its limited audit support and that its price includes only one tax return. Other users found that the fees for filing state returns are on the pricier side. The terrible reviews on SiteJabber that are referenced below most frequently mention poor customer services and federal return issues from the prior year.
TaxAct earned the following average scores on popular review sites:
- Consumer Affairs: 3.9 out of 5 based on about 670 reviews
- SiteJabber: 1.4 out of 5 based on around 120 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is TaxAct e-filing really free?
Yes, e-filing is included in all TaxAct packages for no additional charge, including its Free package for simple returns.
Can I use TaxAct for previous years?
Yes, but you can’t e-file previous year returns. You can print your completed tax return and mail it to the IRS.
Does TaxAct have a mobile app?
Yes, TaxAct has a mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android.
TaxAct is a terrific choice for freelancers, sole proprietors, or small business owners looking for an online filing platform with a competitive price point that offers everything you need to get the job done. It’s less expensive than much of the competition and has a variety of features and guarantees that help you simplify and save on your tax filing without the full cost of hiring an accountant. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it received several negative reviews about poor customer service and issues with the prior year’s federal tax return.