TaxSlayer Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2023
TaxSlayer is an online tax preparation software that allows you to file state and federal tax returns anytime and anywhere. It lets you file simple returns for free and handle complex self-employed tax situations at a low cost. Its features include free phone and email support, guaranteed maximum refund, IRS audit assistance, and a mobile app. TaxSlayer offers a free version and three paid packages that start at $19.95 for federal filing.
- Free filing for simple federal tax returns
- Less expensive than most other tax programs
- Includes a mobile app
- Access to live support from tax professionals (Premium and Self-Employed users)
- Offers fewer features than other tax filing software
- Cannot import Schedule C income and expenses
- Doesn’t support business returns (1065, 1120, and 1120S)
- Cannot import capital gain transactions
When To Use TaxSlayer
- Taxpayers looking to file a federal and state tax return for free: TaxSlayer offers a free plan for individuals who do taxes on their own, and it allows you to file an individual return for free. The first state tax return is included, and additional returns are $39.95.
- Self-employed individuals, contractors, and 1099 contractors who need advice from tax professionals: Premium and Self-Employed users have unlimited access to a team of tax professionals―enrolled agents (EAs) and tax preparers―who specialize in self-employed tax issues. TaxSlayer was featured in our best business tax software guide as an inexpensive tax solution for freelancers with advice from tax professionals.
- Taxpayers who want to save money on Schedule C filing: At $49.95, TaxSlayer offers an inexpensive fee for filing Schedule C, but this doesn’t include deduction assistance or advice from a tax professional.
- Active-duty military personnel: If you are an active member of the military, TaxSlayer allows you to file your federal return for free, regardless of your tax situation. State returns are $39.95 each.
When To Use an Alternative
- Taxpayers who need to file multiple returns: TaxSlayer requires you to pay for each return separately, which can be expensive if you need to file multiple returns. Instead, we recommend the desktop software of H&R Block, which lets you prepare as many returns as you like and e-file five of them at no additional cost.
- Freelancers who want free individual tax software: We selected FreeTaxUSA as the best free tax software for freelancers because it allows self-employed business owners to file their Schedule C for free, plus a state tax return at a low cost.
- Businesses organized as C corporations (C-corps), S corporations (S corps), or partnerships: Unfortunately, TaxSlayer has no products that let you file forms 1120, 1120S, and 1065. We recommend you check out TaxAct, which offers various tax filing options for partnerships, C-corps, and S-corps.
See our article on the best small business tax software for other options. In the guide, we looked at several solutions and narrowed our recommendations down based on the price of preparing the typical bundle of returns required by most business owners.
TaxSlayer Deciding Factors
Contractors and self-employed individuals who need advice from tax professionals
Small Business Tax Returns Supported
Schedule C only
Phone and email
Federal Online Preparation & Filing
$0 to $49.95
State Online Preparation & Filing
$0 to $39.95
Free Trial of TaxSlayer
100% Accuracy Guarantee
Free Plan Available
Best for: Businesses that want desktop software to file multiple federal and state returns for one price
Best for: Freelancers looking for a free individual tax software
Best for: Businesses organized as C-corps, S-corps, and partnerships
Desktop software starting at $29.95
Free federal filing and $14.99 for state returns
$124.95 for federal filing and $54.95 for state returns
Read our H&R Block review
Read our FreeTaxUSA review
Read our TaxAct review
TaxSlayer offers a free version that lets you file simple returns at no cost and three paid packages that range from $19.95 to $49.95 for federal filing, plus $39.95 for state returns. The plans vary in terms of the extras included, such as W-2 import, IRS audit assistance, live chat, guidance with 1099 income, and access to a tax pro with self-employed expertise.
Pricing & Features
Additional Fee for State Filing
(includes one state)
plus $39.95 per additional state
Free Phone & Email Support
W-2 & Unemployment Income
Student Loan Interest & Education Expenses
W-2 Import & PDF Upload
Schedule C Deduction Assistance
Includes all Income, Deductions & Credits
IRS Audit Assistance for Three Years
Access to a Tax Pro
Guidance With 1099 Income
The free plan, best for simple tax filing, includes one free state tax return. It lets you file a 1040 and a state return for free, but only if your taxable income is less than $100,000, you don’t claim dependents, and you don’t have rental income, investments, or a business. It supports W-2 income, student loan interest, and education expenses and also includes free phone and email support.
Suitable for all tax situations, the Classic tier includes all features in Free—plus all forms, credits, income, and deduction types, and W-2 import and PDF upload. This is a great option for freelancers, landlords, and those wanting to itemize their deductions. It includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit as well as no form or schedule restrictions for income. The federal part of this package is free for all active military.
As the name suggests, this is best for self-employed individuals and independent 1099 contractors. All features in the other packages are available, plus guidance with 1099 income, quarterly estimated tax payment reminders, personalized tax guidance, access to a tax pro with self-employed expertise, year-round tax and income tips, and a deduction maximizer for Schedule C.
TaxSlayer offers helpful features, a searchable online knowledge base, and extended guidance and support to help you prepare and file federal and state tax returns. Here’s a glimpse of what’s available depending on the package you choose.
Guaranteed Maximum Refund
With the exception of the Simply Free plan, TaxSlayer guarantees that you’ll receive the maximum refund that you’re entitled to—or it’ll refund your purchase. To qualify, you must show that the larger refund or smaller tax due cannot be attributed to data that was entered incorrectly and provided to TaxSlayer for tax preparation.
100% Accuracy Guarantee
All tax calculations are guaranteed to be 100% accurate, or TaxSlayer will refund any federal or state penalties and interests charged to you. If it’s determined that you entered information incorrectly, the guarantee doesn’t apply.
TaxSlayer lets you choose how you receive your refund, with three options. If you elect for direct deposit, your refund will be transferred to up to three different accounts. You can also opt for a printed check, which generally will arrive five days after the IRS issues your refund. The last option is to have the funds deposited to a TaxSlayer Visa Debit Card, which allows you to receive your refund through direct deposit even if you don’t have a bank account.
Tax Refund Calculator
TaxSlayer’s refund calculator lets you estimate your refund using your paycheck or W-2 to plan for the next season. All you need to do is provide some basic information to determine your filing status and claim any dependents. The calculator also gives you an idea of your potential taxable income and finds the best credits and deductions you can claim.
Zero Out-of-Pocket Fees
Using TaxSlayer’s File and Go option, your tax filing fees will be deducted from your refund. This is a simple and convenient choice if you wish to avoid using credit cards to pay your fees.
IRS Audit Assistance
Available in the Premium and Self-Employed plans, this gives you access to TaxSlayer’s staff of IRS-certified experts and EAs who are qualified to help you get through a possible IRS audit. This service is applicable for three full years after the IRS accepts your file.
PDF File Import
If your returns are stored as PDF documents, you can import them to TaxSlayer from other online tax preparation programs. You can import forms, such as 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.
Download the TaxSlayer mobile app on Google Play and App Store and file your taxes online right from your mobile device. You can instantly see the status of your return and receive updates with personalized notifications. A refund calculator is also available.
TaxSlayer Customer Service & Ease of Use
TaxSlayer has a clean user interface and a website layout that’s easy to navigate. To get started, you need to set up a free account where you’ll be asked to provide your email address and create a password. When you log in, you’ll be greeted by the My Account page with a menu laid out in a sidebar with different sections: My Account, Basic Information, Federal Section, Health Insurance, State Section, Summary/Print, E-file, Mailbox, and Settings.
It includes an interview process, but you can skip around some sets of questions as you go.
If you get lost, TaxSlayer offers multiple support options, including free phone and email support for all filers, regardless of your plan. It also has an online knowledge base with answers to many common tax questions. If you need access to live help from tax professionals, you’ll need to purchase the Premium or Self-Employed version.
TaxSlayer User Reviews
TaxSlayer users appreciate the free filing option and excellent customer service. Reviewers also praised its ease of use—both the quickness and accuracy of preparing returns. Its biggest drawback is the fact that its free features are limited. Other users experienced issues with the time involved to process refunds and payments.
TaxSlayer earned the following average scores on popular review sites:
- Consumer Affairs: 3.9 out of 5 based on about 500 reviews
- Trustpilot: 4.3 out of 5 based on around 18,990 reviews
- Capterra: 4.7 out of 5 based on about 10 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is TaxSlayer able to import W-2 forms?
Yes, the TaxSlayer Classic option can import W-2s and includes other features like easy preparation, e-filing, and printing of your return.
Does TaxSlayer offer refund anticipation loans?
No, this feature was discontinued in 2020.
Is TaxSlayer’s Simply Free option really free?
Yes, you can file your taxes with Simply Free if your taxable income is less than $100,000, you don’t claim dependents, and you don’t have investment, rental, or business income.
How much are TaxSlayer’s paid plans?
TaxSlayer’s paid plans range in price from $19.95 to $49.95 plus $39.95 for each state filing.
Overall, TaxSlayer is a cost-friendly choice for many tax filers, especially those with only a few capital gain transactions to input. It may not have the robustness of other tax software, but its biggest strength―low price points―offers a compelling value that rivals expensive programs. We especially recommend TaxSlayer for self-employed individuals who need a budget-friendly program to file Schedule C but still want the ability to speak with a tax professional.