In this era of constant corporate buy-outs, it isn't surprising to learn that TaxAct software is the by-product of one of those corporate sales. It began as a program known as Personal Tax Edge (which was a Parsons Technology product), but when Intuit bought out the company in the 1990s, some of the employees formerly with Parsons decided to create their own unique software.

In 1998, they released TaxAct, and it is one of the most commonly used tax preparation softwares. Today, it is also available on iOS and Android apps as well as online. Interestingly enough, H&R Block attempted to buy the firm in 2010, but this fell through. A year later, the company was purchased by Blucora, and in 2012 it was acquired by Infospace. It is also a part of the Free File Alliance partnered with the IRS for online tax submission.

The Good

  • Good for Simple Tax Needs
  • Accuracy Guarantee
  • Importing
  • Alerts and Information
  • Federal and State Prices
  • Customer Support

TaxAct is a top competitor in the tax preparing industry. They offer 100% accuracy guarantee as well as options to file taxes online, with a software CD, or on their iOS/Android App. TaxAct's website is secure with Norton Secured, TRUSTe Certified Privacy, Trustwave, and SSL that meet industry standards. This is only the tip of many great things TaxAct offers.

Good for Simple Tax Needs

Often described as an ideal tax software for those with very simple tax requirements, there are many good features associated with TaxAct. There are advanced packages, but for this review, we'll consider the most commonly used - Free Federal and Deluxe - by individuals and couples. Though simple, the software does have some advanced functions. For instance, it has a stock assistance tool that lets you enter all of your stock information for the year, and then it incorporates this information properly into the return. There are also many informational and learning resources for those who want to fully understand all aspects of their return.

Accuracy Guarantee

The tax company promises full accuracy. If TaxAct makes a mistake with the IRS, they agree to reimburse customers for penalties and interest. The only negative thing about this guarantee is that the mistake has to be reported within 30 days.

Importing

Like other tax prep software, TaxAct makes it much easier to handle your returns by importing data from a previous tax year. You can do this if you filed with the software in the previous year, but it is also designed to accept imported data from TurboTax and H&R Block as well.

Alerts and Information

This software uses "mini alerts" that indicate that some of your information is incorrect or in need of changes. These remain active until you deal with them but don't prevent you from moving forward. If customers do want to learn about deductions, TaxAct provides helpful information about the different kinds of deductibles, all on the website. While the information is not laid out upfront on the homepage, people can search through the help section to learn more.

Federal and State Prices

Not only does TaxAct offer free options for many filers, but their state prices fall in line with average costs whereas many companies tend to price high in this area. TaxAct offers the following federal tax products:

  • Free - This plan is ideal for a simple tax return and is free.
  • Plus - For itemized returns, homeowners and investors, this popular product is the way to go. It costs $15.
  • Premium - Great for self-employed, freelancers and contractors, this package costs $30.

State Price

  • Free -This plan is ideal for a simple tax return and is free.
  • Plus - For itemized returns, homeowners and investors, this popular product is the way to go. It costs $25 per state return.
  • Premium - Great for self-employed, freelancers and contractors, this package costs $25 per state return.

Customer Support

You can reach out to TaxAct in the following ways:

  • Twitter: @TaxActSupport
  • Phone: 800-573-4287
  • Email

The Bad

  • Limited Discovery Tools
  • No Automatic Deductions

There are some negatives associated with the use of TaxAct, but these are less a failure of the program and more related to the fact that it is designed especially for those with uncomplicated tax returns.

Limited Discovery Tools

Some have complained that it is a bit thin on deduction discovery tools. However, there are more advanced versions of the software available for those who know that they have complex tax return needs. If you are a filer without retirement income, depreciation, and multiple streams of income, you won't need these complex deduction and asset tools.

No Automatic Deductions

Deductions are not automatically suggested, but TaxAct provides customers with the ability to learn more about a variety of different kinds of deductions including:

  • Career
  • Charitable giving
  • Child and dependent care credit and child tax credit
  • College and students
  • Mortgage tax breaks
  • Standard deduction
  • Tax refunds

The Bottom Line

As a simple and affordable way for people to file their federal and state returns, TaxAct is a strong solution. It is clean and easy to use, and it guarantees that you do not forget anything thanks to the mini-alert system. It has a long list of accuracy tools to ensure the best results, and it even offers up a maximum refund guarantee. If you have an extremely complex tax return that must rely on Schedule C, depreciation, and other issues, you can find all of these things in TaxAct. However, if you want to be walked through them in the way that some more advanced packages do, you will not find such step by step tools here.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

4.2
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39 Reviews

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annemarieflora
October 28th, 2019 DETAILS
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Prices are reasonable. Walks you through your entire return making doing your taxes simple.

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Rischelle Mikkelson
October 14th, 2019 American Fork, UT

I used this to file a 1040EZ for free. It was easy to use and all I had to do was answer a few simple questions. I did have to pay to e-file, but it was a very simple process.

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Jon Scoresby
October 10th, 2019 Saratoga Springs, UT DETAILS
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I haven't used them in a while but the initial use was pretty good. I've tried going back but it just doesn't feel as if they have as many services as the other companies.

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Joy Hill
September 12th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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This site is a cinch to use and works well if you don't have a very complicated return.

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Tiffany Cota
April 23rd, 2019 DETAILS
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I love how Fast and simple they make it to file! You can process and file right then and there

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CSS
April 3rd, 2019 Boise, ID DETAILS
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I've used TaxAct for years. And every year the price goes up. What started at $15 is now $115. This year I went through the process, grumbling at the price but just wanting to get it over with. However, the instructions were confusing, the system kept glitching, and when I tried to contact the premium support I was supposedly paying for, I got a recording that all lines were busy and to send an email that would be responded to in several days. I had recently helped my teenage son find a free program to file his taxes - FreeTaxUSA. I was impressed with it's clarity so I redid all my taxes (I hadn't completed the filing yet with TaxAct because I was still confused) and paid a total of $15, which included Schedule C and my state tax filing. As an added bonus, since it was far more clear in its instructions than TA, I was able to get an additional $800 refund. I've talked to family/friends about TaxAct and they all agree -- the price goes up very quickly, it's confusing, glitchy, and the support is non-existent. Will never go back.

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Michael
February 14th, 2019 Brunswick, GA DETAILS
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Very simple service to use. Takes you step by step.

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Carson
February 4th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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This is a user-friendly program that we’ve been using for years to easily get our taxes done.

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Mark Evers
September 18th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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I have owned a few different companies and have trusted tax act for the last 8 years! They are great and super easy to file your tax returns giving you the highest tax return!

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Shari Evers
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT

Been doing my taxes with TaxAct for 8 years in a row now! They are awesome! I love the audit guarantee!

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Kristiane R Durfey
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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TaxAct was a great way to submit your taxes for little or no cost. We used them for many years before we decided we needed to use an accountant to help us.

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Nathan Johnson
August 6th, 2018 Palmyra, PA

Have used online service for many years, but price of state filing jumped this past year. May look elsewhere next year.

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Julie Richards
August 1st, 2018 DETAILS
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Husband uses it a likes it. Likes that it's free!

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Ruth Anne Bright
July 25th, 2018 Mount Washington, KY

Well suited to my tax situation. Having all my tax documents together made the process easier.

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Grahame Riddell
July 23rd, 2018 Leominster, MA DETAILS
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very good customer service.and courteous demenor

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John Wolters
July 23rd, 2018 Manhattan, KS DETAILS
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They are trustworthy and thus they have my confidence! I'e used them for over five years and had one my kids start using them as well. They are very thorough in asking questions yet my relatively simple return can be done in a short amount of time. Now I have my return done two months before the deadline instead of two days or two hours.

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Justin Vance
July 19th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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Have used them for years. Price seems to be climbing every year as well. I have continued mostly because they have all my information and I don’t need to re-enter everything each year. It is simple to use and makes tax filing so much easier. I haven’t had any issues with it that concern me. I’ve been told other software filers are just as good but I must be too loyal to switch.

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Cody Linden
July 19th, 2018 Lehi, UT

TaxAct was very helpful when I had to file my taxes as it provided explanations and suggestions throughout the process. Sometimes I did wonder if I was missing more helpful information, but overall was a good tool.

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Rhonda stewart
July 10th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ

Software easy to navigate. Good value for price. Easy to submit to IRS. Great correspondence

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L
July 10th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ

I used TaxAct for a couple of years and it’s more affordable than TurboTax, but not quite as robust. That said, it’s a great choice for typical filers.

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Monai West
July 6th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ

We have used this often. Both online and through a software program we uploaded to our computer. It was fast, easy and affordable. The information provided and the help button was able to answer a lot of our questions.

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Jim Stewart
July 6th, 2018 Queen Creek, AZ

Software is easy to navigate. Step by step guide makes sure you get all your entitled to.

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CAROLE SCOVILLE
June 12th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Super easy interface and makes the federal return a cinch

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Joanna Hester
June 5th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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We have used TaxAct several times for our taxes. They have always been correct and filed in a correct manner.

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Steven Hoffman
April 5th, 2018 DETAILS
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HAS BEEN GOOD FOR YEARS BUT PRICE IS GOING UP.

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Amy Forrester
April 5th, 2018 DETAILS
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Very simple to use even for someone like me who has no knowledge of the tax system

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Dorothy
March 26th, 2018 DETAILS
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Very reliable. Relatively easy to use. Good price.

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William Kinney
March 26th, 2018 DETAILS
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It is an online service. I have used several years now. I'm very pleased with them.

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Floyd Wilder
February 26th, 2018 DETAILS
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The last two years, their quality has decreased significantly, and their price has increased.

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Gloria Hooper
February 26th, 2018 Temple, TX DETAILS
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That program did not give me the correct information about the sale of my home and what was taxed.

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Michael Rathge
February 26th, 2018 Clarksville, TN DETAILS
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As good as TurboTax at a fraction of the cost.

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Jeffrey Dean
February 26th, 2018 New Orleans, LA DETAILS
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It is all done electronically. I had one issue and they resolved it quickly and to my satisfaction.

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Jeffrey Dean
February 26th, 2018 New Orleans, LA DETAILS
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It is all done electronically. I had one issue and they resolved it quickly and to my satisfaction.

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Jean Heisler
February 21st, 2018 Richmond, VA DETAILS
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The questions are good; fills in the forms corrrectly; The COST was way too high!

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Jolene Hunt
February 21st, 2018 Kaaawa, HI DETAILS
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very easy and very easy to understand and easy to follow along

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Philip Sidel
February 21st, 2018 Pittsburgh, PA DETAILS
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until last year, their downloadable version was a good buy. Last year the price on that went up, so I didn't use them. I am also disappointed that I can't go into the former versions and just review what they entered at various sections of the previous tax session.

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Andrew
February 15th, 2018 Miami, FL DETAILS
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Impossible to contact them. Contact/Support form on their site gives an Internal Service Error!!!

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David
February 14th, 2018 Hamilton, OH DETAILS
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Easy to use. Thorough. You can even do city returns. With e-file and direct deposit, you get your refund much faster.

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Marvin Henry
January 6th, 2016 Mercer, PA

I have used the free version of TaxAct for many years and have been very pleased with it. However, the latest version (for the tax year 2015) appears to no longer support Schedule C and one is forced to upgrade to a paid version. For that reason, I will no longer be using TaxAct.

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