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5.2

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: August 24th, 2022

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.

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The Good

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

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.
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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
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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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Star Rating

4.3

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75 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

57%

4 grade

27%

3 grade

11%

2 grade

1%

1 grade

4%

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Rakim Carpenter Tulsa, OK

The best absolute best hands down for business owners. I used Turbotax for years. It was an excellent product. But, FreeTax has the same feel, is as easy to use as Turbotax, and provides the same information. I've looked at a few other tax preparation packages that were not as good.

2 months ago

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Sathvik Aithala Portland, OR

After using other companies to file my taxes, I found TaxAct to be the most straightforward and with the best pricing.

1 month ago

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Brandie Whitlock Sturgis, KY

Tax act was a perfect fit for me for many years. I usually don't get much on a return so I liked that the program was free. But over there last several years the price has went ridiculous. Other than that it's my go to for taxes.

7 months ago

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Lynette Jorgensen Herriman, UT

I have used TaxAct for many years and feel confident in filing my returns. I love that I can save time by importing my information from the year before.

7 months ago

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Dave Fortin Kingston, PA

This is actually among some of the less expensive options you can do. They offer a free portion but it doesn't provide all of the necessities for the average person. If you've ever gone to school and have a loan, you're going to need to upgrade. But, it is what it is. I don't hate it and it's still not a bad rate.

10 months ago

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Scott Grange San Jose, CA

Generally straightforward to use. It used to be that there was significant cost savings compared to competitors like TurboTax, but that has completely gone away. The only thing keeping me there is the ease of porting from previous returns.

7 months ago

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John Wolters Manhattan, KS

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.

4 years ago

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Justin Vance Lehi, UT

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.

4 years ago

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take7 Sandy, UT

Used for about 4 years and every year it's the best price to buy the software and finds us just a bit more money back then turbo tax. It is easy to use and the help forums are helpful too. The helps within the forms are helpful that asks you questions whether you should be filling out that section or not. It helps with self employment too. Quick processing.

2 years ago

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Leon Yoakum Los Angeles, CA

Used taxact to file taxes. The system was easy to navigate and everything went smooth and still got a refund

4 months ago

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J B Sandy, UT

Have uses TaxAct for a number of years now. They always provide a double check of my previous year's return and import my data to make the process easier.

8 months ago

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Tami Thurgood Ogden, UT

I’m a CPA and have used this software for several years to prepare my personal tax return. It’s easy to navigate, easy to prepare your tax return and affordable!

8 months ago

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Clark Beus Richland, WA

I felt like I was successful using TaxAct to do my taxes. Overall their directions were not difficult to follow. I struggled to know how to enter interest income for which I didn’t receive a 1099-INT form, and would have appreciated it if they had provided that direction.

1 year ago

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Ryan Larsen Logan, UT

We use TaxAct each year to file our personal taxes. It is reliable and priced very fairly. One nice thing is that we don't have to worry about tax changes each year. Those changes are updated within the software. That makes filing our taxes a very simple task.

1 year ago

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Andy Vandros Rochester, MN

Have been using TaxAct software for over 12 years and happy with it. Just love it - very easy to use, simple and secure, good returns or paying fees, stable and always available. Prices are very reasonable, and you are getting options to lock your lower prices before next season price increases.

2 years ago

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CSS Boise, ID

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.

3 years ago

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Philip Sidel Pittsburgh, PA

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.

4 years ago

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Michelle Bray Pleasant Grove, UT

TaxAct is a low cost solution to filing your taxes. It is an easy online service to use especially for simple returns. It became slightly frustrating the year we sold some stock options. Mostly, because we had to figure outwhich forms to use. Once we figured that out It became easy again. It is a good little DIY tax service.

1 year ago

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Jared Provo, UT

I used TaxAct once and was very satisfied with the service they provided! It was a very simple and easy-to-use interface and process. I would definitely use it again in the future if the price worked for me.

1 year ago

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McKenzie Logan, UT

I have used tax act to do my personal taxes for the past 10 years. It is the easiest program to use. You are given a series of questions to figure out what forms need to be used when you submit your taxes. The program is user friendly

1 year ago

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Christian Parry Logan, UT

It was very easy to move through and input all of our information. I thought the interface was extremely intuitive. We only used the free version and it was still easy to use and great to work with.

1 year ago

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Mark Park City, UT

I filed with TaxAct online for many years, and it made things a lot easier. My only complaint is that they raised their prices. But still very affordable, considering. The last couple years, I switched to CreditKarma to file taxes online, simply because it's free.

1 year ago

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Rischelle Mikkelson 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.

2 years ago

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Mark Evers Lehi, UT

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!

4 years ago

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Cody Linden 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.

4 years ago

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Monai West 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.

4 years ago

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Dougie D Harold, KY

Tax act is very thorough and good site! Easy to follow directions! Cost is free to low fee depending on your needs.

7 months ago

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Jane Germantown, MD

TaxAct made a mistake on my 2020 return. The refund they calculated on my 1040 Schedule A was adjusted by $548.17 from the IRS. I got a letter from the IRS saying my refund was adjusted and the possible errors. I don't understand the error and TaxAct is not helping. Their only response is to contact the IRS. Don't they have 100% accuracy guarantee? That's only if they take your phone call!

1 year ago

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Erik Lewis Atlanta, GA

I much prefer TurboTax. TaxAct is alright however it seems about 10 times less polished and helpful. It works and it is cheaper however my partner loves the product so we use it.

8 months ago

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Mike Curtis Guyton, GA

I used TaxAct for six years. It is a good product but priced itself out of my market. I originally used TurboTax but the same thing happened there. Now I’m back to TurboTax because it is now less expensive! I’ve used TaxAct, TaxCut, and H&R Block software. All have similar features but TurboTax gives me more for my $.

1 year ago

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Victor Kyler New Castle, DE

TaxAct makes doing your taxes simple. Whether you are itemizing or taking the standard deduction, the program walks you through the process step by step. It is very easy!

2 years ago

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Nancy Paugh Long Beach, MS

I have use this site in the past. Easy to use. Follow the directions and answer each line if it pertains to you. Save information as you go, so you don't have to start all over if interrupted.

2 years ago

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christy jorgensen Lehi, UT

Easy to follow step by step instructions and great and getting the best tax return

7 months ago

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LBurr96 Salt Lake City, UT

I like that I can import my returns year to year because it saves me a lot of time.

8 months ago

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Jeffrey Dean New Orleans, LA

It is all done electronically. I had one issue and they resolved it quickly and to my satisfaction.

4 years ago

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Jeffrey Dean New Orleans, LA

It is all done electronically. I had one issue and they resolved it quickly and to my satisfaction.

4 years ago

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David Hamilton, OH

Easy to use. Thorough. You can even do city returns. With e-file and direct deposit, you get your refund much faster.

4 years ago

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Marvin Henry 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.

6 years ago

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Cris I. Orem, UT

Tax Act was the best and easiest way for us to file our taxes. I found it to also be reasonably priced compared to other programs.

1 year ago

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Jen Burt Herriman, UT

I like how I can go in and see previous years tax returns. I also like how it guides me through the process of filing my taxes. Sometimes it's difficult to login.

1 year ago

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JP Herriman, UT

Have used every year for my taxes. Easy step by step instructions. Always a help to click on, and never had any troubles with it.

2 years ago

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LF South Jordan, UT

I always file my taxes with 2 companies to compare and every year Taxact has always given me the best and most accurate.

2 years ago

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Kristiane R Durfey Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

4 years ago

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L 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.

4 years ago

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Christy Jorgensen Lehi, UT

Easiest company to do my taxes with. There is easy step by step instructions

8 months ago

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Tiffany Cota

I love how Fast and simple they make it to file! You can process and file right then and there

3 years ago

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Rhonda stewart Queen Creek, AZ

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

4 years ago

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Amy Forrester

Very simple to use even for someone like me who has no knowledge of the tax system

4 years ago

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William Kinney

It is an online service. I have used several years now. I'm very pleased with them.

4 years ago

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Jennifer Wasilla, AK

My taxes are very easy to do with this company and they are very fair with the prices

8 months ago