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5.2

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: June 9th, 2023

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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78 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

56%

4 grade

27%

3 grade

10%

2 grade

3%

1 grade

4%

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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.

5 years 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.

1 year 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.

1 year 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.

2 years 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.

1 year 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.

2 years 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

2 years 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.

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.

3 years 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.

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.

5 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.

5 years ago Edited September 14, 2021

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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.

1 year ago

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Melissa Holcomb Portland, OR

Great service but could be more specific when showing cost of preparing taxes

10 months ago

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Robert Gerstenkorn Arlington, TX

Gives easy tax preparation at a good price. A little defficult to navigate at time

3 years ago

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Joy Hill Pleasant Grove, UT

This site is a cinch to use and works well if you don't have a very complicated return.

4 years ago

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Carson Lehi, UT

This is a user-friendly program that we’ve been using for years to easily get our taxes done.

4 years ago

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Ruth Anne Bright Mount Washington, KY

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

5 years ago

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Julie Richards

Husband uses it a likes it. Likes that it's free!

5 years ago

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Grahame Riddell Leominster, MA

very good customer service.and courteous demenor

5 years ago

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Jordan Garella Margate, FL

The app is easy to use and this company has great costumer service!

1 year ago