TaxAct is a great alternative to larger tax preparation services like H&R Block and TurboTax if you are looking to save a little money on your tax returns. TaxAct offers more affordable prices with some of the same great features you get from the bigger names.

How Does TaxAct Work

TaxAct works similarly to other tax preparation services. First, it can import your previous year’s tax returns in your online tool, but it cannot import your W2, which most bigger services can do. You will have to key in the information from your W2 by hand. Once you have all that information entered, you will walk through TaxAct’s preparation tool to make sure you are taking advantage of all deductions and credits, and that all the information about your taxes is correct.

Once you’ve completed all the sections of the tool, you will be able to use that same information for your state tax return. At the end, you will confirm all the information is correct, and TaxAct will submit your tax returns for you.

You can opt to get your tax refund with a direct deposit, prepaid card or check, without being charged extra for any of the options.

What Makes TaxAct Stand Out

One of the biggest things that makes TaxAct stand out is its free state filing offer. If your tax return qualifies for TaxAct’s Free Federal package, which is completely free to e-file your federal tax return, you also get your state taxes filed for free. Every other tax preparation service charges for state filings, so this is a huge plus for TaxAct.

Another thing that makes TaxAct stand out is its price guarantee. Other services won’t factor in your price until after you’ve finished your taxes, which doesn’t seem like an issue, but tax preparation services often offer deals or change prices depending on how close Tax Day is. So if you start your taxes in February, but don’t finish them until mid-April, the price you thought you were paying may have gone up. With TaxAct, the price you are quoted at the beginning of the process is the price you pay when you finish.

Common TaxAct Reviews

TaxAct generally gets good reviews from professional consumer product review sites, ranging from four to five stars out of five. Most reviewers like TaxAct’s lower pricing model and freebies like free state tax filings. There seem to be mixed reviews about how TaxAct’s preparation tool works compared to services like H&R Block and TurboTax.

User reviews seem to be just as mixed. Every user, even the ones who have left bad reviews on sites like Yelp or Pissed Consumer, really like TaxAct’s pricing compared to the bigger names. The negative reviews seem to mostly come from repeat customers who were upset with TaxAct changing its pricing or the tools it used to prepare your taxes.

Is TaxAct Right For You?

TaxAct is a great option for doing your taxes online, but it is hard for it to compete with some of the bigger names in tax prep. So how do you know if you should pick TaxAct over a service like TurboTax or H&R Block? Here are the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Am I looking to save a little money on doing my taxes?
  • Do I have easy taxes for both federal and state filings?
  • Do I want to pay with my refund?

TaxAct is the best affordable tax prep service you can use, so if you don’t want to pay the price for the bigger services, TaxAct is probably your best bet. It has the lowest prices of any reputable tax prep service that can process both federal and state filings.

If you know your taxes are easy and you will be able to file a free federal tax return with any service, you should pick TaxAct because your state tax filing will also be free. Every other service will charge you to file your state taxes. If you think you are going to have to pay for an upgraded package, you can probably find a cheaper state tax filing option elsewhere.

TaxAct is one of the only companies that will let you pay for services with your tax refund without charging you extra. Most companies charge a fee to pay with your refund because the company will have to wait for your refund to be deposited before it gets its money. TaxAct lets you defer your payment until your refund comes without charging you extra.

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