TaxAct Review

Good

Free to e-file annually and print out. Easy access for complete beginners.

Bad

Not as many options as TurboTax for complex tax returns.

Overall

With some Basic tax filing features, TaxAct can be a good software to file tax without paying anything.

Editor's Ratings

Get Started

The business of tax return preparation and tax filing is a big one, and TaxACT is no stranger to it after being around for so long, but do they have an edge over the competition? That's a very good question.

Features

TaxACT advertises that they're great for both simple and complex tax returns, but from what I have seen so far TurboTax still does a better job if you're more on the complex side of the scale. TaxACT is cheaper though, so which to choose depends on your personal tax situation.

Interview System

For beginners and anyone who isn't comfortable with the tax code yet, the TaxACT software allows you to enter your data through an interview process in which it will ask you the relevant questions in an easily understandable manner. For more advanced users who wish to get things done quicker, the option to switch to a plain old data entry mode is available.

Premium Editions

The deluxe and ultimate editions of TaxACT come with more features and one of the more helpful of those is what they call TaxTutor guidance. It adds another layer of help on the various parts of the software which will provide much more assistance in guiding you through the often daunting federal tax filing process. Even if you're not completely new to the tax filing process or the software, you will still learn some useful things.

Difference of Free and Paid

If you choose not to purchase the deluxe or ultimate editions, then you will be left with a much more limited amount of help available, which may cause you come unstuck from time to time and seeking out assistance on forums online when you really hit a wall, but the help is basic but adequate enough that it should get you through in most situations nonetheless.

Answer Center

The answer center, which is basically a big collection of the most common frequently asked questions, can also answer most basic enquiries or you can email an expert for free. Phone support is not free when using TaxACT free edition as the company has to make some money from the users using their free software after all.

TurboTax Alternative?

If you tried TurboTax in the past and didn't like it, or you don't think your taxes were overly complex to begin with, then TaxACT may be the right choice for you. It is cheaper, and is still a powerful tax return software in its own right with its own advantages, so it is well worth a try to see whether you can get the hang of it and if it suits your need or not.

Overall

TaxACT makes big claims just like the rest of the tax preparation packages available and they say it's all free, but they will still try to get some money out of you. This is understandable, and they do try to make it clear as to what is and is not included in the free edition.

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