As a working individual, you may be on the lookout for ways to make filing your taxes more affordable, easier, and mistake-free, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with doing your own taxes.
But you also don’t want to spend a lot of money on hiring the services of a tax professional.
The good news is, in recent years, tax software has reached new levels of sophistication, and you can prepare and file your taxes with one of these products, regardless of your tax situation.
When looking for the best tax software product for your needs, you may inevitably come across FreeTaxUSA.
Many taxpayers who use this software find that it is user-friendly and it provides excellent value for money.
Let’s discuss FreeTaxUSA, its features, benefits, and different options you can choose from in detail.
My FreeTaxUSA Review: Top Highlights
Once you have answered all the questions and uploaded the required forms, the software will fill out your tax return and submit it to the IRS via e-file or mail.
After completing the process, you will be able to print out the forms for your records or download a PDF to store it on your hard drive.
FreeTaxUSA’s interface is relatively basic, but it is quite intuitive and supports several advanced tax situations. It also has handy features such as a real-time refund tracker that displays your refund as you prepare the various segments of your return.
The interface doesn’t allow you to skip ahead of the process. However, you can go back to edit a section that you’ve already completed.
If you plan on filing your taxes all at once, this isn’t an issue. But if you want to enter each form as you receive it, FreeTaxUSA’s interface may make that a little difficult for you.
One of the best-known features of FreeTaxUSA is their audit assistance included with the Deluxe package.
Receiving an audit notification from the IRS can be quite daunting, but if you are a Deluxe client who filed your return with FreeTaxUSA, it will provide you access to specialists who will answer all your questions about the specifics of the audit.
You will also be able to access the platform’s audit center, which is an organized database of information on the audit process and related topics.
The Audit Center will also help you with the following:
- Response: to the IRS’s audit correspondence
- Research: gathering and preparing the correct records
- Responsibility: taking the appropriate steps to ensure a successful outcome
FreeTaxUSA carries out all security and privacy verifications through reputable security entities like Norton, TRUSTe, and SecurityMetrics. FreeTaxUSA is also an authorized IRS e-file provider, and they encrypt all your personal information on their site to ensure optimal security.
Even if you subscribe to the free version of FreeTaxUSA, the program will back up your returns online and carry information from the previous year over to the next.
If you are using this service for the first time, you may be able to import your tax return information from competitor platforms or your employee’s database in PDF format.
This feature is incredibly easy to use, it saves a lot of time, and it ensures that you don’t make any mistakes while entering your information.
Affordable E-file for State Tax Returns
It is not uncommon for tax software services to charge their clients an additional fee for state tax return e-filing.
Although FreeTaxUSA also charges clients for state return e-filing, their flat price for this service is one of the most affordable.
A feature that you will find with many other tax software services is an accuracy guarantee, and FreeTaxUSA is no exception.
If there is an error on their end, FreeTaxUSA will accept responsibility and pay any interest and penalties that the IRS levies.
The support you receive from FreeTaxUSA depends on the version that you use.
All clients can contact customer support via email or search for support topics or troubleshoot problems on the Customer Support page.
If you pay for the Deluxe plan, you can receive help from the support team via chat. You can also visit the Q&A database to see if there is a solution to your problem.
Different Plans from FreeTaxUSA
There are two FreeTaxUSA versions you can choose from: Free and Deluxe.
The Free version provides extensive tax preparation and filing services that many other tax software companies offer as a paid service.
FreeTaxUSA’s free version supports Schedule C for self-employment, Schedule E for real estate income, and Schedule D for capital gains transactions.
The difference between the Free and Deluxe versions, therefore, has less to do with forms offered and more to do with the level of support that they contain.
The Free version includes the following:
- Federal tax return preparation and filing
- E-filing service
- Advanced tax filing
- Printing and PDF download of your tax return
- Online backup and information carry-over of previous returns
- Federal tax extensions
You can opt for paid add-on services when you use the Free version. If you want to prepare and file a state tax return, you will have to pay per return that you file.
You will also pay an additional fee for the following services:
- Priority customer support
- Amending your completed tax return
- Having your tax return professionally printed
- Printing and binding your tax return
People often use printing and binding services for professional or borrowing applications. Audit assistance is not included in the Free version or available as an additional paid service at that level.
If you subscribe to the Free version and receive an audit notification from the IRS, you will have to upgrade to the Deluxe edition.
The Deluxe version offers clients all the features that the Free version does, as well as tax return amending services and priority customer support, which are additional paid services if you have the Free version.
As is the case with the Free version, you also have to pay the same additional fee for every state return that you have to file.
One of the most valuable features of the Deluxe version is that it includes Audit Assist. If you suspect that your information may trigger an IRS audit, you can’t go wrong with this version.
Benefits & Drawbacks to Using FreeTaxUSA
The Free version doesn’t cost anything to file a federal return, and the Deluxe version has a basic price of $6.99.
With either version, you will need to pay $12.95 per state return.
- Affordability: Cost effective alternative to higher-end software
- Major forms: Includes all major tax forms for small business, investors, and rental property owners
- Audit help: Effective audit assistance with the Deluxe version
- Free service: Offers a free option for federal tax return preparation and filing
- State filing fees: You still have to pay for state filing
- Free customer support: Free version lacks customer support
- Tax form limits: There are a few forms not offered – check the website for details
For tax filers with a little experience under their belts and a low budget for preparation services, FreeTaxUSA is a great choice.
Since even the Free version offers access to all forms, you won’t need to pay extra if your financial situation is complicated.
For people who need a little more guidance with the process, however, a more robust program with additional features may be the better option.
With a little research, you can pick the best tax software program to meet your needs and file with ease.