TaxAct is one of the most popular tax management software products today.
It was founded in 1988 with the aim of providing reliable tax preparation at affordable prices.
At least 45 million federal tax returns have been filed with TaxAct.
This tax filing service offers a range of tax filing options, all at competitive prices. It has five packages ranging from Free and Basic+ to Deluxe+, Premier+, and Self-employed+.
Each package is designed to suit a different tax situation, making it easier and more convenient to file your return, and they each support different tax forms and schedules.
TaxAct offers comprehensive, easily navigable, and affordable tax prep services, but that doesn’t make it the perfect choice for all filers.
In this comparison, we put TaxAct to the test, seeing how it stands up to top alternatives TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer.
TaxAct has a lot to offer tax filers, even with its basic free package.
With TaxAct’s free plan you can file Form 1040. You can also take the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, the credit for disabled or elderly, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, as well as education credits.
If you want to accomplish more tasks, such as itemizing, you might want to consider upgrading to an appropriate paid plan.
All the plans come with step-by-step guidance during your tax filing process, online tools, and a maximum refund guarantee.
That means you’ll have a stress-free filing experience while reaping the most of the tax season.
With any of the plans, you also have access to limitless phone support, ensuring you can get help with various tax issues whenever they arise.
It’s also worth noting that TaxAct’s products are normally less expensive compared to packages offered by its major competitors like H&R Block and TurboTax.
The good thing about TaxAct is that it offers a price-lock guarantee.
That means you pay the listed charges when you start filing your return instead of when you’re done with the process.
Hence, you don’t have to worry about tax filing prices going up when the filing deadline approaches.
Without further ado, let’s look at how TaxAct compares with its major competitors.
TaxAct vs. TurboTax
You’ll pay less to file your return with TaxAct than with the comparable TurboTax plans. With a simple return, you can enjoy free filing from either of the providers.
Moreover, both TaxAct and Turbo Tax offer document import options to help save time.
With the deluxe, premier, and self-employed plans from TurboTax, you get to enjoy ItsDeductible, which is a tool that can help you assess what deduction you’ll get for donated items.
Moreover, TurboTax’s self-employed plan offers a robust expense-tracking tool through QuickBooks.
This tool also allows you to save images of receipts and track your mileage in the app.
Nonetheless, both tax filing services offer valuable options with instinctive interfaces that ensure the process is moving logically so you can finish your filing in the shortest time possible.
If you prefer more features, however, you’ll have to invest in TurboTax.
If you prioritize customer support, TurboTax will work well, especially if there is a need for a good deal of guidance. It gives you access to video tutorials, a searchable database of resources, and an online community to keep you informed while you file your taxes.
TurboTax also offers the cutting-edge TurboTax Live, which offers a face-to-face consultation with a tax professional prior to filing, along with limitless live tax consultancy.
TaxAct, on the other hand, offers technical support through the standard platforms and tax support in-app for paid packages.
If you are a Premier+ or Self-Employed+ user, you also get to enjoy TaxAct’s exceptional screen-share option.
With this option, you and your agent can view one another’s screens, but the support agents cannot access the fields which house your sensitive information.
Overall, TaxAct would be a better option for you as it can get the work done despite being cheaper.
If you prefer one-on-one support, however, and don’t mind the additional cost, you might want to go for TurboTax.
TaxAct vs. H&R Block
If cost is your major concern, you’ll want to settle for TaxAct over H&R Block. While both services let you file your state returns, filing with TaxAct will cost you just a bit less.
In fact, you won’t pay a dime if you are using TaxAct’s free version.
It’s worth noting, however, that the free H&R Block package also allows you to file both the 1040 and Schedule A.
This could translate to huge savings for most taxpayers.
If you are willing to pay more for additional features, then H&R Block would make a better option. Nonetheless, both services are great choices, with intuitive designs that are geared to offering you the necessary guidance to complete your filing in the shortest time possible.
In terms of customer support, H&R Block has the edge over TaxAct. With more than 12,000 branches in the US, you get access to one-on-one support should you encounter a serious challenge.
TaxAct may not offer one-on-one support, but it also gives access to actual tax experts. It’s a great choice if you don’t mind getting support digitally.
When you qualify for a refund, both of these companies will help get the IRS to deposit the money straight to your bank account or mail you a physical check.
It’s also worth noting that both services allow you to pay for the tax preparation fees using your refund. However, there’s a catch, as you’ll pay more for that convenient feature.
TaxAct vs. TaxSlayer
TaxSlayer can be very tempting, thanks to its pricing. It is also as efficient as most tax filing service in its class.
The major downside of this software is that most of the features it offers in its Premium package can be found in the basic package of its competitors.
TaxSlayer features audit assistance with their Premium product, and audit defense with their Ultimate product.
TaxSlayer Premium and Ultimate both allow tax filers to talk with a tax pro during your filing.
TaxSlayer offers a wide range of services at an affordable price. However, TaxAct wins in terms of usability, with a far friendlier interface to offer.
Nonetheless, if you have a simple tax situation, TaxSlayer can get the job done affordably.
If you are looking for a reliable tax file software but you have a tight budget, TaxAct can be a good option.
When compared to some of the leading tax software products, TaxAct turns out to be quite impressive.
It is less expensive than H&R Block but offers virtually the same features at the comparable level.
Moreover, H&R Block will charge you based on when you finish preparing your return.
TaxAct, on the other hand, has a price-lock guarantee, meaning the price you select when starting your filing remains the same until you finish. H&R Block may have a few more valuable tools, however, which can justify its higher pricing.
And TurboTax is even more costly than H&R Block. With TurboTax, you can access your past returns, up to seven years.
Unfortunately, you have to pay for that feature.
With TaxAct, you can access your past seven years of tax returns with the free version. But, TurboTax remains a robust tax filing software, offering a plethora of valuable tools and helpful resources that you might not find in other tax software solutions.
Overall, if you can do with minimal guidance when filing your returns and don’t mind the absence of more sophisticated features that can only be found in the likes of TurboTax and H&R Block, TaxAct will work well for you.