FreeTaxUSA: 2018 In-Depth Review

As the name of the company suggests, FreeTaxUSA is a free tax software that files simple-to-advanced federal tax returns at no cost.

Everyone can file their federal taxes for free, regardless of complexity, age, or income level,”

“Everyone can file their federal taxes for free, regardless of complexity, age, or income level,” says FreeTaxUSA’s Director of Marketing, Matt Gause. “The software guides you through each area of your taxes, helping you get the biggest refund possible.”

Here’s everything you need to know about FreeTaxUSA.

A brief history of FreeTaxUSA

Founded in 2001 by a CPA and a team of professional software developers, FreeTaxUSA is one of the fastest growing tax websites online today, says Gause. Owned by TaxHawk, Inc., the company is an authorized IRS e-file provider. Gause says, “We’ve filed over 18 Million tax returns, and we have over 84,000 positive reviews from our customers.”

How is FreeTaxUSA different from other tax software vehicles?
Research reveals that taxpayers get the same tax refund using FreeTaxUSA that they would get using TurboTax, explains Gause. But by using FreeTaxUSA, he adds, customers don’t have to upgrade and pay more to file their federal taxes.

“This means customers with itemized deductions, self-employment income, or other complex returns can file their federal return without paying anything.”

He adds that the company’s state filing cost is also very low compared to other services. “Instead of paying $30-$40 to file a state return, state returns are only $12.95 on our service.”

Customers also own their data when they use FreeTaxUSA. “This means customers can come back and print or download a tax return later in the year without paying a fee. Some other services require sharing of your personal data with third parties to file for free, but our service keeps your data safe and any auxiliary products are directly related to your tax refund,” explains Gause.

Services offered by FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA offers the following services for free:

  • Federal Tax Return
  • E-file
  • Customer Support
  • Printable Tax Return
  • Tax Extension
  • Extension filing
  • Small business filing

State tax returns come with a.$12.95 charge.

The Deluxe Edition $6.99 (Deluxe is an optional service that gives the user unlimited amended return filing, audit assist, and priority support.)

* Prices can change at any time. Visit FreeTaxUSA’s profile for the latest list of services and prices.

How long does it typically take to get a return?

Customers get their refund as fast as possible using e-file and direct deposit on FreeTaxUSA. Gause adds, “It should be noted that refund speeds depend on the type of tax return filed and the processing time of the IRS, which can vary.”

What are the pros and cons of FreeTaxUSA?


  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Free for federal taxes
  • Information is carried forward each year so you don’t need to re-enter data
  • Customers can control the tax filing process with topic lists and a navigation bar, or they can follow the interview process and answer one question at a time.
  • Straightforward pricing for state taxes or deluxe services

  • No CD product to install on the computer
  • No phone support (email only)


How to use FreeTaxUSA

1. Visit their website and click on “Start 2017 Return.”FreeTaxUSA review

2. Create an account. FreeTaxUSA review3. You’ll need to fill in your email address, create a username and password, and add your cell phone number. FreeTaxUSA review4. Next, you will be asked to answer three security questions. FreeTaxUSA review5. Then, you have the option to verify your email address either now or at a later date. FreeTaxUSA review6. Next, you will be asked about last year’s taxes and whether or not you used TurboTax, TaxAct, or H&RBlock tax services. If you answer yes, you have the option of transferring last year’s tax information via PDF.  FreeTaxUSA review7. If you decide to import a PDF, the process is explained. You need to import a PDF file downloaded directly from the tax software you used last year. This portion of FreeTaxUSA is a new feature and still in beta. FreeTaxUSA review8. At this point, you’re invited to take a tour of the site, add an extra layer of security by using a two-step verification process, and shown how to can use the tool bar at the top to skip steps if you prefer. Or you can simply continue the process of filing your 2017 taxes.  FreeTaxUSA review9. Next you’re asked to fill in basic information including name, occupation, address, etc. FreeTaxUSA review10. On the same page, you’re asked a series of yes or no questions. FreeTaxUSA review
11. You are then asked to fill in your filing status, be it married filing jointly, single, etc. FreeTaxUSA review12. On the next screen, you are asked for information about your spouse. FreeTaxUSA review13. Next, you’ll answer questions about dependents and qualifying children.  FreeTaxUSA review
14. If you don’t have children or dependents, the next section asks you to input your W2s. If you don’t yet have them, you can still continue.  FreeTaxUSA review
15. You’re then asked to fill in any other income, including what’s referred to as “Common Income.” This includes such income as interest and dividend income, unemployment compensation, Social Security income, etc. Lower down on the same page, you are asked about “Business and Rental Income.” At the bottom of the same page, you are asked about “Uncommon Income.” See below for examples: FreeTaxUSA review FreeTaxUSA reviewFreeTaxUSA review
16. The next step is to enter any IRA contributions that you made during the year, if any.FreeTaxUSA review

17. The following page shows you your “Standardized Deduction.” It then asks you to continue and enter “Itemized Deductions” if you choose. FreeTaxUSA will then determine which one gives you a larger return. Or you can simply accept the standardized deduction and continue.

FreeTaxUSA review

18. FreeTaxUSA then walks you through itemized deductions

.FreeTaxUSA review

19. The next portion of the application asks you about health insurance.FreeTaxUSA review20. The two following screens ask about current students in the family paying tuition, student loan interest, and whether or not there are any teachers in the family. 21.  After the education questions, you are asked questions for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

FreeTaxUSA review

 22.  After deciding whether or not you qualify for the Earned Income Credit, you are asked about the Home Energy Credit.k 23. After this, you are asked about childcare deductions and then shown the results of your itemized list. After reviewing your information, you are asked if you’d like to try the “Refund Maximizer.” And who wouldn’t, right?   FreeTaxUSA review

24. At the final step, you’re given your 2017 Federal Tax Summary.

FreeTaxUSA review

Now you have a good idea of how FreeTaxUSA works, you’re ready to give it a try. Click here for more details about FreeTaxUSA, including real user reviews. If FreeTaxUSA is not a good fit for you or your business, read the reviews of other leading tax preparation firms.

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