Liberty Tax Service was launched in Canada in 1997. As of 2016, it has more than 4,000 offices spread throughout the United States. Its present headquarters is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Liberty Tax has an A+ rating with the BBB and was rated by Forbes to be in the top 100 small businesses (#27) and the top 20 franchises (#11).
What Does Liberty Tax Do?
Liberty Tax Service provides in-person tax preparation service through its storefronts located across the country. Each storefront is operated by an independent franchisee. Liberty Tax Service also provides online tax preparation software for individuals who want to prepare their own federal and state income tax returns. Liberty Tax also backs eSmart Tax, an online tax preparation service that offers similar services at lower prices.
As well as personal tax preparation services, Liberty Tax also provides business tax preparation and accounting services.
What Are the Charges and Payment Options for Liberty Tax?
Prices vary for in-person tax preparation services. There are four tiers of online tax software available: EZ ($19.95), Basic ($24.95), Deluxe ($54.95) and Premium ($79.95).
The EZ version costs $19.95 and allows taxpayers to file federal income tax returns using Form 1040-EZ.
The Basic version costs $24.95 and allows taxpayers to itemize deductions, report business and self-employment income, and include Health Savings Accounts.
The Deluxe version costs $5495 and allows homeowners, investors, and sole proprietors to report investment income, and claim depreciation and the home office deduction.
The Premium version costs $79.95 and allows taxpayers to claim real estate rental income and file returns for S Corporations.
All four versions provide information about the Affordable Care Act, and also have the capacity to import information from a previous year's tax return filed through Liberty Tax Service. It also allows for W2 forms to be directly imported into the platform and includes a Credit Maximizer that scans taxpayers returns for missed tax credits and deductions.
Filing a state tax return is $31.95, which is charged separately.
What Services and Packages Does Liberty Tax Provide?
Liberty Tax Service's in-person tax preparation provides full services for its customers year round. Online customers can receive real-time assistance through live chat and email support at all times. There is also a fairly extensive online help resource available to the general public (as well as online customers) that includes an FAQ section and a tax calculator.
The Liberty Tax App, available for iOS and Android devices, allows individuals to locate Liberty Tax Service offices and contact them with a single click. Audit Assistance provides a Liberty Tax representative to accompany taxpayers to an IRS audit to explain how returns were prepared, but there is no representation before the IRS.
Liberty Tax also offers eligible customers a tax refund advance loan of up to $1,300, an additional service few tax preparation companies offer.
Does Liberty Tax Have a Money-Back Guarantee?
Liberty Tax Service provides some guarantees to its tax preparation customers. The “your biggest refund” guarantee promises taxpayers a refund of tax preparation fees if they receive a larger refund from another tax preparation service or method. The accuracy guarantee reimburses taxpayers for interest and penalties charged by the IRS caused by errors from its tax preparation services or products. The satisfaction guarantee promises customers will receive a full refund if they are not happy with the services they receive through Liberty Tax Service.
Liberty Tax Service offers tremendous value for money. Its Basic version includes features that are often reserved for Premium or Deluxe level customers. Liberty Tax doesn't offer a free version, but taxpayers with simple tax returns can file for free using eSmart Tax, an online tax preparation company backed by Liberty Tax.
Liberty Tax also provides eligible customers with up to a $1,300 tax refund loan.