TaxAct is a tax preparation software package distributed by 2nd Story Software. It is a web-based platform that simplifies filing tax returns and alerts users of mistakes and omissions. TaxAct uses an interview format to determine the deductions and credits that apply to each customer.

The company was first launched in 1998 and has its headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. TaxAct was built on a previous software package called Personal Tax Edge, which was sold by Parsons Technology. TaxAct has an A+ rating with the BBB.

What Services Does TaxAct Offer?

TaxAct provides the following services:

-       Federal Tax Returns

-       State Tax Returns

-       E-file Service

-       Account Information Roll Over

-       Automatically imports W-2 tax forms

-       Printing of Tax Return

-       Complex Tax Filing

-       Federal Tax Extension

-       State Tax Filing and Preparation

-       Amended Tax Return

-       Priority Customer Support

-       Mobile/Tablet App

What Is TaxAct's Pricing Structure?

TaxAct has three editions: a free edition, a plus edition ($37), and a premium edition ($47).

The Free edition offers free federal and state tax filing, but it is only for taxpayers with simple tax returns. It only includes forms 1040EZ/1040A. Taxpayers who own a business, are freelancers or have rental property will need to purchase a plus or a premium edition. The free version doesn’t allow customers to import data from previous years (that feature costs $5 extra) and only includes technical support by email. Nevertheless, it is an excellent deal for taxpayers with simple returns who don’t need a sophisticated package and want to file federal and state returns for free.

The Plus edition ($37) is for customers with itemized returns, homeowners, and people with substantial investments. As well as the services offered by the deluxe edition it also provides coverage for stocks, bonds, and other types of investment income (Schedule D). It also covers rental income (Schedule E), and itemized deductions (Schedule A), but it doesn’t offer support for self-employment and small business income (Schedule C). State returns are an additional $38.

The Premium edition ($47) is built for taxpayers who are self-employed, contractors and freelancers. As well as all the services offered by the Plus version, it also covers small-business tax deductions and asset depreciation (Schedule C). State returns are an additional $38.

Only the free edition includes state returns. Customers who use any of the other packages must pay an additional $38 for state returns.

What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of TaxAct?

Benefits of TaxAct:

-       Customers with simple tax returns can file federal and state tax returns for free.

-       Provides similar services to TurboTax at a much lower cost.

-       The software provides free advice on the credits and deductions you can claim.

-       Returning users are not charged additional fees for rolling-over prior year tax data when using the Plus or Premium editions. (Free users only get this service for an extra fee of $10.)

-       Automatic Error Detection is a feature.

-       E-Filing is included in the free edition.

Disadvantages of TaxAct:

-      The free returns are only for people with very simple tax returns. There are additional fees for “complex” returns. “Complex” returns include federal returns with investments, self-employed taxpayers, taxpayers who own homes, and taxpayers with rental income.

-       The paying editions do not include state returns, which come with an extra $38 fee.

-       Does not provide in-person support.

Compare TaxAct with other leading tax preparation services to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.

  • File Online
  • Software
  • State Return Price
  • Federal Standard Price
  • Federal Premium Price
  • Business Owner/Self Employed
  • Estate/Trust/Retirement
  • Investment and Rental Property
  • Sales and Use Tax
  • Payroll/1099
  • Property Tax
  • Audit Support
  • Automatic Error Detection
  • e-File Included
  • State Tax Returns Included
  • Tax Deduction Finder
  • Income Tax Prep
  • Sole Propietorship
  • Best Return Guarantee
  • IRS FreeFile
  • Business
  • Personal

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0 votes

Absolutely godawful this year. I dredged through their terrible UI, was never responded to with questions in customer support, and what's even worse is that they completed failed to process my ETF transfer so I was hit with over $500 in penalties and interest when I was finally made aware that my taxes weren't paid properly.

When I tried to contact customer support about this, they gave me a canned response. I had to refile my taxes altogether.

0 votes

Absolutely godawful this year. I dredged through their terrible UI, was never responded to with questions in customer support, and what's even worse is that they completed failed to process my ETF transfer so I was hit with over $500 in penalties and interest when I was finally made aware that my taxes weren't paid properly.

When I tried to contact customer support about this, they gave me a canned response. I had to refile my taxes altogether.

0 votes

Since the year 2000 TaxAct had the greatest feature: SEARCH box called "Forms and Topics." It worked like the Google search. For example. you typed "EIC" for "Earned Income Credit", it brought you immediately to the place in Q&A to enter your data. It had been like this in every year's edition of their software. It was the same in the program for Partnerships and S-Corporations.

But guess what, in the 2015 versions of these programs, no "Forms and Topics" to be found. You ... have to go through menus and menus to find your way to the topic you need! Just outrageous! I contacted them and they replied they decided to remove it, period! When I bought the 2015 version, there was NO disclosure that this version is DISABLED and I will be wasting my time trying to get to the topic I need.

If this would be a free software, sure, we have nothing to say, but it is NOT free. The professional versions I use with e-file was over $1,000. I am switching to a different vendor!
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0 votes

I am very impressed with TaxACT so far. I have to file a form 8938, which I have had issues in the past because not many CPA's are experts on it. I gave another online tax software a shot, but that didn't turn out so well. I then tried a brick and mortar CPA's office but they weren't as familiar with the form and I was not confident in their abilities. TaxACT was the only tax return entity that gave me confidence when filing my form. Thanks, TA!

0 votes

I've used another online tax program for over 10 years, but with some recent changes to that program, I decided to give Tax Act a try. They saved me sooo much money! It was just as easy to use as the other tax program, but I got the benefit of saving some dough on my filing. I am now a happy Tax Act customer and will be buying the program again next year. I would recommend it to anyone for a better price!

0 votes

I have been using TaxACT for probably five or so years and haven't had any issues up until now. TaxAct notified me that there was an error made by their software an that my tax bill was off by 5 grand. This is extremely unnerving, because I really don't want my taxes to be messed up at all. They aren't in the position to do anything to help me, because they only help out with interest and late penalties, but I want to get this sorted out before the due ... date. More Less

0 votes

I wanted to give filing my taxes myself a go this year, and after asking around, TaxACT seemed like a good option. It was very important to me that I felt comfortable and confident inputting all of my personal data into the site, which I was. I never once felt like I was putting myself at risk. From my experience, TaxACT is a reliable way for any beginner to file his/her own taxes. I think it's a great site!

0 votes

I've been doing my taxes through TaxACT for a long time now and have no intentions of changing. It is the easiest self-prepare software because it shows you exactly what to do. No more guessing games. The fees are also the lowest I have ever seen for tax preparation, self prep or by a professional. I have loved TaxACT since the second I started my taxes the first time, and will continue to love it as long as it stays the same.

0 votes

I love that, as a beginner, TaxACT was so easy to use. I've never filed myself so naturally I was hesitant, but it managed to put me at ease. I was able to file while sitting on my couch in my pj's at midnight! How convenient. I also wasn't shocked at all about the fee's the site charges. It was extremely reasonable and, in fact, much less than I had paid before. Such a great service for an even better price.

0 votes

TaxACT is so simple to use that I do my families returns on here for them. They used to pay so much for someone else to do them, but didn't want to do it themselves, so now I do it. I like being able to save them so much money on tax preparation and the fees associated with it. Taxes are usually a chore, but even though I am doing 4-5 returns each year for my family, it really is not that bad.

0 votes

I've been using TaxACT for several years now and even though my tax situation has changed, TaxACT has not. It is still as easy as day one. I was worried the first time I had extra things to deduct or claim, but it still made it an easy process. I wasn't expecting it to be as quick the first time and was pleasantly surprised. TaxACT is a great site that helps you get every deduction you can, and you file feeling confident in what you are doing.

0 votes

I love TaxAct! I'm a long time user, since 2008 or so, and I've always been a happy customer. Out of sheer curiosity, I tried TurboTax last year, and they wanted to charge an arm and a leg for the same service that TaxACT provides. It is so easy to do it yourself- it is a guided process so you don't have to guess at anything. I love the product, the service, and especially the fees! I would recommend TaxACT!

0 votes

My husband and I have been using tax act for a few years, and last year, my husband was a victim of identity theft. Someone tried to file his taxes, so we weren't able to. The only thing we could think of was tax act. It's the only place we put all of our personal information, such as our social security numbers. Now we are working to right this wrong. We are hoping that tax act works on improving their security so this does not happen to anyone else.

0 votes

TaxACT stole my information and did not report my taxes to the IRS! When I filed with them, I had them charge my card and authorized them to deposit the money straight to my account. I got confirmation emails and everything about the payment. I recently got a letter from the IRS saying that I owed money! I found in my bank statements the payments that were taken out. I can't get a hold of anyone at TaxACT, so I'm not really sure where to go from here...

0 votes

After doing my taxes myself for many years with online programs, I figured that there had to be an easier way. The program I was using wasn't very user friendly and I wanted a different way. A friend recommended TaxACT and I haven't looked back since. After two years, this program has yet to let me down. It is much more user friendly than the other programs and has a better web design. I love it and now recommend it!

0 votes

I am a little irritated with the TaxAct software this year. I think they made some changes, so now you are paying more for their service. I wanted to view my 1040 while I was filling it out, but now the only way is to pay the fee to upgrade. I thought this was silly so I backed out of that screen and continued with my return. At the end, it said I had to pay the fee to upgrade, even though I never actually used the upgraded feature of ... viewing my 1040. I'm so irritated but I really don't want to enter all my info AGAIN. More Less

0 votes

This is the best software for tax preparation if you are not used to doing it yourself! I never thought I would be putting in all my information through an online program, but this year I figured hey why not. Not only was it super simple to do, I slashed my tax preparation bill by two-thirds! I didn't think I was overpaying to begin with, but now I know what a reasonable tax fee is. Thanks, TaxACT!

0 votes

I work as a receptionist year round at a small accounting firm and watch the tax professionals as they prepare their clients taxes. Even though I have resources to do my taxes at work and by trusted professionals, I still find it much simpler to do it at home on TaxACT. I get it done and over with very quickly, whereas I would have to wait for someone else to get it done for me. It's great for all levels of self tax preparers and I would recommend it to ... even a beginner. More Less

0 votes

Using TaxACT this year has been a great pleasure. I was hesitant to use an online tax software since I usually go to a CPA, but since I'm a busy bee, I decided to do it myself. The support at TaxACT is great and really helped me through everything. I was able to save all my returns in .pdf files that are now located on my computer screen. I am so happy with TaxACT that I will recommend it to everyone I know.

0 votes

I used to slave at my desk doing my own taxes by hand. I'd have a calculator, an instruction booklet, and various pencils that I would break out of frustration. TaxACT helped me put all that behind me. No more calculators, no more instruction booklets, no more breaking anything in frustration! It adds everything up for you, you just enter the info in the right spots. I love it and it has really saved me from tax season insanity.

0 votes

After using TaxACT religiously for 6 years, I am a believer in the software. Taxes are supposed to be complicated, tedious, and make you want to pull out your hair. With TaxACT, I have always gotten mine done in 30 minutes or less. I don't even remember what it is like to be stressed out over my tax preparations. This site is the best, easiest thing you could use. I will continue with TaxACT as long as I can!

0 votes

This was my first year using TaxACT and it will probably be my last. The site keeps crashing and it is making the process unbearable. I tried on my personal laptop as well as a work desktop and neither would work. The internet connection is fine on both, but the site just continues to crash. Taxes are a pain to deal with, but it is ten times worse when you have to deal with a crap site that does not work.

0 votes

I usually do my taxes by hand, and have been for many years. I saw an advertisement for TaxACT that seemed too good to be true, so I gave it a shot. Boy, was I right. It was not a free service, as the commercial had advertised. Also, I wanted to only file my federal returns through them, but the software would not have it. It physically did not let me only file the federal return. This software is ridiculous and I will be going back to filing by hand.

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