Although a majority of Americans outsource the preparation of their federal income tax returns, a significant proportion of the population belongs to the do-it-yourself camp. For taxpayers who choose to go it alone, tax preparation software or online tax preparation services can reduce the complexity of completing tax returns while minimizing the risk for errors. TaxACT Deluxe provides many of the features of a commercial tax preparer for a fraction of the cost.
What Does TaxACT Deluxe Do?
TaxACT provides both desktop software and online tax preparation and filing services for federal income tax returns. The online preparation service provides step-by-step guidance through an individual federal income tax return for wage earners and self employed individuals. The desktop software, which is available as an instant download and on CDs, provides fillable tax returns and related forms for individual wage earners and self employed individuals. Both versions allow either one free return filed electronically or printed out and mailed.
What Are Their Charges and Payment Options?
The Deluxe online version of TaxACT costs $12.99, and is payable when federal tax returns are filed. The Deluxe desktop edition costs $12.99 to complete and file a single federal return, with an option to file up to four additional federal returns for a total cost of $19.99. If additional returns are not included with the original order, e-filing additional returns costs $9.99 each. For software CDs and downloads, payment can be made by credit or debit card, or by paper check or money order. Checks by phone are not accepted. Online programs and payment of taxes electronic filing can be paid by credit or debit card or by deduction from anticipated returns of at least $100.
What Services and Packages Does TaxACT Deluxe Provide?
Both Deluxe desktop and online versions of TaxACT include free telephone and email support, along with capabilities to import stock transactions and non-cash charity donations. These features are absent from the free edition of the online and desktop versions of TaxACT. The desktop version also allows for unlimited preparation and printing of paper federal tax returns for spouses, offspring or other individual taxpayers.
All versions of TaxACT have access to several mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, including TaxACT Express, Tax Return Status, Donation Assistant and the TaxACT App for tablets. Deluxe or Enterprise customers can use the TaxACT DocVault, app for Android and iOS devices to securely store tax returns and related documents. Deluxe taxpayers can also access returns prepared with TaxAct for the previous two tax years.
How Reliable Is TaxACT Deluxe?
TaxACT has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since 2001 and has an A+ rating. The BBB has closed 120 complaints against TaxACT in the previous three years, with 35 BBB complaints closed in the previous 12 months. In addition, TaxACT has been named to the Bizrate Circle of Excellence, based on high ratings for consumer reviews, every year for the past six years. While these stats are no guarantee of reliability, they are impressive nonetheless.
Does TaxACT Deluxe Have In-House Expertise?
TaxACT software and online tax filing services are designed by in-house programmers, certified public accountants and tax accountants. content designed by TaxACT experts that is available to all users includes TaxTutor guidance with information on recent tax law changes and Life Event Tips to assist with tax implications for circumstances such as moving or changes in marital status. Deluxe and Ultimate customers may also receive assistance either by telephone or email from TaxACT's own tax specialists.
Does TaxACT Deluxe Have a Money-Back Guarantee?
If taxpayers are assessed with a penalty by the IRS due to a calculation error caused by TaxACT software or online tax preparation program, TaxACT will pay the penalty and interest. In addition, dissatisfied customers can request a no questions asked refund within 30 days. Customers must still pay any actual additional taxes owed, along with shipping and handling charges for returned software.
Does TaxACT Deluxe Offer Tax Preparation Services?
TaxACT does not provide tax preparation services. Nor will TaxACT provide representatives for taxpayers who are audited. This is one of the major differences between TaxACT and full-fledged tax preparation services.
For more complex returns or for taxpayers who are intimidated by completing their own tax returns, TaxACT Deluxe might not be the best choice. But For taxpayers with relatively simple returns who aren't afraid to figuratively get their hands dirty, TaxACT represents an excellent value for money. It's a good compromise between the total DIY approach and the expense of hiring dedicated tax professionals.