Doing your own taxes can be an overwhelming and confusing task, especially if you don’t have sufficient experience in tax return filing or if you have a complicated situation.
Since hiring a CPA or other professional can be cost-intensive, many people opt to undertake the task themselves.
Tax software became increasingly popular for preparing and filing federal and state returns, not only because they are reaching new levels of sophistication, but also because filing online saves time and money.
It also makes tax return filing error-free.
FreeTaxUSA is one of the fastest-growing tax platforms and IRS-authorized e-file providers.
Their services are reliable, and they offer free federal filing. Even if you have a complicated financial situation, FreeTaxUSA may be the most suitable tax software for you.
Our FreeTaxUSA Revew: Here’s How It Works
FreeTaxUSA uses an interface that prepares your federal and state returns by taking an online step-by-step interview approach.
As you answer questions and import your information, the software will prepare and fill out your tax return.
Upon completion of your information entry, you can review your return before submitting it to the IRS via mail or e-file. The software interface is user-friendly and intuitive.
If you have no prior experience with tax filing or software, you will be able to find your way through the process with little difficulty.
Keep in mind that the interface has a somewhat clinical appearance and doesn’t feature the same slick design and color schemes that you will see with other prominent tax software.
When you fill out your information, the interface will not allow you to skip forward.
You will only be able to edit the sections that you are currently working or the ones that you already completed.
FreeTaxUSA supports various complex tax situations, and you will be able to view your tax refund or liability in real time as you enter your information.
FreeTaxUSA’s Big Features
Affordable Care Act
If you didn’t have healthcare coverage during the tax year, FreeTaxUSA will accommodate any fees that you may have to pay.
The platform will also assist you if you want to claim exemption from the penalty, a valuable asset to many tax filers looking to save.
Refund and Payment Options
You can use a credit or debit card to pay for FreeTaxUSA’s tax preparation and filing services.
If you are eligible for a tax refund, FreeTaxUSA can facilitate the payment through either a direct deposit into your bank account in less than 21 days or through a check, which can take up to six weeks.
Filing After Deadline
If you’ve missed the tax deadline, you may be panicking about getting your taxes filed on your own, let alone getting them filed affordably.
Luckily, FreeTaxUSA offers tax return preparation and filing services at the same price, even after the tax deadline passes.
However, they encourage their clients to file their returns as soon as possible to avoid IRS penalties.
FreeTaxUSA often receives recognition for the Audit Assist services that they provide to Deluxe clients. With Audit Assist, you gain access to tax and audit specialists that will help you prepare for an IRS audit. They will answer any audit-related questions that you may have.
This service also includes access to FreeTaxUSA’s audit center, which is a knowledge bank that contains information on the audit process.
However, Audit Assist is only applicable to federal returns and not state returns, and FreeTaxUSA doesn’t offer any audit representation services.
Free Tax Calculator
By setting up a FreeTaxUSA account and entering your tax information as well as you can, you can use the platform as a calculator to estimate your taxes, determine your refund or liability, and find deductions and credits like the Child Tax Credit.
After you’ve entered your information, you will see an estimate of your taxes, refund or liability, and credits and deductions.
Since you can view this information without filing your return, you can keep it on record and edit your data before you have to submit.
FreeTaxUSA accepts responsibility for all errors on the system’s end. If the IRS imposes interest or penalties for incorrect tax calculations, the company will pay them.
This feature offers peace of mind to filers who don’t want to worry about the financial repercussions of a miscalculation. As long as you’ve entered all your information correctly, you’re covered.
Regardless of the FreeTaxUSA version that you use, you can visit their customer support page to search for support topics or email their customer support team if you have a problem.
If you are subscribed to the Deluxe plan, you get access to free support chat and the Q&A database.
FreeTaxUSA backs up all tax returns online and carries information over from one year to the next, even if the client uses the Free version.
If you haven’t used FreeTaxUSA the previous year, you can import your tax information in PDF format from competitor software, your internal storage, or your employer’s platform.
Uploading your PDF in this manner is incredibly easy, and it saves a lot of time.
FreeTaxUSA offers two versions: Free and Deluxe. There is not a big difference between the two of them regarding the actual process of preparation and filing.
Both support complex tax situations and schedules, and you can use either of them for federal and tax filing. State tax returns, however, cost an additional fee with either version.
One of the significant advantages of FreeTaxUSA as a whole is that both versions support Schedule C filing for self-employment income, Schedule E filing for rental property income, and Schedule D for capital gains transactions.
You can also report several K-1 related income sources with these plans. The difference between the two versions has more to do with the customer support you receive.
Clients that select the Free version can prepare and file federal tax returns, they have access to FreeTaxUSA’s e-file service, and their account information is carried over to the next tax year.
Free version clients can also print their tax returns on paper or PDF, backup their completed tax returns online, and file for a federal tax extension.
As mentioned above, they can also use the free platform to prepare and file complex tax returns. State return preparation and filing are not free with this version, however, and the client has to pay $12.95 per state return.
If you are subscribed to the Free plan, you can get additional services at a nominal fee, including:
- Completed tax return amendment
- Priority customer assistance
- Professional return printing
- Return printing and binding
Audit Assist is not available to people who are subscribed to the Free addition as an included or additional service. If you need such assistance, you will have to upgrade to the Deluxe plan.
The Deluxe version costs $6.99 and includes everything in the Free version, as well as Audit Assist and professional printing. As is the case with the Free version, state filing also costs $12.95.
With this version, clients also receive free technical and tax support.
Pros of Using FreeTaxUSA
- An affordable alternative for people with complex tax situations
- Free federal return filing and accessible state return filing
- Intuitive interface that is easy to understand
- Audit Assist for Deluxe clients
- Suitable for people with varying levels of tax situation complexity
- Supports Schedule C, D, and E
Cons of Using FreeTaxUSA
- Neither version supports all tax situations
- Customer support options are limited
- This software offers fewer features than its competitors
Should YOU File with FreeTaxUSA?
FreeTaxUSA has a whole host of features to benefit tax filers with both its free and premium versions.
Whether you’re filing the most basic of taxes or facing an impending audit, FreeTaxUSA can help.
Overall, FreeTaxUSA is the best bet for those on a tight budget or those who have a bit of experience filing their taxes.
If you fit one of those descriptions, then FreeTaxUSA could be a great affordable tool for your filing needs.
You can also use my federal income tax guide alongside FreeTaxUSA to work through your taxes this year.