Whenever tax time rolls around, many people panic.
Those returns should be simple to complete.
All you need to do is to fill in the correct details on the correct form. It sounds easy enough, and it can be if you know exactly what forms to complete.
For most people, however, knowing what form to use and inserting the right information becomes difficult. This is not an area where you want to make a mistake, either.
Leave out a vital piece of info, and it could look like you’re trying to underpay the government.
At the very least, a mistake could cost you that refund you’ve worked so hard to earn. That’s why so many people turn to tax preparation software to help them get it right the first time.
In this Liberty Tax review, we’ll look at what the company offers and whether it lives up to its promises.
Let’s examine things a little more closely before you make your final decision.
Our Liberty Tax Review: Make Filing Your Returns A Breeze
Liberty Tax has a number of beneficial tools both for its basic users with less complicated returns and those with trickier finances, also providing assistance for users facing audits.
The software is built on the motto, “You do life. We do taxes,” and the services it offers aim to take the tedium of tax-filing off your shoulders.
Here are some of the features that we feel make this software an asset.
- Ability to Import Forms: It’s not that hard to fill in the details yourself, but it’s a lot easier if the software can do it for you. With this software, you can download the W-2 from your employer. You can also download your prior return from any source.
- Credit Maximizer: The main reason that you want help with your return is so that you get the maximum refund possible. This feature analyzes your figures and ensures that every qualifying deduction or credit is accounted for.
- You Can Amend Your Return for Free: This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider that TaxAct software, for example, charges you $19.95 to do the same thing. Hopefully, you’ll get the return right the first time around. It’s nice to know that you have this option, however.
- Free Customer Support and Expert Advice: Maybe there’s something that you just need to check quickly. The company has several channels open to clients. You can email them, call them, use instant chat, or reach out via social media.
- Audit Assistance: This has to be one of the scariest notices that an adult can receive. It’s enough to reduce a lot of people to a nervous wreck. Liberty Tax can provide advice on how to proceed.
- Get Your Return Checked: Liberty stands behind its product. At participating branches, you can take your return to a consultant. They’ll give it the once over to check for correctness so that you have extra peace of mind before submitting it.
- Useful Online Tools: There are several calculators that make your life easier. You can get a rough idea of the refund you can expect, and there are other tools that help you prep for your return. The Tax Organizer, for example, will help you to get all the proper documents together.
How To File Your Return With Liberty Tax
It Has a Very User-Friendly Interface
The interface has been designed to be easy to use. You don’t have to hunt around to find the right buttons – the navigation and layout are simple enough to read.
What’s more, they’ve been as sparing as possible when it comes to excess information.
You don’t have to scroll through pages of needless information to get what you need.
There is Branch Support as Well
With 4 000 local branches, you are bound to find one nearby you to consult if you get stuck.
The system has been designed so that it is easy to transfer the application from an online one to an in-person one so you get the assistance you need when you visit a branch in person.
You Can Flip Through the Application Easily
With some software, you have to work section by section, always completing one section before moving onto the next. When you’re completing a tax return, this isn’t always convenient.
Maybe you’ve forgotten to get a key piece of information, or you want to skip ahead. This software makes it easy to switch back and forth.
Get Your Refund Upfront
In some cases, you might qualify for a refund advance, and Liberty Tax will be sure to get you the money you qualify for.
The company will lend up to $3,250 as an advance on your refund if you qualify.
That’s quite a big chunk of change for an advance, one of Liberty Tax’s most appealing features.
What If Your Situation Is More Complicated?
If you have rental income or need to file in more than one state, for example, you need to choose one of the more advanced packages like the Deluxe or Premium options that Liberty Tax offers.
If you’re still concerned, you can opt to make an in-person application in a branch instead, where you can get more hands-on assistance from the Liberty’s team of professionals.
How Much Does Liberty Tax Cost?
Liberty Tax offers users 4 paid levels of service for filing their federal and state returns, ranging from as low as $14.95 to as high as $69.95 for federal returns.
- EZ package: Federal return: $14.95; state return: $39.95
- Basic package: Federal return: $28.95; state return: $39.95
- Deluxe package: Federal return: $43.95; state return: $39.95
- Premium package: Federal return: $69.95; state return: $39.95
Let’s take a closer look at all of the features that you can access with each of those levels of service. Which package is the best fit for you boils down to how complex your tax needs are.
Liberty Tax Filing Options & Plans
This is the software version for you if your return is simple.
You don’t get to list deductions, and there is no room for extra income, but filing with this package means there are no complications at all.
This plan encompasses a bit more than the EZ package.
The basic package is not going to be much use to you if you have a complicated tax situation, like if you have multiple sources of income.
But it does allow you to itemize your deductions a little more than the EZ package.
If your situation is more complex, this plan is where you should start looking.
The deluxe package is popular with those who freelance or run a small home business. It won’t handle issues related to capital gains, however.
If you want to be able to do it all, this is the package for you. The Premium plan comes with professional tax advice from Liberty’s experts and audit consultation.
It’s also a good option for those with a medium business, farmers, and those with multiple income sources.
Now that we’ve gone through the pros, let’s have a look at the negatives.
- Liberty only offers paid options. Most companies allow their clients some form of basic free service. Liberty is not like most in this respect.
- The packages border on pricy. You get a lot of features, but the prices are higher as well.
- The site can be annoying because it times out quickly. If you’re inactive on the site for what seems like a few seconds, it will time out. What really annoyed us here is that it timed out even if we were checking out the “Learn More” links.
- The customer service aspect needs to be improved. Don’t get us wrong; they deliver excellent customer service, but only as long as you’re able to contact them during normal business hours. In this day and age, we expected at least a 24-hour chat option for basic queries.
With Liberty Tax, results and accuracy are guaranteed. The company promises to get the best possible results and create completely accurate returns.
Overall, the positives do outweigh the negatives. You’ll battle to find software with quite so many useful features built into it. You do have to pay a bit more, but you are getting a better-quality product overall.
The support hours are an annoyance, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Overall, we’d say that the experience is a positive one.
We’d be confident about submitting our returns through this service.