TaxSlayer Review: Is TaxSlayer a Good Service? How Much Does It Cost?

FT Contributor  | 

Tax preparation software companies make filing your taxes easier. However, with so many competing companies with different products, it can be hard to know which is right for you.

You may have already heard of TaxSlayer through its expansive sponsorship campaigns with popular sports organizations. The company offers professional tax preparation and filing services and is well known in a competitive industry. TaxSlayer is a solid product, especially if you require no assistance or minimal assistance to file your return. Their pricing model is set to increase with the level of support a customer needs.

Quick Facts on TaxSlayer

  • It’s ideal for tax filers who don’t require tax assistance, since the basic version is free without support.
  • It includes free and paid options that are determined based on the support and features you need.
  • The platform is easy to navigate on your own and can be accessed through a mobile app.
  • You’ll need to pay for the extras if you need assistance or other services.

Features of TaxSlayer

Not only does TaxSlayer software help you file your tax return, it also provides additional features. Depending on the tax filing package you choose to use (currently 25% off limited time), you may have access to the following features:

  • Free email, live chat, and phone support: You can connect with a TaxSlayer representative to discuss technical aspects on the website.
  • Mobile app: Log into your account on the smartphone app to check the status of your return or complete the filing process.
  • Access to a tax professional: As you file your taxes within the system, you can send questions to a tax professional if you purchased the version that comes with assistance.
  • Electronic filing: The TaxSlayer system electronically files your federal return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Tax and income tips: When you sign up for TaxSlayer emails, you’ll receive tips on maximizing your tax benefits and decreasing your liability.
  • Audit assistance: If the IRS requests an audit, TaxSlayer provides assistance and answers your questions throughout the procedure.
  • Tax return refund tracking: If you’re wondering how long it takes to get your tax return, use the website to track your tax refund.
  • Refund calculator: Provide information on your income, family, tax deductions, and credits to receive an estimate of your tax refund before even filing.
  • IRS forms: Review a list of commonly used IRS forms and their purposes.
  • Tax law changes: Review current changes to tax laws that may affect the way you file.

Comparing the Simply Free, Classic, and Premium Versions

Before you file your tax return, you’ll need to choose the type of product that meets your needs. Pricing and features vary between software versions.

The free version of TaxSlayer is called Simply Free and it allows you to electronically prepare, review, and file both your federal and state returns. This software is best if you’re filing a basic Form 1040 and includes the following additional features:

  • The ability to compare your return to your prior year’s return.
  • Free phone and email support for technical issues.
  • The option to claim student expenses on your tax return, such as student loan interest, as deductions or credits.

TaxSlayer’s Classic version (currently 25% off a limited time) allows you to file your federal tax return with any form you need. It normally costs $17, currently $12.75, to use the software and an additional $39 to file your state return. In addition to the features provided in the free version, the Classic product also includes:

  • Professional assistance to solve IRS inquiries.
  • Access to all tax deductions and credits, including dependent or homeowner’s credits.
  • Access to tax filing for any income type you earned throughout the year.
  • The ability to automatically fill in your previous year’s information and upload your W-2 to import information.

If you prefer assistance from a tax professional, you may feel more comfortable with TaxSlayer’s Premium (25% off limited time) software. This version normally costs $37 but is discounted to currently $27.75, and an additional $39 to file state income taxes. Premium software is best for filers who want to file any forms and take advantage of all tax deductions and credits.

In addition to the features provided in the Classic version, this upgrade includes assistance with an IRS audit within three years of filing. You can also ask a tax professional questions as you prepare to file.

Active duty military members qualify to file their federal return for free using TaxSlayer’s Military software. They can use any forms and claim any tax deductions or credits they qualify for. However, state income tax filing costs an additional $39.

If you’re self-employed, you may benefit from using TaxSlayer’s Self-Employed tax filing software, which normally costs $47, currently $35.25) and an additional $39 for your state tax return. This version allows access to:

  • Live chat, phone, and email support to maximize self-employed tax deductions and credits.
  • Software to help you find additional deductions.
  • Tax payment reminders for your quarterly estimated taxes.
  • Access to a tax professional to answer your questions.
  • Tax information resources and tips to ensure you’re filing correctly.

TaxSlayer Pros and Cons

As with any tax preparation software, there are benefits and disadvantages to using TaxSlayer.

Pros

Tools and Resources

Use the tax refund calculator to find out your refund amount before you file. Review IRS forms and tax law updates or obtain technical support online.

Low Fees

Take advantage of the free version of TaxSlayer or the military discount. Upgraded software versions are inexpensive and provide additional features.

Get Your Maximum Refund

TaxSlayer guarantees you’ll get the maximum tax refund you qualify for. If you find a higher refund with competing tax preparation software, your TaxSlayer fees are refunded.

Occasional Promotions

TaxSlayer has been known to run discount promotions on their already low fees. As of the date this review was published, there’s currently a 25% off discount on your federal tax return.

Cons

Tax Professional Assistance Isn’t Live

When you purchase a software version with tax professional help, you can’t get live assistance. Instead, you submit your question and wait for a response.

Audit Assistance Isn’t Comprehensive

While TaxSlayer does offer audit assistance with some versions, the company simply helps by answering your questions. It doesn’t provide representation or direct assistance during an audit.

There Aren’t Many Extra Features

If you choose the free version of TaxSlayer, you’ll have a basic platform that doesn’t provide extensive information or advice. You may still need to do your own research to ensure you claim the credits and deductions you deserve.

How Does TaxSlayer Compare to Other Platforms?

The type of tax preparation software that’s right for you depends on your situation and what’s important to you. TaxSlayer offers several products, just like how TurboTax has different product tiers with more robust features. H&R Block is another well-known competitor that offers comprehensive products, live tax professional assistance, and audit support. Review product features with all tax preparation companies before choosing the one you’ll use.

Decide if TaxSlayer is right for you by analyzing your tax situation and the best way to file. Review the company’s products and price points to decide if this software is beneficial and provides enough support for you to file your taxes successfully.


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