TaxAct Review: Online Tax Software 2020

TaxAct ReviewTaxAct, founded in 1998, is a more affordable tax preparation software solution than many of its competitors. They are also one of the only solutions that can be used completely free, including your state returns. The discounted price comes with a bit less polish though. Read the full TaxAct review to see if they have the right tax prep software for you.

TaxAct Pros & Cons


  • More affordable than most competitor options
  • Email and phone support is available, even for the free version
  • Free version allows you to file your state taxes


  • The free version only files the 1040A or 1040EZ
  • The interface is not as nice as the pricier competitors

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TaxAct Review

If you’re looking for the best-in-class, most streamlined tax prep software you’re probably in the wrong spot. We found TaxAct to be a bit clunky from time to time. But for the price, it’s hard to beat. They offer a lot for less.


The TaxAct software, like most current tax prep programs, is hosted online. This means you can work on it wherever you have access to a computer. They do have a mobile app but it’s bare bones and for the most part, you’d be better off getting to an actual computer.

With TaxAct you can import your W2s, make use of their various expense and donation calculators, and use their donation assistant for any charitable donations you made during the year.

They have a searchable knowledge base though it’s not quite as extensive as you’ll find with the higher priced alternatives.


TaxAct is a bargain compared to other programs like TurboTax and H&R Block. They are one of the only options we found that didn’t charge you to file your state taxes in the free version.

Below is a breakdown of the cost associated with each version:

TaxAct Packages and Prices

FreeFederal: $0
State: $0
File your 1040A or 1040EZ with the free version. It will cost $10 to import you taxes from last year but you can access up to 3 years of TaxAct returns. You can file you State taxes free and you get free email and phone support.
PlusFederal: $30
State: $35
This package is good for individuals that need to itemize their returns, report rental income, and calculate and report charitable donations.
PremiumFederal: $45
State: $35
If you run your own business or are self-employed this is the version you'll need. It has additional expense tracking and will guide you through additional self-income reporting.


If you’re not able to find what you need in TaxAct’s knowledge base you can head to the email and phone support lines. On of the most generous parts is that the email and phone support is free, even for users of the free version. Most of the competitors require at least a paid version and some require an additional add-on to speak with a live person.

Most of the competitors require at least a paid version and some require an additional add-on to speak with a live person. Their phone support is available 7 days a week during the tax season

Audit Protection

TaxAct doesn’t directly provide audit support or defense beyond a FAQ page. They do partner with a company called Protection Plus that offers $50 plans to Premium customers and $40 plans to Plus and Free customers.

From the sound of it, they do not offer audit defense, meaning they will not have anyone actually representing you to the IRS in the audit proceedings. They offer audit support and will help you prepare, handle IRS correspondences, tax debt, fraud assistance, and assist with denied credit.

Overall, it seems like you’re getting less protection with these plans for about the same price as you get from competitors and you’re dealing with a third party company.

Getting Your Refund

You can get your refund direct deposited into your bank account or sent as a paper check in the mail. You can also have it applied to your next year’s taxes or have the IRS purchase U.S. savings bonds with your refund.

TaxAct can also load an American Express prepaid debit card with your refund.

You can also pay for TaxAct out of your refund but there is a $20 fee for this.

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TaxAct Reviews From Around the Web

Better Business Bureau4.1 out of 5 stars 4.05/5 - 16 Reviews
Nerd Wallet4 out of 5 stars 4/5
PC Mag4 out of 5 stars 4/5

Business Contact and Profile for TaxAct

Phone:(319) 373-3600
Address:1425 60th St NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-1284
Business Started:1998
Type of Business:Tax Return Preparation Software
Principal:JoAnn Kintzel, President
BBB Accreditation:This organization is BBB accredited - A+ rating

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