Whether you’re a conventional employee, in the military, a freelancer, or an independent contractor – completing and filing your state and federal tax returns can be a logistical nightmare.
While people typically feel more comfortable employing the services of a professional tax specialist, this can be a costly endeavor.
As such, the likes of TaxSlayer offer a fully-fledged tax return software program for those that seek to take a do-it-yourself approach. In return, not only do you have the chance to reduce the costs associated with a tax filing, but the software also claims to simplify the process via a bespoke online questionnaire.
If you’re tempted to use TaxSlayer for your tax filing requirements, be sure to first read our comprehensive guide. We’ve covered all of the ins and outs that we think you should be made aware of, such as how the platform works, who it is suitable for, how much it costs, and more.
Let’s start by exploring what TaxSlayer actually is.
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What is TaxSlayer?
- 1 What is TaxSlayer?
- 2 How Much Does TaxSlayer Cost? What do I get?
- 3 Simply Free
- 4 Classic – $24
- 5 Premium – $37
- 6 Self-Employed – $47
- 7 Ultimate – $57
- 8 Additional Features Offered by TaxSlayer
- 9 Customer Support and Public Reviews
- 10 TaxSlayer Review: The Bottom Line?
- 11 TaxSlayer
- 12 Pros
- 13 Cons
Launched way back in 1965, TaxSlayer is a family-owned income tax preparation company. The platform’s core business model is now focused exclusively on tax filing software that allows everyday consumers to complete their tax return on a do-it-yourself basis.
Ordinarily, those seeking assistance in their tax return endeavors would be required to use a professional tax company. For those unable to afford such services, individuals would need to complete their returns independently in the hope that the information is error-free. However, in the case of TaxSlayer, the company claims that the online software is suitable even for those with no prior knowledge of tax.
In its most basic form, the software can be used to file both federal and state taxes. TaxSlayer is also suitable for a vast range of employment settings. For example, the product range caters for single and joint filings, students, the self-employed, and even those serving in the military. Even if you’re a traditional employee that has their taxes withdrawn automatically, you might still be due a tax refund if you’ve unwittingly overpaid.
Although TaxSlayer does have a number of different pricing plans, it does offer a fee-free service for those with simplified circumstances. However, if your finances are more elaborate, or you require personalized customer support from a tax specialist, then you’ll be best off opting for one of the paid packages.
As we will discuss in more detail further down, TaxSlayer offers its customers peace of mind via its 100% accuracy guarantee. This means that if the tax return you file via the TaxSlayer website is not correct, you’ll get a full refund on your money, and they’ll cover any potential financial penalties that you incur.
Moreover, the software utilizes an automatic error-checker, meaning that your tax return will be flagged if the system deems the information is not correct. This is also the case if certain fields have not been filled out.
So now that we’ve covered the basics, in the next section of our TaxSlayer review we are going to discuss the different packages on offer.
How Much Does TaxSlayer Cost? What do I get?
In total, TaxSlayer offers five main packages. The package that you opt for will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances. If you’re unsure what package you are best suited for, it might be worth giving TaxSlayer a quick call.
As the name suggests, the Simply Free package is the platform’s fee-free offering. First and foremost, the free package allows you to submit a federal tax return, as well as one for the state you currently reside in. However, if you are in a position where you need to file multiple state returns, then you will need to pay a fixed fee of $29 for each additional state.
The Simply Free package is only applicable if you are filing a basic single or joint return, and you are not adding any specifics related to your dependents.
The easiest way to determine if the Simply Free package is suitable is if you are only looking to report income via a standard W-2 form. In other words, if you’re looking to make claims with respect to credits or other deductions, then it’s likely you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid-for packages.
Although the Simply Free option comes with phone and email support, this only covers technical support. If you need specific advice on your tax returns, this will require the assistance of a TaxSlayer specialist, which is only available in the Premium or Ultimate package.
Classic – $24
The lowest priced paid-for package is that of the Classic plan. At a cost of $24, the Classic package will be suitable for the vast majority of circumstances. However, unlike the Simply Free plan, you will need to pay $29 if you want to initiate a state return for the state you live in (and $29 for each additional state).
Note: If you are actively serving in the military, you can use the Classic plan for free, albeit, you’ll still need to pay the $29 state charge.
Nevertheless, the Classic plan will give you direct access to all of the forms that you will be required to complete as part of your return. This is especially useful if you’re looking to add multiple deductions within your return. Moreover, the Classic option not only allows you to import the tax return you submitted from the previous year, but you can even import your most recent W-2. This makes the tax return process significantly faster.
You will also get assistance in the event that the IRS submits an enquiry regarding the tax return you file via TaxSlayer. Finally, and much like in the case of the free plan, if you do require human assistance from a professional tax advisor, then you’ll need to go with the Premium plan.
Premium – $37
Although the Premium package comes with all of the same features as the Classic option, it comes with an additional two perks that are well worth the money. First and foremost, while the Classic plan will see the TaxSlayer team assist you in the event that the IRS submit an inquiry on your return, this is only available for the first 12 months. On the contrary, the Premium plan extends this to three years.
However, the most useful benefit of the Premium plan is that you get direct support from one of TaxSlayer’s qualified tax specialists. This will come in handy when you are going through the step-by-step filing process and you are unsure how to proceed.
In fact, the support available within the Premium plan allows you to ask an unlimited amount of questions. In most cases, you’ll receive a response within one business day.
Take note, you will still need to pay $29 for each state return that you require.
Self-Employed – $47
Whether you’re a freelancer, contractor or small business owner – the taxes associated with self-employment can be a highly complex battleground. As such, the Self-Employed package at TaxSlayer will set you back $47.
Most specifically, the two forms in particular that you will likely be required to complete is the 1099-MISC and Schedule C. Although these forms can appear somewhat complicated if you have no experience in tax, the TaxSlayer platform simplifies the process through an on-screen questionnaire.
The software will then automatically complete the forms based on your answers. In the event that you are unsure how to answer the questionnaire, you have direct access to a qualified tax specialist – much like the Premium plan.
An added feature that is included within the Self-Employed plan is the automatic deduction finder. Based on your individual circumstances, the TaxSlayer software will seek to maximize the tax breaks you are entitled to. Finally, you’ll also have access to a dedicated self-employed tax guide which comes with a number of handy tips.
Ultimate – $57
The most expensive plan offered by TaxSlayer is that of its Ultimate package. You get all of the same features available in the Premium plan, with a couple of added benefits. This mainly centres on its ‘Front of the Line Support’ offering, meaning that you will get access to a tax advisor in real-time.
The Ultimate plan also gives you additional protections against a potential IRS enquiry. While the Premium plan offers assistance for upto three years, the Ultimate plan comes with complete defence and representation. For the additional $20, this is well worth it for the added peace of mind.
Finally, the Ultimate package also comes with identity theft and restoration protection for one year.
Additional Features Offered by TaxSlayer
On top of its highly competitive pricing plans, TaxSlayer comes with a number of additional benefits that are worth a mention.
- Zero Out of Pocket Fees – One of the best things about TaxSlayer is that you do not need to pay for your chosen package in advance if you are due a refund. Instead, the platform allows you to deduct your respective fee from your federal tax refund.
- Guaranteed Maximum Refund – We really like the Guaranteed Maximum Refund feature that TaxSlayer offers. Essentially, the platform will refund the fee that you paid if the TaxSlayer software did not get you the maximum refund you were entitled to. This shows us that the team at TaxSlayer are very confident in what the software can achieve.
- 100% Accuracy – For those unaware, filing a tax return with inaccuracies or missing information can lead to penalties at both a state and federal level. With that being said, TaxSlayer is so confident that the system will flag up any potential errors that it offers a 100% guarantee.
- As such, if you are charged a financial penalty on the back of submitting an incorrect tax return, TaxSlayer will not only refund your software fees, but they’ll also cover the charges.
- Payments and Refunds – As noted earlier, you can choose to pay your TaxSlayer fees as and when you receive your tax refund. However, this is only applicable in the event that the system identifies you are due a refund. Alternatively, you can settle your fees via a debit or credit card.
- In terms of receiving your tax refund, this will be deposited in to your current account or savings accounts. You can also opt to receive your refund via a check.
Customer Support and Public Reviews
Irrespective of the package you opt for, you can contact the customer support team for free via telephone or email. However, if the query is specifically related to your tax affairs, you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium, Self-Employed, or Ultimate package.
The main TaxSlayer contact number can be reached at: +1 706-922-6741
In terms of public reviews, TaxSlayer has an impeccable reputation in the online space. For example, the platform has a TrustPilot score of 8.6/10. Taking into account that this is across more than 4,600 individual reviews, this acts as an excellent indicator.
TaxSlayer Review: The Bottom Line?
So here beggars the question – Is TaxSlayer worth it? Ultimately, it’s difficult not to give the platform the thumbs up for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, if you’re filling a simple single/joint tax return, or you’re currently serving in the military, then you can use the platform for free. In the vast majority of cases, this will be sufficient.
However, at a cost of just $24, you have access to a number of notable features. This includes the ability to import your previous tax return, as well as your most recent W-2 form. Moreover, you get to include deductions and credits.
For an additional $13, you also have unlimited access to a specialist tax professional. This could be the difference between spending hours on-end struggling with a specific question, to getting it resolved straightaway by somebody that knows what they are doing.
We also like the guarantees that the TaxSlayer software offers. This includes a 100% accuracy guarantee, meaning that the platform is so confident it its ability to execute error-free tax returns that if a mistake does occur and you are financially penalized, TaxSlayer will pay the fees on your behalf.
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