If you pull up any list of the top tax preparation software programs available, there’s a good chance that TaxSlayer will be on it. Not only is it one of the most popular tax preparation software programs available, but it’s also one of the least expensive.

Their plans are also easy to understand so you can be confident in what you will pay TaxSlayer before you begin. In our TaxSlayer Review, we’ll go over the different plan options and additional support you have available and hopefully help you figure out whether or not you can complete your tax return for free, or have to spend as little as possible to match you with the proper plan.

TaxSlayer Review Pricing and Plans

taxslayer pricing and plans

TaxSlayer has the simplest plans of any tax software. If you are going to DIY, and don’t need expert tax advice, then the Simply Free or Classic plans are for you.

If you do want expert tax advice you’ll need to upgrade to either the Premium or Self-Employed plans. Since you don’t have to pay until you file you can start with Simply Free and upgrade if it’s necessary. Let’s have a look at each plan, the cost, and the benefits.

TaxSlayer Simply Free

TaxSlayer Simply Free is available only for those who file the simplest tax returns, including W-2 income, student loan interest, and education expenses.

Simply Free offers the following features:

  • Step-by-step instruction guide
  • Upload last year’s return
  • PDF Import
  • Real-time tax refund calculator
  • Email and phone support for tech questions
  • Prior year comparison
  • Prepare, print, and e-file your return

The support service will provide technical advice only. If you want tax advice you’ll need to switch to the Premium or Self-Employed versions.

  • Cost for Federal Return – $0
  • Cost for State Return – $0 (Single state allowed at this price)

TaxSlayer Classic

This is TaxSlayer’s most popular plan. TaxSlayer Classic includes any form you’ll need no matter what. It covers all income types and all deductions.

It accommodates homeowners, retirement income, interest, dividends, and other investment income. You can also use it for all tax credits, including the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit.

It offers all the features of the Simply Free edition, plus the following:

  • All major forms
  • Fast W2 import
  • PDF upload
  • Fast Fill Prior Year Info
  • IRS inquiry assistance on your federal return for up to one year

Like Simply Free, the support you’ll receive from TaxSlayer will be technical assistance only. If you have tax questions you’ll need to upgrade to Premium or Self-Employed.

  • Cost for Federal Return – $22.95
  • Cost for State Return – $39.95

TaxSlayer Premium

If you have tax questions you’ll need to upgrade at least to the TaxSlayer Premium plan. Like the Classic version, the plan provides support for all deductions, credits, and forms.

It includes all the features of TaxSlayer Classic, plus the following:

  • Unlimited email support from a tax professional
  • IRS Audit Assistance for three full years
  • Live chat technical support

This is the only plan that receives audit assistance, and you must efile to qualify.

  • Cost for Federal Return – $42.95
  • Cost for State Return – $39.95

TaxSlayer Self-Employed

If you have a 1099 income and have questions specifically related to being self-employed this is the version for you. You will get access to a tax expert who is specifically knowledgeable about self-employment as well as year-round tax tips to make things easier when it’s time to file next year.

TaxSlayer Self-Employed includes the following special features:

  • Access to a tax pro that has self-employed expertise
  • 1099 income guidance
  • Schedule C expense maximization
  • Quarterly estimated tax payment reminders
  • Year-round tax and income tips

TaxSlayer Self-Employed comes with all the features of TaxSlayer Premium but is designed specifically for self-employed tax filers.

  • Cost for Federal Return – $52.95
  • Cost for State Return – $39.95

TaxSlayer Military

The active-duty military will be able to prepare their tax returns using the TaxSlayer Classic edition for their federal return.

It applies to active-duty members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. To determine if you’re eligible for the free offer, you must enter your military identification number from your W2.

  • Cost for Federal Return – $0
  • Cost for State Return – $39.95

Related Reading: Best Free Tax Software

TaxSlayer Additional Features and Security

Audit Assistance


If you efile and use the Premium version of TaxSlayer, you’ll automatically have Audit Assistance for three years after you file the return. This service doesn’t speak to the IRS on your behalf but can answer any questions you have regarding an audit.

They do not offer users full audit support, not even for an additional fee.


Yes, TaxSlayer is safe and secure. They require complex passwords and use 2 2-factor authentication, which means they send a one-time use code to your phone that you’ll need to verify when you log in.

They also use SSL encryption as well as other technical systems to ensure your data is secure.

TaxSlayer Customer Support

TaxSlayer has three methods of contacting customer support. Phone, email and chat during normal business hours.

  1. Phone – (706) 922-6741
  2. Email & Chat – To contact TaxSlayer via email or to start a chat, visit this page which also contains an extensive list of FAQ’s.

TaxSlayer Pros and Cons


  1. Competitive pricing: TaxSlayer’s paid versions are less expensive than most of its competitors.
  2. Easy to understand plans: You can easily decide which plan is best for you so you’ll have no surprise costs when it’s time to file.


  1. Email support only: Email support responses can take 24 to 48 hours, which can be a concentration killer if you’re looking to complete your return quickly.
  2. Ask a Tax Pro isn’t a live feature: The Ask a Tax Pro feature isn’t instantaneous; you’ll submit questions and receive your answer within one business day. That removes the option to discuss a complicated tax situation directly, in case new questions arise.
  3. Limited audit assistance: The audit assistance is Q and A only. There is no direct representation for an IRS Audit, not even as a paid upgrade.

TaxSlayer Alternatives



TurboTax offers three levels of service across four plans. The service levels depend on how much help you want while doing your taxes and the plan covers different complexities of taxes.

The service levels are DIY, Live, and Full Service. With DIY you will receive no tax support and with Live you will get on-demand tax support from a real human over the phone. With Full Service, TurboTax will do your taxes for you.

The four plans are Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed. You can file for free with TurboTax Free Edition. (For simple tax returns only. Not all taxpayers qualify.) They do not have a plan that covers all situations like TaxSlayer does, that said, the plan that would fit most taxpayers is likely Deluxe which is $69 for federal and $59 for each state return.

However, if you have rental property, investments, or a small business you’ll need a more expensive plan.

TurboTax does offer a few services that TaxSlayer does not. They offer full audit support for an additional fee and live help from a tax pro. TaxSlayer only offers email support.

Read our TurboTax Review

H&R Block

h&r block

H&R Block also has four plans. They are as follows:

  • Free (simple returns only)
  • Deluxe: $29.75 for federal and $37 for each state return
  • Premium: $55.25 for federal and $37 for each state return
  • Self-Employed: $72.25 for federal and $37 for each state return

None of these plans offer any tax support, however, H&R Block does offer live tax support (in person or virtual) starting at $85 and presumably going up from there depending on how complex your return is.

Note that H&R Block offers in-person tax prep, including the option to just drop it off and have it done for you. This isn’t something you’ll find in every tax software.

For audit assistance, H&R Block offers informational help with all their returns for life. You can also upgrade to full audit support and H&R Block will deal with the IRS on your behalf.

Read our H&R Block Review



TaxAct offers four plans and all of them include access to a tax expert, including the free version.

  • Free (simple returns only)
  • Deluxe: $29.99 for federal and $39.95 for each state return
  • Premier: $39.99 for federal and $39.95 for each state return
  • Self-Employed: $69.95 for federal and $39.95 for each state return

Access to a tax expert automatically is a nice feature. The way it works is you email your question and then an expert calls you when they are available.

For an additional fee, TaxAct offers full audit support for three years after you file.

Read our TaxAct Review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is TaxSlayer Free?

Yes, if you have a simple return you can file both your federal and one state for free You can also get started for free and then upgrade if needed. You don’t pay until you file.

Do I Have to Use the Self-Employed Version if I Receive 1099 Income?

No, you can use Classic for all tax situations. However, if you have a lot of questions specifically about being self-employed upgrading to the Self-Employed version may be useful.

You can start with Classic and see how it goes. If you need to upgrade to Self-Employed you can do so at any time.

Can I Use TaxSlayer if I Have Crypto Investments?

Yes, TaxSlayer does support crypto investments. You’ll need to use at least the Classic version as crypto investments won’t qualify for the free version. If you have questions, you’ll want to upgrade to Premium so you have access to a tax pro.

Should You File Your Taxes with TaxSlayer?

TaxSlayer is very competitive in price and offers an easy-to-understand suite of plans. However, if you want access to a tax professional or audit assistance you may be disappointed.

If you just need to file your taxes and are confident in doing so without a lot of support then TaxSlayer is the perfect choice. Take your time, allow the software to take you through all of the steps you need to file a tax return, and know your potential refund is as good as you’ll find with any other software.


Michael Pruser

Plan Options
Audit Support & Features
Customer Service
Mobile App & Usability


TaxSlayer is one of the best places to file your taxes. Plan options are inexpensive and easy to use and the software guides you along the way, ensuring your tax return is filed perfectly.



  • Michael Pruser

    Michael is a graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in Mathematics. He's worked in the personal finance realm for more than 15 years, writing for Lending Tree, Business Insider, and many others. If you can't find him speaking at a financial conference, he's likely creating data-driven algorithms for fun.