TaxSlayer Review - Filing Options for Every Budget
The name says it all. Slay your taxes. And for free or for a really good bargain. We’ll give you all the details about this software in our TaxSlayer Review.
- File your state tax return for free
- Affordable premium editions
- Tax Refund Calculator
Resources: Cheapest Tax Software
Taxslayer actually has a long and deep history. It goes all the way back to 1965, when Aubrey Rhodes, Senior, founded Rhodes, Murphy and Company in Augusta, Georgia. The company continued to develop, and to increasingly rely on technology as the years passed. The software actually began to develop in 1989, enabling the firm to complete tax returns online.
The software was officially named TaxSlayer in 1991. It also has parallel versions for bookkeeping services, as well as online accounting and payroll. It is now one of the most popular tax preparation software programs available.
All versions enable you to prepare, print and e-file your return. And other than the Simply Free version, all versions offer all major tax forms.
TaxSlayer offers a wealth of features and tools to make tax preparation fast, easy and stress-free.
Zero Out of Pocket Fees. You can file your tax return, and pay any TaxSlayer filing fees out of your refund. This allows you to file your return with no upfront costs. Naturally you’ll need to be receiving a federal refund to take advantage of this arrangement. You’ll also need to provide a valid phone number, email address, and bank account information.
Guaranteed Maximum Refund. If you don’t get the maximum tax refund you’re entitled to, TaxSlayer will refund the price you paid for your software. To qualify for the refund, you’ll have to show that another tax preparation software would entitle you to either a larger refund or a smaller tax liability using the same data.
NOTE: This offer does not extend to the TaxSlayer Simply Free edition, since there’s no cost to use the service in the first place.
100% Accuracy Guarantee. TaxSlayer will check your return for errors and missing data to make sure your return is accurate. If the IRS or your state tax agency imposes any interest or penalties as a result of incorrect information due to TaxSlayer, they will reimburse you for any such charges.
Deduction Finder. This tool helps you find the deductions based on your tax situation.
IRS Audit Assistance. In the event of an IRS audit, TaxSlayer will work with you to resolve whatever the issue is. With the Ultimate edition, you’ll also receive audit defense and representation before the IRS.
Prior Year Comparisons. If you’re a prior year TaxSlayer filer, you can pull information from last year’s return to do a side-by-side comparison with this year’s results.
Tax Refund Calculator. This tool allows you to estimate your 2018 federal income tax refund. All you need to do is answer a few questions, and the calculator will give you an idea of the refund you can expect.
TaxSlayer offers five different plans, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
- TaxSlayer Simply Free
- TaxSlayer Classic
- TaxSlayer Premium
- TaxSlayer Self-Employed
- TaxSlayer Ultimate
- TaxSlayer Military Offer
Let’s take a look at the features of each plan below.
As the name implies, this version allows you to file a free federal income tax return and a state tax return. Nor is there any cost for the software itself.
Simply Free is available only for those who file form 1040EZ.
Simply Free offers the following features:
- Step-by-step instruction guide
- PDF import
- Real time tax refund calculator
- FREE email and phone support
- TaxSlayer Deduction Finder
The support service will provide technical advice, as well as assistance in finding answers and solutions to your tax preparation questions and problems.
This is TaxSlayer’s most popular plan. The fee for this edition is $17, plus $29 for each state tax return filed. You can use this version to file most types of tax returns, including if you have dependents.
It offers all the features of the Simply Free edition, plus the following:
- All Major Forms
- Step-by-step instruction guide
- Fast W2 Import
- Fast Fill Prior Year Info
- Prior Year Comparison
This edition is for more complicated tax returns, and comes with a price of $37 for the federal return, plus $29 for each additional state return filed.
It includes all the features of TaxSlayer Classic, plus the following:
- IRS Audit Assistance
- Live Chat Support
- Priority Support
- Ask a Tax Pro
This version is specifically for the self-employed, though it is also the edition of choice for contractors, freelancers, and anyone who receives compensation by IRS form 1099. The price for the federal return is $47, plus $29 for each state return filed.
TaxSlayer Self-Employed comes with all the features of TaxSlayer Premium, but is designed specifically for self-employed tax filers.
Here you’ll find exactly what the name implies, the “ultimate peace of mind.” This includes IRS defense and representation for up to three years in case of an audit. You’ll also receive identity theft protection and restoration for a year after you file.
Other benefits include help from tax professionals when preparing your filing and front of the line privilege–jump to the head of the line and get unlimited support via phone email or live chat! You’ll also find a handy guide that goes through the new tax law and walks you through everything you need to know before you file. The price for the federal return is $57, plus $29 for each state return filed.
Active duty military will be able to prepare their tax returns using the TaxSlayer Classic edition for your federal return. It comes with all the features of the classic version, except that you can e-file your federal return for free.
There is a fee of $29 to prepare and file your first state income tax return. Each additional state return is also $29.
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.
To begin the TaxSlayer sign up process, you first need to create an account. You’ll be required to provide your email address and mobile phone, and then to create a username and password.
You can download your tax return from another online tax service or tax preparer, simply by downloading a PDF and uploading it to TaxSlayer. That will save you a whole lot of data input, and speed up the process overall. You can also upload your W2, saving you even more time.
TaxSlayer ahere’s to regulatory, security, and privacy standards applicable to the tax preparation industry. They make use of firewalls, intrusion detection systems, web application firewalls, encryption, access control, network isolation, auditing systems, data classifications, and data obfuscation.
In addition to the web application, TaxSlayer is also available for your mobile device. It can be downloaded on The App Store for iOS devices (9.0 and later), and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It’s also available on Google Play for Android devices, 4.1 and up. The app has all the functionality of the web version.
Customer service is available by both phone and email, and for all TaxSlayer editions. However, email responses can take between 24 and 48 hours.
If you need additional help, live chat is available with the Ultimate, Premium and Self-Employed editions. Taxslayer employees on-staff IRS enrolled agents and tax preparers who can work on a solution to your tax problem. This is designed to provide you with a quick and accurate return, with the hands-on support you need. Live chat is available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Saturdays 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Sundays, noon to 5:00 PM.
Priority Support is available with the Premium and Self-employed editions and the Ultimate edition allows you to get to the front of the line through email, live chat, or by phone.
- You can file your state tax return for free with TaxSlayer Simply Free. Most of the other popular free tax software will offer free filing on the federal, but charges from $13 to $30 to file your state return.
- TaxSlayer’s premium editions are less expensive than most of its competitors.
- The Guaranteed Maximum Refund entitles you to a refund of the fee paid for the software, if a competing tax preparation software will produce either a larger refund, or a smaller tax liability.
- The Tax Refund Calculator allows you to determine your refund--or whether you owe--quickly and easily. That can take a lot of the stress out of income tax preparation since the outcome is no longer uncertain.
- Email support responses can take 24 to 48 hours, which can be a concentration killer if you’re looking to complete your return quickly.
- Simply Free is available for 1040EZ filers only, though this is typical of free filing services.
There are several tax preparation software services available, and the best strategy is to find one you’re most comfortable working with, but more importantly, will best match the service level you’re looking for.
TaxSlayer is generally best for taxpayers with relatively simple tax situations. But if yours is more complicated, and particularly if there’s even a remote possibility of facing an audit, you may want to consider other plans. For example, TaxAct accommodates somewhat more complicated tax returns, and does provide assistance if you are audited.
However, for complicated returns, and particularly those that have a higher likelihood of an audit, better options might be Liberty Tax Online or H&R Block. Both offer online tax preparation software, but also have live agents available to represent you in an audit. Each is also at least a bit more expensive than TaxSlayer.
Probably the best software for the most complicated returns is TurboTax. It’s not only the most popular, but it’s also the most comprehensive. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive, and you’ll have to weigh that out against your tax situation. But you can purchase an audit defense package for a very modest amount of money, if that’s a major consideration.
If you’re looking for one of the lower cost tax preparation software plans, TaxSlayer is well worth closer investigation. You can choose the plan level that suits your tax situation, and of course, you can always trade up to another edition if your taxes end up being more complicated than you originally thought.
The software provides all the information and tools you need to prepare a professional grade tax return. And even the budget priced Classic version can accommodate all tax forms. That means most taxpayers will be able to prepare their returns for just $17 for the federal return, and $29 for the state return, if your state has an income tax.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to order the software, visit the TaxSlayer website.