Blucora’s TaxAct is a proprietary do-it-yourself tax preparation software platform that is available for both desktop and online users. As a digital product provider, TaxAct comes third in the market after H&R Block and Intuit’s TurboTax. In terms of cost to the consumer, TaxAct prices are cheaper than either those of H&R Block or TurboTax. Like the two, TaxAct offers free email support, tax guides, and resources to help users file along the way.
The following Taxact prices are estimates only.
TaxAct Do-It Yourself Software
|Simple tax returns, includes free state (1040EZ)||$0.00|
|Federal + State||$0.00|
|Filers with dependents, retirement income, or college expenses||$14.95|
|State Additional (Basic)||$17.00|
|Homeowners, itemizers and filers with investments||$29.95|
|State Additional (Plus)||$37.00|
|Independent contractors and self-employed filers||$44.95|
|State Additional (Freelancer)||$37.00|
|All types of filers seeking ultimate peace of mind||$59.95|
|State Additional (Premium)||$37.00|
Products and Services
TaxAct downloadable desktop products are available in four categories – Free, Basic, Plus, and Premium. Its less expensive online products come in three categories – Free, Plus, and Premium. For each category, there is a step-by-step screen-by-screen instruction on how to use the software. There are also optional features that can be bought and bundled in with each package to fit any particular tax situation. Online tax returns are encrypted and stored on the TaxAct servers while desktop returns are stored locally on the user’s computer.
TaxAct also has its own mobile apps for smartphones and tablets for both iOS and Android platforms, like the TaxACT Express for the preparation of simple returns, the Tax Return Status by TaxACT for those who want to learn the status of their returns, and the TaxACT DocVault for storing receipts and other tax-related documents as they are received throughout the year.
TaxAct products, both for the online and desktop users, are further segmented based on the complexity of the tax filer’s return. For instance, TaxAct Premium includes everything in the Plus, Basic and Free editions, but additionally it also contains features for those who have to make itemized returns, for home and rental property owners, for investors, for the self-employed, for contractors and freelancers, and for others with relatively complicated tax situations.
There are also specialized TaxAct software products for business firms that are available in four categories – Sole Proprietor (Form 1020, Schedule C), Partnership/LLC (Form 1065), C Corporation (Form 1120), and S Corporation (Form1120S). There is a separate TaxAct product for Tax-Exempt Organizations (Form 990). There is also a special TaxAct product for Estates & Trusts (Form 1041).
The company has in place several payment plans for multiple TaxAct cost schedules. If the Free edition is no longer suitable for a customer’s needs, he or she can at any time easily upgrade to a paid plan. The information already entered in the software need not be re-entered. The TaxAct price schedule is shown below [to be supplied by client]. As with most digital service providers, TaxAct follows a freemium business model for its online pricing – starting at $0 and adding fees along the way based on the complexity of the user’s tax return.
TaxAct products are also all covered by a 100% accuracy guarantee, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a maximum refund pledge. Unlike its major competitors, the company’s online products come with a unique “price lock guarantee,” meaning you pay the price listed for the product at the time you started your return. Users won’t be required or nagged to upgrade to a higher paid plan to complete the process.
Pros and Cons
Compared with H&R Block and TurboTax, TaxAct has a relatively more limited human support for customers. It also does not offer a refund bonus for those who would prefer to receive their refund as a gift card like the other two. But on the plus side, TaxAct still offers the cheapest, no-frills and no-nag digital tax preparation software products in the market today. It also has the most handy and most useful tax preparation mobile apps that users can download from the Apple and Google stores.
For more information about Taxact, visit their official website.