TaxSlayer Review in 2022 With Pros, Cons & is it worth?

Last Updated on Mar 31, 2022

TaxSlayer is a privately owned company conducting business in tax prep and financial technology. It also has technological products and services for HR/Payroll, legal, and bookkeeping purposes.

It is based in Augusta, Georgia, headquartered in Evans, Georgia. TaxSlayer has received recognition for its offerings by NATP and IRS.  TaxSlayer received an award from IRS in 2015 for its vita TaxSlayer program and TCE program that offers a long-term contract for elderly, disabled, low-income groups, and people with less experience with the English language worldwide. TaxSlayer has also been recognized as one of the top software for tax professionals in the United States. 

Features

TaxSlayer has its product offerings to look forward to that you might need to learn about if you are thinking of DIY your tax returns. One of the things that TaxSlayer LLC is known for is its sports scholarships. It serves not just the people who want to DIY their taxes but a variety of segments that include tax professionals, volunteers and the elderly, and consumers around the globe.

  • Navigation

The navigation process of TaxSlayer software is quite simple and easy to understand. It has all the pages listed in the main menu, wherein you can find the ones you need and get on with the filing. You can also understand what each form stands for with the help of the ‘Know More’ buttons beside each state. Also, you have a relatively visual representation of each form, which helps you understand what each of those forms is used for. 

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  • User Interface

The user interface design of the product is straightforward and gives a premium feel to the software. You can take a guided approach for filing your tax returns if you feel the need, or select the forms you need and start with them. While it is pretty simple to navigate, the manual entry part might be a hiccup along the way. 

  • Pricing packages

TaxSlayer software offers various pricing plans for people with different tax filing requirements. You can file your tax returns for free if you have simple filing requirements. But, it is very restrictive and lets you claim student loan credit, but if you need to claim a child tax credit or Earned Income Credit, you would need to upgrade to the paid version. It offers classic, premium, and self-employed plans for various tax filing needs. Depending upon the complexity of your tax return, you can opt from the given plans.

  • Targeted programs

TaxSlayer has the basic tax prep software features like any other software in the market. It has a vita TaxSlayer program for older adults’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and a TCE program. These are some of the distinguishing features of the software.

  • Expert Guidance

TaxSlayer Support has a FAQ section and some articles to help you with the typical queries you might encounter while filing your tax return. Also, there is an option for a one-to-one tax advice section from the experts through which you can connect with the experts via live chat or call and resolve your queries and get help filing your returns. This feature comes included in the premium package. While this may come in handy for filing taxes on your own, the software is more suited for those who are either professionals or have years of experience filing their returns. 

Pro & Cons

Now that we have considered the features, let’s get a good look at which components are in your favor and what demerits the software has in store for you.

Pros :-

  • Cost-effective

TaxSlayer is a cost-effective tax prep software that gives you the feel of premium software at an affordable cost. It fulfills all your basic needs, with a considerable price difference compared to its competitor products in the market. It has a free version that allows you to file simple tax returns. For more complex returns, you need to upgrade to premium; here is where you can differentiate between the costs. 

  • User interface

TaxSlayer user interface designs help you focus on the return process solely one thing at a time. The main menu opens the path to all the forms and filing requirements making it accessible and user-friendly. It is easy to navigate and understand. 

  • Support

The TaxSlayer support page has various options to resolve all of your queries. Once you navigate the page, you may find multiple articles about frequently encountered issues. You can resolve such problems with the help of these articles or directly contact the support team via emails, live chat, or call. This support feature is available in all the pricing packages. 

  • stimulus credits

TaxSlayer has a different section looted to stimulus payments and credits that you can find from the main menu. All the credit options available under The American Rescue Plan are listed there, and you can select the ones that apply to you and get started. It helps you get your credits sorted in one place. 

  • Free version 

TaxSlayer offers a ‘simply free’ version for those who have simple tax filing. You can quickly get your taxes done for free under this package if you fall under any of the below-mentioned criteria:

  • Need to file a W-2 form
  • Claim only Student loan and interest credit
  • If your Annual Gross Income is less than $100000
  • Maximum Refund guarantee

If you enter all the information correctly, TaxSlayer offers a maximum refund guarantee. But, this can be tricky if you are not careful while filling in the data since everything needs to be entered manually, and there is no option to import files for 1099 and sync from any supported institutions or banks to get that sorted for you.

Cons :-

  • Manual entry

TaxSlayer fulfills all the basic requirements of a taxpayer at an affordable rate. Still, a significant drawback is that there is no option to import your data for 1099 from supported institutions for the data. You have to fill in all the information manually. The process becomes tedious and time-consuming because of this drawback. Also, there is a high chance of mistakes, and you may lose on the refund; otherwise, you might be availing.

  • Time-consuming

Due to the need for manual entry, the process of filing tax returns becomes time-consuming. Since you can not import data for 1099 from a supported institution or bank at once, you have to enter all the information independently. This takes up waya more time than usual and becomes unnecessarily cumbersome. This can act as a major hiccup in your filing process and refund.

  • Suitable for experienced people

The TaxSlayer software has a guided option for the filing process, or you can take the DIY approach. But, the more effective one is the DIY process, and it is more suited for professionals. 

Moreover, it requires manually completing the whole process, which might be difficult for the fresher or people filing taxes for the first time. It needs several years of experience to use this software to the fullest.

  • Restrictive Free version 

TaxSlayer, like any other tax prep software, offers a free filing option for simple tax returns. You can avail this option if you fit into any of the given categories:

  • You need to file a W-2 form
  • You only have a student loan and interest to claim against your income
  • You earn less than $100000 a year

Although it offers a relatively simple free filing option, the biggest drawback is that it is very restrictive. If you need anything more than the list above, you would need to upgrade to the classic paid version at the very least. This holds true even if you need to claim a child tax credit or earned income credit.

Price & Specifications

TaxSlayer software offers a variety of pricing plans ranging from the Simply free plan to a self-employed plan. You can file your tax return for free if you are to file a simple tax return with only the student loan claim against your income but anything more than that, and you would need a paid version of the software. 

While considering the software prices, it comes with a very reasonable deal compared to the competitors out there in the market. Let’s explore the offering in each of the pricing plans offered by TaxSlayer.

  • Simply Free

The Simply free pricing plan is offered for simple tax filing, including filing a W-2 form and claiming student loans and interest against your income. You can also avail this option if your annual gross income is less than $100000. 

If you need to claim any other credit or additional forms, you need to upgrade to the classic paid version of the software. All the pricing plans, including the free version, have free email and call support.

  • Classic

This pricing plan includes all the forms and credits over and above the things offered under the Simply Free plan. The classic paid plan of this product includes all the deductions and adjustment options to claim against your income. This plan should satisfy almost all of your requirements since it doesn’t have any kind of restrictions on schedules or form types. The pricing plan is available at $29.95 for federal returns, the best price for a premium feel a product like TaxSlayer. For every state return, you have to pay an additional $39.95.

  • Premium

The premium pricing plan is inclusive of everything that the classic version offers and an option of live expert support over and above that. It gives you the privilege of priority email and phone support. 

Moreover, a few more distinguishing features are offered in this plan, i.e., IRS Audit assistance for 3 years and unlimited assistance. This allows you to have expert guidance along the way and be sure that you are filing accurate tax returns. All this is available at a bargain deal of $49.95 for federal returns and an additional $39.9 for every state return that you might file. 

  • Self Employed

The self-employed version is the most expensive of them all. It includes all the benefits of the premium version and added expert assistance for maximizing refund on your tax filing. This includes:

  • Help with 1099 income
  • Tax expert assistance with expertise in self-employment filing
  • Personalized guide on taxes for self-employed
  • Tax assistance all year
  • Quarterly tax payment reminders

All this comes at a pricing plan of $59.95 for federal return filing and an additional $39.95 for each state tax return.

TaxSlayer Alternatives

After evaluating the TaxSlayer software on its own, let’s try and compare it with other options available in the market for tax filing. The two prominent names you would come across in the U.S. market are Turbotax and H&R block. Let’s compare them individually against TaxSlayer and try to understand the better alternative to fit your unique requirements.

  • TurboTax

TaxSlayer and TurboTax have similar user interfaces and a premium feels to the platform. TurboTax has faster navigation and automated importing of data for filing the reports. You can directly import your 1099 income data from supporting institutions with TurboTax, while with TaxSlayer, you have to do it all manually. 

With the more expensive self-employed version, you also have an option to import your bookkeeping data from quick books if you choose to file your return with TurboTax. 

Keeping the cost in mind, TaxSlayer comes at a very low price compared to TurboTax. The priority service feature is included in the premium version of TaxSlayer, while an additional $60 needs to be paid to avail of the same element with TurboTax. 

Depending upon your priority while selecting the tax prep software, you can choose Turbotax for performance and hassle-free filing or TaxSlayer if costing is a major deciding factor. 

  • H&R Block

H&R Block competes with TurboTax and alikes. While it may be less expensive than TurboTax, it has prominent features and similar pricing plans, which means that the service offering with H&R Block is more potent than that of TaxSlayer. 

TaxSlayer and H&R Block both offer free filing versions but the one with TaxSlayer is quite restrictive. H&R Block is more user-friendly for new filers than TaxSlayer, most suited for professionals and experienced filers. Both the software have the highest prized packages for self-employed.

H&R Block offers offline support in addition to the online support assistance that TaxSlayer also provides. Against that, the price point at which TaxSlayer operates is way more affordable than H&R Block. 

Is there any discount on TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer offers 35% discounts this year until April 18, 2022. If you are self-employed or have complex filing requirements, it might not be as smooth as you would like it to be. But, it can be a cost-effective solution for you, primarily attributing to its discounts on the federal filings this year. You can avail this offer right away; no promo code is required for the same.

TaxSlayer Support 

TaxSlayer support has many ways to resolve your queries. Firstly, you can go through the FAQs and articles already available on the platform. When you navigate to the support page, you can go in-depth and get answers to your questions. They also have some articles available for better understanding. 

If you don’t get an answer still, you have an option to get your query resolved through email, chat, or call. The email option takes about 24-72 hours to give you a solution. For quick resolution, you go to live chat or contact the support team at 706-922-6741.

TaxSlayer Stimulus

As relief from the pandemic, the American government has introduced the American rescue plan for those in need. Each eligible tax-paying citizen is qualified to receive a payment of $1400 individually and an additional $1400 for each person claimed s a dependant. 

The child tax credit, family and sick leave for self-employed people, and third stimulus recovery rebate credit are all included as a part of the covid-19 relief section. 

It is divided into three sections for the things mentioned earlier, and you can fill in the details and claim the said credit while filing your taxes through TaxSlayer. 

Vita TaxSlayer Pro

TaxSlayer has focused offerings for IRS vita and TCE programs. It was recognized and awarded for the same. This specific product has everything a person would need inbuilt. It is an all-inclusive software with its mobile app. The vita TaxSlayer Pro offers unlimited support for filing and integration with bank products to make the process smooth. 

It has 3 pricing plans -Classic, Premium, and Web. The classic plan offers an unlimited 1040 program and the primary offerings mentioned earlier.  The premium plan takes it up a notch and offers unlimited e-filing and digital signature compatibility. Ultimately, the Web plan provides everything Premium offers and tops it up with cloud-based software for tax filing.

FAQs

1: What’s the difference between TurboTax and TaxSlayer?

TurboTax and Tax slayer are similar in the user interface, but TurboTax has faster navigation and a more substantial offering with hassle-free filing. Both the software differ based on consumer preference, whether you give priority to easy filing or costing. Turbotax allows you to import your files directly into the software for ease of filing, while with TaxSlayer, it is all done manually. As against that, TaxSlayer is quite affordable when compared to TurboTax. 

2: Is TaxSlayer completely free?

TaxSlayer has a ‘simply free’ option available for filing your taxes, but the free option here is very restrictive and supports only if you have a basic 1040 form. If you have only student loan expenses to claim, that is available in the tax-free version. You would need to upgrade to the classic version for anything more than that. 

You can avail the free version and would be sufficient in case you are eligible under any of the below-given categories:

  • Need to file a W-2 form
  • Claim only Student loan and interest credit
  • If your Annual Gross Income is less than $100000

3: Is it worth paying for TaxSlayer?

TaxSlayer has easy to use interface and navigation process. It has a free version for simple filing returns, but it is very restrictive. Usually, you would have to upgrade to the classic paid version for filing your taxes. It offers all the forms and credit options you might require to file your tax returns successfully. But, everything has to be updated manually; no 1099 import option from a supported institution is available for this product. This becomes time-consuming and takes up a lot of time. If you are comfortable with the lengthy process and cost is your primary concern, TaxSlayer is worth considering. But, this software may not be worth your while for those who need to get things done smoothly and without putting in unnecessary efforts.

4: How can I get TaxSlayer for free?

You can file your taxes for free with TaxSlayer Simply Free plan. You are eligible to avail of this Simply Free plan if you are filing a simple tax return for federal and state tax filing. It is also applicable if you earn less than $10000 and don’t have any dependents. With this plan, you can file a simple w-2 form and claim student loans and interest credits against your income. You need to upgrade to a paid version for filing a child tax credit or any other requirements. 

5: Does the IRS own TaxSlayer?

No.  TaxSlayer is not owned by IRS. It is a privately owned company based in Augusta, Georgia, and headquartered in Evans, Georgia. 

5: Where can I get my taxes done for free?

If you have a simple tax filing requirement or just need to claim student loan credit for your tax filing purpose, TaxSlayer is your answer for free tax filing. TaxSlayer offers a free option available for these purposes. You would need to upgrade to the classic paid version for anything more than that, i.e., child tax credit or health credit.

6: Is TaxSlayer good for the self-employed?

TaxSlayer offers the most cost-effective package for self-employed tax filing among the available alternatives. But that comes with a catch. TaxSlayer does not support importing data for 1099 income from any institution or bank, which has to be done manually. This major drawback makes the filing process with TaxSlayer time-consuming and cumbersome. If you focus solely on cost, TaxSlayer is a good option for self-employed filing, but if you consider the time and efforts needed for the filing process, TaxSlayer might not be worth it for you. 

7: What bank does TaxSlayer use for fees?

TaxSlayer offers zero out-of-pocket fees service. This means that you just need to file your taxes for the time being, and the software fees will be deducted from your refund amount. This can be a great alternative if you do not wish to use a credit card or pay upfront for the service. TaxSlayer has partnered with Civista Bank to make this service available.

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