TaxSlayer Tax Software
TaxSlayer is an online tax filing program that has some attractive features. You can use this affordable, user-friendly software to e-file both state and federal tax returns. It provides access to most all IRS forms you need to include. Active military members can use the product free of charge. You can also file amended returns with TaxSlayer, which is handy if you have old returns you want to rework to reduce your tax bill.
TaxSlayer Products & Fees
TaxSlayer Classic allows you to easily prepare and e-file your federal return with additional forms and support. The program works on your laptop or desktop computer, tablet and mobile device. It features a step-by-step deduction guide, all the major forms and schedules, and the ability to source prior tax-year information.
You can prepare, e-file and print your tax return form the Classic version. There is a PDF import feature, and you can also use the prior year's comparison feature. TaxSlayer Classic is available online at $12.99. You may also file your state return with this version for an additional $14.99.
The TaxSlayer premium edition is tax return software with all the bells and whistles. This edition has all the features included in the classic edition. Beyond that, it offers audit assistance, live chat support, and priority support allowing premium users to jump to the front of the line for a quicker support response via email, chat or by phone.
Best of all is the "ask a tax professional" feature. Premium edition users may submit tax questions and a professionally trained tax professional will personally assist you in finding a solution. This is a fantastic feature if you have dependent children, as you can ask them for help with confusing items such as the child tax credit, or the additional child tax credit. If you qualify for these credits and fill out the forms properly, it puts significant sums of money back in your pocket.
TaxSlayer premium edition costs $34.99 to file your federal forms, and an additional $14.99 to file state forms.
The Basic edition of TaxSlayer is free. It allows you to prepare, e-file and print your taxes, includes the deduction finder and PDF import features and comes with phone and email support. However, it only works for those with form 1040-EZ, limiting its use to those with a very simple tax picture.
If you need help, or are unsure about filling out your tax return, TaxSlayer provides a guided version covering important points such as your dependents, house and employment. The guided version also checks for errors prior to filing. As you go through the tour, you can add notes if you don't have all necessary information on hand at the moment, allowing you to return later and add it.
You also can choose to turn off the guided tour function and enter information manually in the critical income and deduction sections. If you are unfamiliar with the form 1040, or intimidated by the prospect of tackling your returns, the guided choice provides confidence that you are on the beam, allowing you to sail ahead. For those who know the ropes, it's easy to forge ahead without the guide. Simply select either "enter income myself" or "guide me through income".
TaxSlayer's Life Events Guide
You don't need to be a slick accountant, or understand the details of the tax code to take advantage of some of the less-known opportunities to decrease your tax bill. TaxSlayer provide a "life events" section that serves questions about tax matters like how your housing situation affects your tax bill. You can answer "yes" to learn more, or "no" if you want to move to the next question.
The life events guide presents you with a chronology of major life events that have an impact on the rate you are taxed at, such as buying or selling a house, making investments, or having a child. You skip over events that do not apply and work with the ones that affect your tax return. The user friendly interface takes the fear and hesitation out of the process whether you choose to pilot yourself, or use the guide feature. At the end of the life events guide, TaxSlayer produces a summary of what you need to include with your return.
Compare with Prior Years
TaxSlayer allows users to compare their current return with prior-year returns, which can streamline handling your current return. For most of us, our returns do not change too much from year to year. We fill out the same schedules and forms with similar information. The "prior year" function models what you've done on tax forms in the past. If this is your first year using TaxSlayer, you can fill out the past returns manually for comparison.
The prior year's tool is a more useful feature for those who have used the software before, as it could be a daunting task to fill out prior years manually. If you use this feature, realize that you must track any changes that could require filling out new forms, or dropping old ones. The life events function helps with year-to-year changes, but keep your eyes peeled.
Some reviewers note that TaxSlayer lacks advanced tools to deal with more sophisticated tax returns. For example, there are no tools to chart industry specific deductions, and limited information for those who own rental property. There is also no TaxSlayer user forum where you can work our issues with other users and tax professionals.
Customer Support at TaxSlayer
A professional support agent will assist you in finding a solution to your question via phone or email with all versions of TaxSlayer. A great feature of the Premium version of the program is live chat support. There is an online knowledge base at their support center page which is pretty good.
You can contact representatives by email or if you are in the military by telephone as well. Premium members are able to benefit from additional perks such as advice from tax professionals and assistance with auditing. The system has good consumer reviews on sites such as Knoji.com, epnions, and Yelp. It also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Verdict - Fair
With TaxSlayer, you can create a simple or complex 1040 on your own, stress-free, within minutes. TaxSlayer has low-priced, straightforward pricing and easy-to-use software that can help anyone create an accurate return.
Thanks to its efficiency, accuracy, ease of use, and affording pricing, TaxSlayer is an online tax service that could suit a wide range of people.