TaxSlayer Review for 2019: Easy to Use and Fast Refund

 

TaxSlayer.com_Logo_standardIt’s true–most people don’t enjoy doing their taxes. But with the right tax filing software, it can at least be quick and straightforward. If you’re searching for an accurate and inexpensive solution, TaxSlayer is a good option.

If you’ve thought about doing your own taxes this year, you’ve probably looked at different tax preparation software. Before deciding on how you will file your taxes, it’s good to take a look at several different alternatives.

To help you narrow down your choices, this TaxSlayer review will go over the software’s capabilities, ease of use, plans, and pricing, as well as some of its features. This will help you decide if it’s a good fit for your particular situation.

In essence, TaxSlayer is a trusted, easy-to-use online tax service with a free option and many premium services. They also have a unique refund cash advance option.

Read on to find out if TaxSlayer may work for preparing your tax return this year.

What is TaxSlayer?

TaxSlayer is a tax preparation software that offers affordable options for doing your own taxes. When the pro version was first introduced in 1993, it was marketed to professional tax preparers, accountants and CPAs.

Five years later, the company used the same technology to develop an individual online tax preparation software. The software allows you to file your taxes on the go from any laptop or mobile device.

TaxSlayer Screen and Mobile

How Long Does it Take to Get a Tax Refund from TaxSlayer?

Getting your tax refund with TaxSlayer can take as little as 24 hours and up to 21 days. Why such a wide range? It really depends on what option you choose to get your refund. Below are the different ways you can get your
money:

Refund Advance

This unique feature is basically an early tax refund anticipation loan for qualified filers using the Classic or higher versions. There are no upfront fees or interest. This type of service used to only be available when filing taxes with traditional brick-and-mortar companies such as Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block.

TaxSlayer Advance Cash Advance of Refund

For those who qualify, the funds will be deposited onto a TaxSlayer prepaid debit card within as little as 24 hours of acceptance by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There are two loan options: $500 or $1,000.

If you do end up getting a refund anticipation loan, the amount will be deducted from your tax refund and you will receive the balance. The entire process is 100 percent online and can be a great option if you need money quickly.

Direct Deposit

This option allows you to have your refund deposited directly into your checking or savings account. You can file your federal and state refund electronically and take advantage of going the direct deposit route.

It usually takes anywhere between 10 to 21 days to get your money based on the IRS and state refund cycles. This is the second fastest way to get your money if you don’t qualify for the refund advance option.

Debit Card

Another great option–particularly if you don’t have a bank account–is to have your refund directly deposited onto a TaxSlayer Prepaid Visa® Debit Card. With this option, you’ll have access to your funds within 21 days once the IRS accepts your return.

Mailed Check

If you don’t have a checking or savings account, you can have a check mailed to you. Keep in mind that the check will be issued to the mailing address listed on your accepted tax return.

Going this route means you will have to wait between 18 and 28 days to get your refund in the mail.

Is TaxSlayer Easy to Use?

Overall, the tax software is fairly easy to use with a clean interface and helpful videos throughout. It offers enhanced guided navigation, which helps the user figure out what to do next when filling out the tax return information.

If the program detects an error when you are going through the prompts, it will highlight the error and won’t let you proceed to the next step until it’s fixed.

Of course, you want to be sure to have all necessary data before getting started filling out your return with TaxSlayer. This just helps to make your e-file smooth and seamless.

Related: The Official PT Money Tax Preparation Checklist (Free Download)

TaxSlayer’s e-file software has the ability to upload a PDF version of your previous tax returns. This can make the entire return process easier by fast filling information from past years. It also allows users to import W-2 forms–either via a photo application or through a major payroll provider.

The free version is best for simple returns. For more complex tax situations, TaxSlayer offers different solutions based on the amount of additional support you want or need when you are filing your return. All the federal forms and tax breaks are included.

TaxSlayer Plans and Pricing–How Much Does it Cost?

TaxSlayer offers five different editions for filing your tax return. All editions are comparable in features to other programs such as TurboTax. However, TaxSlayer is often cheaper, with at least one free version for those who have simple returns.

Below are the five different plans and how much you can expect to pay for each one.

Simply Free ($0)

As its name suggests, this option is completely free. As in, you can file your federal taxes and one state tax return for $0, with no hidden fees

What’s the catch? It only works for filers who use form 1040EZ–as in, they have no dependents and are filing their return with a basic W-2. For anything more complicated, you’ll need to go with one of the other options, which are very affordably priced.

TaxSlayer Free Includes State

If you do have a simple and straightforward return, this is definitely a good option. The software will walk you through filling out all necessary information and show your refund getting calculated in real time.

With TaxSlayer Simply Free you’ll get unlimited email and phone support, which can help you with technical and basic tax advice. However, if you need access to a tax professional, you’ll need to pay for the Premium option.

TaxSlayer Price A low-cost tax preparation software that has special services for the self-employed and active military members. Filing is free for Form 1040 filers! Get Started TaxSlayer We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Classic ($17)

If you don’t qualify for the free version, you can probably use the Classic option. It’s the most popular plan and costs only $17 for the federal return. Keep in mind that state tax returns will cost you $29 for each state.

With TaxSlayer Classic, you get access to the W-2 import option in addition to being able to import previous years’ tax return information if you’re switching from another provider. The step-by-step instruction guide will take you through the entire filing process to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Just like with the Simply Free edition, there is unlimited email and phone support available to help you troubleshoot any technical difficulties or answer tax questions. This option is a good choice for most taxpayers who still have fairly basic tax returns and some experience filing on their own.

Premium ($37)

If you do have a more complicated tax return but want the ease of using online tax software, consider using TaxSlayer’s Premium option.

At $37 for a federal tax return and $29 for each state return filed, it’s still much cheaper than going to a brick-and-mortar tax preparation service such as H&R Block.

TaxSlayer Premium offers all of the features of the Classic edition but with the added support of a tax professional. You will also get live chat support for any real-time tax questions that may arise as you’re filling out your return, including technical problems.

In addition, you’ll get IRS audit assistance for three full years. This means that TaxSlayer’s enrolled agents and CPAs will help you in case of an IRS audit up to three years after you e-file your return.

Self-Employed ($47)

If you’re self-employed, TaxSlayer offers an option to file your taxes 100 percent online for $47. This is only for federal taxes–state taxes are still $29 per state.

With TaxSlayer Self-Employed, you’ll get all of the features of the Premium edition but with added support specifically for the self-employed. This includes 1099 and Schedule C forms. You will also get access to TaxSlayer’s personalized guide to self-employed taxes.

This option also comes with a deduction finder tool that helps you reduce your liability and get all of the tax breaks you deserve. You also get access to a self-employed tax professional that can help address your own unique situation and full support in case of an audit.

Ultimate ($57)

TaxSlayer Ultimate is the most expensive one that TaxSlayer offers. As the name implies, it aims to give the filers ultimate peace of mind for $57 for federal returns and $29 for each state return.

What do you get for your money? First, you get front of the line support with priority unlimited access via phone, email, and live chat. 

In addition, you get audit defense, which offers complete defense and representation in the case of an IRS audit, up to three years after the IRS accepts your e-filed return. If you have any tax-specific questions, you can ask a tax professional who can help answer them.

You’ll also get a guide to the new tax law, including step-by-step education covering calculations, rates, brackets, deductions, and more. As an added bonus, you also get complete identity theft protection and restoration for one year after e-file.

TaxSlayer Pricing Table

TaxSlayer Review of Features and Tools

TaxSlayers offers several features and tools that can make filing your taxes a little easier. Below are highlights of some of the ways the software aims to make the process fast, easy, and hassle-free.

No Upfront Costs

TaxSlayer allows you to file your tax refund with zero out-of-pocket fees. Even if you don’t qualify for the Simply Free edition, you can file your return and pay for the filing fees out of your refund. However, this only works if you do get a federal refund.

Maximum Refund Guarantee

Worried you won’t get your maximum refund using TaxSlayer? To that end, the software offers a guarantee that you will get the maximum tax refund you are entitled to–or your money back.

To get a refund, you’ll need to show that another tax preparation software such as TurboTax shows you will get a larger refund or have a smaller tax liability using the same data.

Accuracy Guarantee

With any version of TaxSlayer, even the free one, you get 100 percent accuracy guaranteed. This means that TaxSlayer will check your return for errors and missing data to ensure it’s accurate.

Tax Refund Calculator

If you’re looking for a way to estimate your federal income tax refund, TaxSlayer offers an online calculator that can help. Just plug in all of the required information and get an idea of how much you will get back from the IRS (or how much you will owe).

IRS Audit Assistance

All versions except for the Simply Free edition offer IRS audit assistance. TaxSlayer will work to resolve IRS inquiries regarding your federal and state return for a certain amount of time after the IRS accepts your e-file.

How long you are covered depends on which filing option you select. The Classic version offers audit defense up to one year after you file while the Ultimate version extends the coverage up to three years.

Deduction Finder

Everyone’s tax situation is a little different. This is why a tool such as the deduction finder can help you maximize your refund and get all of the tax breaks you deserve. It helps you reduce your tax liability and find all deductions that would apply to your specific filing situation.

Site Security

Since filing your tax return online requires inputting a lot of personal information, security is of utmost importance. TaxSlayer has several safeguards in place to ensure your sensitive information remains protected from unauthorized access.

This includes multi-layer authentication, user information protection, and a dedicated security team. In addition, TaxSlayer offers helpful information on how to recognize and avoid common tax scams.

Mobile Accessibility

In addition to the desktop version, you can also download TaxSlayer’s mobile app and use it to file your simple return. The app allows you to estimate your refund based on your W-2 (or paystub) and complete your e-file. It’s available for both iPhone and Android users.

However, you’ll need to sign into your account from your desktop first to use the e-file feature.

Customer Service

Even the free version of TaxSlayer offers technical customer service support via phone and email. However, expect to wait 24 to 48 hours for a response to your email questions.

Live chat and support from a tax professional are only available with the Premium, Self-Employed, and Ultimate editions. With these three options, you also get priority support on phone and email inquiries. If you file with Ultimate edition, you will get front-of-the-line treatment for all inquiries.

Synchronization

If you’ve used another tax preparation service in the past, TaxSlayer allows you to upload the return and save yourself some time. This will speed up the process by saving you a lot of data input. You can also upload your W-2 and TaxSlayer will autofill your income, wages and more.

TaxSlayer Price A low-cost tax preparation software that has special services for the self-employed and active military members. Filing is free for Form 1040 filers! Get Started TaxSlayer We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Bottom Line

There are definitely some advantages to using TaxSlayer to prepare your taxes. If you have an easy tax return that uses form 1040EZ, you can file your federal taxes for free regardless of income.

In addition, being able to get up to $1,000 cash advance on your refund can be a game changer for many people. Traditionally, this option was only available through in-person tax preparation services but TaxSlayer has made it possible to do 100 percent online.

With five different affordably priced service levels, TaxSlayer offers options to fit most budgets and tax preparation situations. However, keep in mind that many of the features such as live chat or access to a tax pro are limited to the paid editions. 

Discover if TaxSlayer is the best option for you.

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  1. Deal breaker: “Currently, the program does not have the option to import your transactions into the program.” (Source: https://www.taxslayer.com/support/467/1099-B-Proceeds-from-Broker-and-Barter-Transactions)

    Have fun if you have 100 pages of 8949.