FreeTaxUSA Review 2018

FreeTaxUSA is a great, basic tax preparation tool that is perfectly suited for those who have simple and straightforward tax returns. Whether you are using FreeTaxUSA 2016 or FreeTaxUSA 2017, you have a great tool that makes it easy to file a basic federal tax return for free.

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One of the biggest perks of Free Tax USA is that they offer free federal tax returns online for all levels of users. That means it covers practically all tax situations, including people who are:

  • Self-employed or freelancing
  • Sole-proprietors or small business owners
  • Invested in complicated assets like trusts or rental properties

Other tax software suites, including well-known tools like TurboTax, don’t include all of this for free with the basic version of their tax preparation software.

In fact, most people who are sole proprietors or have a variety of assets have to buy a special version of other software.

While federal returns can be filed online for free, state tax filings cost extra, regardless of the level of service you purchase. For a very low fee, you can also access more features and comprehensive services, as well as special assistance.

One drawback with this tool is that it’s pretty basic and “bare bones” when compared to other suites of tax preparation software. While this is a worthy criticism, the software is still very easy to use and intuitive to navigate, and it’s available at a fraction of the cost of some of the more well-known tax preparation software tools. You can purchase the deluxe package of tools for less than $10 and the added fee for state filing is only $12.95. While there aren’t as many bells and whistles, it’s a lot more affordable.

Tax Software Makes Tax Filing Much Easier

It doesn’t matter if we own our own business or work for someone else, have a ton of money or live on modest means, we all have to deal with the stress and frustration of taxes. That old adage about “death and taxes” is one that really does seem to pass the test of time. While most of us don’t look forward to tax season, we understand how important it is to file an accurate return on time, and how valuable it can be to find all available deductions and tax credits.

For many years, doing taxes was a year-long process of saving receipts and pay stubs before we had to fill out seemingly endless tax forms. If we were lucky enough to afford it, we would hire someone to do it for us. While many people who can afford it and those with more complicated finances use professional tax preparation services like H&R Block, there is now a good option for the rest of us who can’t afford our own accountants.

Tax preparation software has increased in popularity over the past few decades as a great alternative to manually filing your taxes and having someone do it for you. It is a suite of tools for your computer and mobile devices that allows you to quickly and easily file your taxes without having to manually fill out any forms. Additionally, many software suites can import data and automatically fill required fields, saving you a lot of time.

There are many reasons people rely on tax preparation software suites to assist them with their state and federal forms. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the benefits associated with using tax preparation software. We’ll touch on some of the considerations you should make when looking for the right software, then briefly review the inexpensive tax preparation tool FreeTaxUSA.

Benefits of Using Tax Preparation Software Like FreeTaxUSA

Aside from convenience, which is an obvious perk of using tax preparation software, there is a range of different benefits to using these software tools, even as compared to having professionals do it for you. Not only do you have the convenience of doing your taxes anytime you want from the comfort of your home, you’re less likely to submit an incomplete tax form.

Most tax preparation software have a flagging or notification feature that will prevent you from moving forward or turning in your return if a required field has been left blank. This reduces headaches that arise when you fail to properly fill out your tax forms. A lot of these software suites come with a range of different prompts that let you know if fields don’t match or you used the wrong characters to fill out a response.

Another big perk of using tax preparation software is that it takes a lot less time to file taxes than doing it by hand or even having a professional do it. With most software suites, you can file taxes in about half an hour, which may be less time than it takes to drive to an accountant’s office. On top of that, it’ll automatically import a lot of basic data, saving you even more time that would otherwise be spent entering the information yourself.

If you get a more comprehensive suite of tax preparation tools, you may get enhanced features like apps that help you find and track all possible deductions and write-offs, including charitable donations. All these things will help ensure that you pay the lowest taxes possible to save you and your family money.

Some will also offer audit assistance with your purchase in the event that you face an IRS audit. Though not all software suites offer this level of customer support and some charge additional fees for them, some come with at least basic audit support and protection. This is likely to include the ability to communicate with a tax professional — via email support, live chat, or teleconferencing — to give you an idea of what you need to do and what you should expect. Should you actually need representation, you may have to get this from an outside service, or it may be available from the tax preparation software provider for an additional fee.

With tax preparation software, you get an affordable way to file your taxes easily, quickly, and accurately, while verifying that you’re taking advantage of all write-offs and other exemptions you qualify for. These tools save you time, and many of them provide helpful materials and customer service if you have any questions or problems. With tax preparation tools, you know that you have a fully-finished tax form that is accurate and doesn’t require a lot of time to complete.

You should note that you get what you pay for. We’re not saying you should choose the priciest software suite out there, but you should be aware of what will be missing from basic tools like FreeTaxUSA. More basic and cheaper services often have a less-sophisticated user interface. That means it won’t be as user-friendly and probably won’t be accessible across different devices and platforms. It also means that these tools might not come with the range of help features and great service that more comprehensive programs offer. Most of them do have a solid FAQ section on their website, as well as a way to get in touch if you have further questions. But with the more sophisticated software suites, you will get better step-by-step prompting and may even have access to live, human assistance.

If these are things that are important to you, it might be worth spending a bit more for a comprehensive set of tools with advanced help features, rather than opting for the free version.

Conclusion

Taxes are not something many of us look forward to. But they are a necessary part of life that it — quite literally — pays to pay attention to. The drawbacks of filing manually can be severe too. For example:

  • If you do not fully fill out your taxes or return your forms on time, you may face penalties and even an audit.
  • If you fail to claim all the write-offs and exemptions you qualify for, you are giving the government money that you didn’t have to pay.

These are just a few of the more obvious reasons that tax preparation software is such a great tool to have.

Many of these software suites allow you to quickly and easily file your state and federal taxes online, providing you the guidance you need to ensure that you have filled out the forms properly and provided accurate information. There are tons of different, quality software tools out there, from basic tools like FreeTaxUSA that are perfect for most single individuals or married couples with children, to those that are better suited for people who own business, have a lot of varied assets, or have complicated finances.

With these tools, you save time and often money by following the easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions provided for filling out your taxes. A lot of these services allow you to file your taxes online for free or for a very low cost. With basic tools like FreeTaxUSA, you can file your federal taxes for free online, but you will have to pay an additional cost for state returns. Other software suites may include both or neither for free.

For additional information regarding other tax preparation software, check out our reviews of TurboTax and TaxAct to help you make the best decision.

Whether you choose to go with a basic tool like FreeTaxUSA or you use this guide as a starting point to find a suite of tools that will work better for your finances, we are sure that you will love the peace of mind that comes with using tax preparation software, in addition to the time, effort, and money that you save when you use these tools.