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. 

One of the biggest perks of Free Tax USA is that they offer free federal tax returns online for all levels of users, including those who are sole proprietors and those who have complicated assets like rental properties. 

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

The one negative thing about this tool is that it is 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 is 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 tax filing is only $12.95. While there aren’t as many bells and whistles, it is a lot more affordable.

No matter whether we own our own business or work for someone else, have a ton of money or live on more 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 resonate through 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.

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

Tax preparation software has increased steadily in popularity over the past few decades as a great halfway point between manually filing your taxes and having someone do it for you. It is a suite of tools for your computer, and now, for other mobile devices, that allows you to quickly and easily file your taxes without having to manually fill out any forms. A lot of these software suites are able to import the essential data and automatically fill in the required fields for you, saving you a lot of time.

There are a great many reasons that people rely on tax preparation software suites to assist them in filling out their state and federal taxes. In this guide, we will discuss some of the best benefits associated with using tax preparation software. We will touch on some of the considerations you will want to make when looking for the right software for your needs. We will then briefly review an inexpensive tax preparation tool called 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 as opposed to trying to fill the forms out on your own or paying money to have your taxes prepared by professionals. Not only do you have the convenience of being able to do your taxes anytime you want from the comfort of your home, you are less likely to submit an incomplete tax form using software than if you fill out your tax forms by hand.

Most tax preparation software has some sort of 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 can reduce headaches that can arise if you fail to properly fill out your tax forms. A lot of these software suites come with a range of different prompts which will 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 your taxes this way than it does to do it by hand or even to have a professional do it. With most software suites, you can have your taxes filed in about half an hour, which may be less time than it takes to drive to an accountant’s office. It will automatically import a lot of basic data and fill these fields in for you, saving you, even more, time that would otherwise be spent filling them out by hand.

If you get a more comprehensive suite of tax preparation tools, you may get enhanced features like apps that help you find all possible deductions and write-offs, as well as how to track and write off various types of charitable donations. All these things will help ensure that you have the lowest possible tax possible, ultimately saving you and your family money.

Some will also offer assistance features included with the purchase of the software, in the event that you face an IRS audit. Though not all software suites offer this service and some charge additional fees for them, some do come with at least basic protection included. This is likely to include the ability to communicate with a tax professional to give you an idea of what you will 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, all while making sure that you are taking advantage of all write-offs and other exemptions you may 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 will be able to ensure that you have a fully filled out tax form that is accurate, and that doesn’t require a lot of time to complete.

It should be noted that you get what you pay for, in a sense. This is most definitely not to say that you should choose the priciest software suite out there, but that you should be aware of what will be missing if you choose a more basic tool like FreeTaxUSA. More basic and, thus, cheaper, services will have a less-sophisticated user interface. That means it won’t be as user-friendly and is likely not going to be accessible across different devices and platforms. It also means that these tools don’t often come with the range of help features 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 questions that have not been answered by the information available. However, with the more sophisticated software suites, you will get more 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 more comprehensive set of tools with advanced help features.

Conclusion

Taxes are not something that many of us look forward to. But they are a necessary part of life that it, literally, pays to make sure you pay attention to. 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 may 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 that you need to ensure that you have filled out the forms properly and have 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 those that own businesses have a lot of varied assets, or otherwise complicated finances.

With these tools, you save time and often money by following the easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions these tools provide for filling out your taxes. A lot of these services will 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 for free or neither.

Whether you choose to go with a basic tool like FreeTaxUSA, or you use this guide as a starting point for finding 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.