FreeTaxUSA Review 2022: The Best Budget Tax Software

Where To File is dedicated to helping you make the best decision when it comes to filing your taxes online. While many of the products featured here and in other articles are from our partners, this doesn’t influence our reviews. Our opinions are our own, and what may be the best for one person, might not be the best for another. 

Filing your tax return can be confusing and intimidating, especially if its your first time, or your tax situation has changed. Filing with a tax professional can be costly, so many people choose to file on their own with DIY tax software. If you’re on a tight budget, or want to save on tax filing this year, consider using FreeTaxUSA. They aren’t as well known as bigger brands, like TurboTax, but we won’t be surprised if you wish you had found them sooner. 

Price

5/5

Support Options

2/5

Usability

3/5
  • 100% Free Federal Filing (for everyone!)
  • State Tax Returns only cost $14.99
  • Supports even the most complicated tax situations
  • Responsive support (typically less than 30 minutes)
  • Even complicated federal returns are free
  • You'll have to enter tax forms by hand
  • If you're used to a colorful interface and fancy graphics switching to FreeTaxUSA could be an adjustment.
  • Some tax questions and explanations are complicated
  • No on-demand phone or video support

A bit of history, is FreeTaxUSA Legit?

First, yes. FreeTaxUSA is a real company. TaxHawk, Inc. who owns FreeTaxUSA, began its operation in 2001. It was developed by a CPA in collaboration with a few professional software developers. The company is an IRS-authorized e-file provider and has filed and submitted millions of federal tax returns with the IRS.

Software Updates and Accuracy

Each year FreeTaxUSA updates the federal and state tax software to include changes to federal and state tax laws. Since both the IRS and states want their money from tax payers, they keep a close eye on these updates. Only after rigorous testing, quality assurance, and compliance does FreeTaxUSA release its software. So yes, FreeTaxUSA is a real company that will let you file a federal tax return for free!

Who would benefit from using FreeTaxUSA?

Anyone who needs to files taxes! Simple returns are the easiest to file, regardless of where you decide to prepare your taxes, but FreeTaxUSA can even handle complex returns. Imagine paying $12.95 to file everything you need for being self-employed or a contractor, rather than $100 or more! For those tired of paying a lot to file taxes or deciding where to file (wtf), try FreeTaxUSA. You won’t need to pay until you file and the savings are incredible!

What Are the FreeTaxUSA Packages and Prices?

Filing your federal tax return with FreeTaxUSA is 100% free, for everyone, simple or complex. Early season pricing for each state tax return is $12.95 and increases to $14.95 at the end of the season. E-filing is also included for both federal and state returns – 100% free. 

You can also upgrade to Deluxe for $6.99 for priority support, live chat, audit assistance, and unlimited amended returns. Even without the upgrade, every supported federal form is included for free! Check out the complete list of supported forms here

Free Edition

Come one, come all. Simple or complex your federal tax return is free! Includes rentals, stocks, bonds, self-employed income, itemized deductions and more.

Federal: $0

State Returns

No surprises here. Each state return will cost $12.95.

State: $14.99

FreeTaxUSA: Deluxe Edition

Deluxe

For those who want more peace of mind. Includes priority support, live chat, unlimited amended returns and audit assistance. 

Deluxe: $6.99

What is it like filing with FreeTaxUSA?

Easy and simple to use

FreeTaxUSA is user-friendly and extremely easy to navigate. Rather than opt for a flashy look they’ve created a simple but effective page layout. You won’t find many of the slick designs or color schemes you associate with more expensive tax software. (You’re paying to file your taxes though, not for slick designs).

Navigation is handled by a horizontal toolbar at the top of the screen that divides the filing interview into different sections. If you ever need to go back to a previous section you simply access it from the horizontal toolbar. Each section works via a step-by-step question-answer approach. For the most part, questions and explanations are easy to understand, even if you’re not familiar with taxes.

Built in checks

As you work through each page and section you’ll need to answer required questions before moving on. These checks exist to make sure your tax return is filed accurately. FreeTaxUSA will even alert you if you’ve entered a value that seems off, or unusual.  

A Surprising Powerhouse

Even though FreeTaxUSA appears simple, the software is capable of handling even the most complex tax situations, all without charging additional fees. Situations such as debt cancellation, sale of a home, investment income, rental income, contractor income, and freelance income are all support for free! You’ll be able to file schedule C, schedule E, schedule D and more for free!

Flexible Tax Preparation

FreeTaxUSA is completely online. You won’t need to download an app to file taxes from your phone. Simply use your favorite web browser from your phone, computer, or tablet. You can also save your progress and finish filing later if you’re unable to finish in one go. 

How does FreeTaxUSA compare to TurboTax?

FreeTaxUSA takes a simplified approach to taxes, but how does it compare to TurboTax software, which is highly rated?

Usability

A simple interface that focuses on filing taxes efficiently.

Usability

Smooth and comfortable process to help file taxes with little effort from start to finish.

Support Options

Support is limited to account messaging and email. Live chat is available if you purchase Deluxe.

Support Options

The best for on-demand tax help. Talk with tax pros, get personalized guidance, get answers.

Pricing

The best budget option, with minimal trade-offs. 

Pricing

The most expensive option, but also offers the most features. 

Support Options Offered by FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA may offer fewer support options than TurboTax or H&R Block, but that is not to say the support they provide isn’t great!

Free Support Tools

These general support tools are available to everyone that uses FreeTaxUSA.

  • Account Messaging and Email

    Contact support with questions through secure account messaging and email. Response times are typically less than 30 minutes during business hours.

  • FAQs and Knowledge Center

    Search FAQs and the knowledge center for explanations and answers to tax questions.

Deluxe Support Tools

For a small upgrade get access to these additional support features. 

  • Live Chat and Priority Support

    Skip lines and chat directly with FreeTaxUSA tax specialists.

  • Unlimited Amended Returns

    Mistakes happen, even with taxes. Modify your return or correct mistakes after your tax return was submitted at no extra cost.

  • Audit Assist

    Audit specialists can help you understand, prepare, and respond to an IRS notice.

How can I get my refund with FreeTaxUSA?

FreeTaxUSA provides multiple options for getting your tax refund. The quickest and most secure method is through direct deposit to your bank account. If you qualify, you can have your tax refund deposited on a Green Dot prepaid card. Alternatively, you can have a check mailed to you, though this option is not recommended as it is slow and less secure. 

You can track your IRS refund 24 hours after you e-file, or 4 weeks after you file by mail. 

What guarantees does FreeTaxUSA have?

Every tax return filed with FreeTaxUSA includes these guarantees.

Maximum Refund Guarantee: You’ll get the biggest refund possible when you file with FreeTaxUSA.

Always Free Federal Guarantee: You won’t and can’t pay more to file a complex or simple federal tax return. It’s always free, for everyone. 

100% Accuracy Guarantee: All calculations done by FreeTaxUSA are guaranteed correct. If you pay any IRS penalties or interest resulting from a calculation error, FreeTaxUSA will reimburse you for them. 

FreeTaxUSA is the best budget tax software

Traditionally tax filing has been an expensive process, but FreeTaxUSA is here to change that. If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to file your taxes consider checking them out. If you’re on the fence, you can try them risk free. You’ll only pay when it’s time to file. Even those who switch to FreeTaxUSA from another software should find the process familiar and easy to follow. 

They do offer limited support and a more simple design than popular alternatives. However, what FreeTaxUSA lacks in extra perks is made up for in affordability. We recommend FreeTaxUSA as the top budget tax software of 2020.

 

Money. You want more, not less. Pricier services (think TurboTax) can be worth their weight in gold if you need the perks they offer. If not, you'll over pay for the same return you can get for less. Finding the right price is about understanding what you'll need to file.