TaxSlayer Review 2023: Quality Support On A Budget
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TaxSlayer has long been a competitor in the online tax preparation market, with roots all the way back to 1965. The company began filing online returns in 1989. In 1992 the software was officially names TaxSlayer. Since then the online software has continued to evolve and improve. Today TaxSlayer is largely known as a budget option and lives true to that name. The pricing model is based on levels of support, rather than tax forms. This means the more complicated returns, such as small business returns, that might cost over $100 with TurboTax or H&R Block won’t cost more with TaxSlayer. The only caveat being, you won’t have as many support options. But, If you know your way around taxes and don’t need or want as much support, you could save a lot of money by using TaxSlayer.
- Pricing is based on support, not tax forms or software features.
- Costs less than other big name brands
- Supports all common tax situations
- Limited on-screen guidance.
- Fewer support options.
Who should Consider Using TaxSlayer?
Confident tax filers who want to save money.
If you’re comfortable without hand-holding tax support, know your way around tax forms, and want to save money then we recommend you try TaxSlayer. The filing process is similar enough that filers coming from TurboTax or H&R Block won’t feel lost. Basic customer support is also available at all levels, so you won’t have to go at it entirely alone. If your tax situation has changed, or your return is especially complicated you might find TaxSlayer’s limited support options stressful.
What Are the TaxSlayer Packages and Their Prices?
TaxSlayer’s unique pricing model is built around support options, rather than the tax forms you need to file. For those needing to file returns that include business, rental, or investment income this could mean saving $100 or more. TaxSlayer offers four online tax filing options. These options are Simply Free, Classic, Premium, and Self-Employed.
Includes one federal and state return. Additional state returns are $39 each. To qualify your income must be less than $100,000. You also can’t claim dependents, itemize, report rental, investment, or business income, or claim the earned income credit.
This option supports all income types and will work for almost everyone. If you want priority support, or want access to a tax pro with self-employment experience you’ll need to upgrade.
Adds priority support and the option to ask a tax pro questions. Also adds audit assistance for up to 3 years after the IRS accepts your return.
Gives you access to tax pros with self-employment experience and additional guidance for small business forms and situations.
Please note, we’ve reviewed TaxSlayer based on pricing at the time of writing. TaxSlayer and many other tax websites start off with lower pricing at the beginning of the season. Prices to file with TaxSlayer are subject to change without notice. We’ll update prices as they change, but you can verify current prices by clicking through to TaxSlayer’s site.
What's it like filing with TaxSlayer?
Navigating the Process
The design and ease of use of TaxSlayer is comparable to more expensive filing options. You can follow the standard interview approach or select the tax forms you’d like to fill out. If you’re new to online taxes or TaxSlayer we recommend you follow the standard interview approach. While you file the menu on the right-hand side provides a sense of direction, letting you know where you and and what you’ve completed.
Throughout the filing process helpful “Learn More” buttons after most questions offer additional explanations and videos. The answers are not always as detailed or complete as explanations on TurboTax. For example, some “Learn More” explanations on TaxSlayer reference IRS publications or text, which can be very complicated. In most cases though, the “Learn More” information provided enough direction to continue the tax return.
Unlike other popular software you won’t be able to import your W-2 information by taking a picture. You do have the option to upload a PDF or import your W-2 if it is online. If not, you’ll need to enter the information yourself. Other popular tools that help you calculate the value of items donated to charity, such as ItsDeductible from TurboTax, are missing from TaxSlayer. Integration with popular expense tracking software is also not supported by TaxSlayer.
These tools obviously aren’t needed to file a tax return successfully, but they do simplify and speed up the process. Especially for complicated returns.
Like most online tax software you can begin, continue, or finish a return from your phone, laptop, or tablet. TaxSlayer provides a mobile app for those who prefer to use their phone.
How Does TaxSlayer compare to TurboTax?
TaxSlayer is known as a budget pick with potential savings of over $100, but how does it compare to TurboTax.
Simple interface and general guidance.
The best user experience and guidance.
Decent support, but doesn’t include on demand access to a tax pro.
Best and most flexible support tools. Includes live chat with a tax pro.
Based on support levels and less expensive.
Based on tax forms and more expensive.
What Kind of Support Does TaxSlayer Offer?
TaxSlayer’s pricing model is built around support options rather than tax forms. This makes TaxSlayer a great option for filers with complex returns, but who don’t need or want much support. However, even some of the better support options aren’t as convenient for on demand help.
Free Support Tools
Basic Support Tools
These support options are included with the purchase of Classic, Premium, and Self-Employed.
Premium Support Tools
These additional tools are included with the purchase of Premium and Self-Employed.
Getting Your Tax Refund
TaxSlayer offers standard refund options, with the exception of a debit card, which is only for state refunds. Federal refunds can be sent through direct deposit, mailed check, or a refund transfer. If you decide to use the refund transfer to pay your filing fees you’ll also need to pay a $35 charge.
What Else Should I Know About TaxSlayer?
All of TaxSlayer’s packages include these guarantees:
Maximum Refund Guarantee: You’ll get the biggest refund you’re entitled to with TaxSlayer. If you don’t, they’ll refund you the purchase price paid.
100% Accuracy Guaranteed: TaxSlayer calculations are up to date. They’ll reimburse you for any federal or state penalties and interest charges resulting from incorrect calculations.
A Similar Feel for less
TaxSlayer has done a lot to improve the customer experience this year. If you’ve used them before, you should like this year’s version even more. The navigation and on-page help offer an experience that is different, but similar to TurboTax. Pricing by support options, rather than tax forms also makes TaxSlayer an attractive alternative for those with lots of tax forms.
The only considerable drawback is the limited support options, even with the more expensive packages. TaxSlayer does allow you to ask a tax pro questions, but you’ll have to wait up to a day to hear back from them. Features like screen sharing or on-demand video chat with tax experts are also missing from TaxSlayer. If you’re someone who needs or wants a lot of support you might be better off paying for the premium support offered by TurboTax. Trying to figure out taxes on your own to save a few bucks could just create a bigger headache. However, if you’re a confident tax filer, these extra support options won’t be missed. If that sounds like you we recommend giving TaxSlayer a try.