September 29, 2023
Before using TaxAct's free version, it is important to understand the costs and features associated with the software. This comprehensive guide explores the benefits and limitations of TaxAct's free version, as well as provides tips for finding other free tax preparation options that may be better suited for your individual needs.


As tax season approaches, many Americans are looking for the best way to file their taxes quickly and affordably. Among the many tax preparation software options available, TaxAct is often touted as a top choice for its free version. But is TaxAct really free? In this article, we’ll explore the features and fees associated with TaxAct, as well as discuss whether TaxAct’s free version is the best option for you.

Is TaxAct Really Free? A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Tax Preparation Software’s Features and Fees

TaxAct is a tax preparation software that enables users to file their federal and state taxes online. TaxAct offers several options for users, including a free version, paid versions that include additional features, and professional tax filing services. The basic TaxAct software is easy to use and offers many benefits, including user-friendly step-by-step guidance and helpful articles and resources.

The free version of TaxAct includes the following features:

  • Online tax filing for federal and state returns
  • Free customer support via email or phone
  • Access to basic tax forms and deductions

TaxAct’s paid versions offer additional features, such as guided explanations of deductions and credits, the ability to import previous tax returns, and audit defense services. Each of the paid versions has different pricing options, ranging from around $25 for the Plus version to over $80 for the Self-Employed version.

Despite offering a free version of its software, TaxAct still makes money through various means. For example, TaxAct earns profits by charging users fees for certain services, such as mailing in a paper return or upgrading to a higher version of the software. Additionally, TaxAct may earn money by partnering with third-party companies, such as financial institutions or credit monitoring services, and offering their products to users.

The Hidden Costs of TaxAct: Fact or Fiction?

One concern that some users may have is whether there are any hidden fees or costs associated with using TaxAct. While this is a valid concern, it is important to note that TaxAct is transparent about its pricing and there are no hidden fees associated with using the software.

However, there may be additional costs if users require additional services or help. For example, if users need help from a tax professional, they may need to pay an additional fee for that service. Additionally, if users need to file taxes for more than one state or have complex tax situations, they may need to pay for the upgraded versions of TaxAct software.

To avoid these costs, users can carefully review their tax situation before deciding which version of TaxAct to use. If their tax situation is straightforward and they are comfortable filing their own taxes, the free version of TaxAct should be sufficient. If their tax situation is more complex, they may choose to pay for an upgraded version or consult with a tax professional.

The Pros and Cons of Using the TaxAct Basic Free Filing Option

Before deciding to use TaxAct’s free version, it is important to consider the pros and cons. While the free version offers many benefits, such as the convenience of filing taxes online and access to basic forms and deductions, there are also some limitations.


  • Free to use for basic tax situations
  • Offers user-friendly step-by-step guidance
  • Free customer support available


  • Does not include all tax forms or features
  • May not have the same level of deductions and credits as paid versions
  • May not be suitable for complex tax situations

TaxAct’s free version is best suited for those with basic tax returns, such as individuals who have a single source of income and are claiming standard deductions. For those with more complex tax situations, it may be worth paying for an upgraded version or consulting with a tax professional to ensure that all deductions and credits are accounted for.

Comparing TaxAct’s Free Version to Other Tax Prep Software: Which Is the Best Fit for You?

When deciding which tax prep software to use, it is important to compare TaxAct’s free version to other options on the market. Some popular tax preparation software options include TurboTax and H&R Block.

Comparing TaxAct’s free version to other software options, here are some key differences:

  • Both TurboTax and H&R Block offer free versions for basic tax returns.
  • TurboTax’s free version includes access to slightly more forms and features than TaxAct’s free version.
  • H&R Block’s free version includes access to more forms and features than both TaxAct and TurboTax’s free versions.
  • TaxAct’s paid versions are generally less expensive than TurboTax and H&R Block’s paid versions.

Ultimately, the best tax prep software for you will depend on your individual tax situation and needs. Before choosing a tax prep software, consider your tax situation and compare the available options to find the best fit.

Your Guide to Finding Free Tax Preparation Options: Is TaxAct a Good Choice?

While TaxAct’s free version is a great option for many taxpayers, it is not the only option available. There are several other free tax preparation options available, such as the IRS’s Free File program and various local non-profits that offer free tax help.

When deciding which free tax preparation option to use, it is important to consider the following:

  • Your tax situation
  • The features offered by the tax prep software
  • The level of assistance you may need

TaxAct may be a good choice for those with basic tax returns who are looking for a convenient and easy-to-use option. However, for those with more complex tax returns or who may require assistance from a tax professional, other free tax preparation options may be more suitable.


In conclusion, TaxAct’s free version can be an excellent option for many taxpayers, offering a user-friendly and affordable way to file taxes online. While there are some limitations and potential costs associated with using TaxAct, these can be avoided by carefully reviewing your tax situation and needs before using the software. By understanding the costs and features of TaxAct, taxpayers can make an informed decision about the best tax prep software option for them.

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