In the 2022 tax season, TaxAct has improved its software, adding 1099-B imports and improving navigation. The software is now much easier to use compared with prior years and it now includes free access to Xpert Assist on all of its plans.
However, TaxAct’s all-in prices push it to the top end of the market. So unless you're someone who will be able to take full advantage of the free access to tax pros, we recommend avoiding TaxAct even if you qualify for the Free tier and looking at TaxAct alternatives.
Keeping reading our full TaxAct review below to learn why. You can also see how TaxAct compares in our list of the best tax software.
- Can now import data files from stock brokers
- "Free" filers still have to pay to file state returns
- High-end pricing for a mid-tier software experience
Starts at $0
Starts at $39.95 per state
Self-prepared, Xpert advice, and Full-Service
Video Review and Walkthrough
TaxAct - Is It Really Free
In a surprise move, TaxAct doesn’t offer completely free filing for anyone this year. It offers free federal filing for people with W-2 income, unemployment income, or Social Security income.
The Free tier also supports Child Tax Credits, stimulus payments, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and other forms of retirement income. However, Free edition users will need to pay $39.95 to file their state returns.
Users with more advanced tax situations (including those who contributed to charity, student loan interest, or have an HSA) will need to upgrade to at least the Deluxe edition to use TaxAct.
What's New In 2022?
TaxAct gave taxpayers an unexpected surprise when it announced on January 5, 2022 that it was making Xpert Assist FREE for all filers. That's a big deal as access to tax pros requires a paid upgrade with many of the other leading tax software companies. TaxAct also launched Xpert Full Service this year, which means that customers now also have the option to completely hand off the creation of their tax returns to a CPA or EA.
Perhaps the next biggest surprise in 2022 is TaxAct’s decision to remove the free state filing option. Now that “Free” files have to pay $39.95 for state returns, it's harder to see any reason to use the software compared to most of the other major tax software companies that still are truly offering a free tier.
That said, TaxAct expanded its efforts in reforming usability in 2022. The software has long supported W-2 imports, but it has expanded importing options. Users can now import 1099-B forms from brokerages or upload a .csv file from brokerages. TaxAct will use the .csv form to calculate capital gains and losses.
TaxAct also improved usability by cleaning up the section summaries and enhancing the utility of the left-hand Navigation Bar. These small tweaks to the user interface dramatically enhance the usability of the entire product.
Does TaxAct Make Tax Filing Easy In 2022?
In 2022, TaxAct advanced in the ranks of usability. The company now supports prior-year imports, W-2 imports, and 1099-B imports. These import options will serve many filers who want to minimize administrative headaches. However, the software still does not support 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-NEC imports which H&R Block and TurboTax both support.
Software navigation also improved in the last year. TaxAct has a clean, user-friendly interface. But the software still gets bogged down in tax jargon in certain sections. Given the company’s pricing, we expect more from the software.
TaxAct Notable Features
TaxAct is a well-known software that was one of the first to make tax filing easier. These are a few features that enhance the filing experience for TaxAct users.
Question And Answer Guidance
TaxAct uses questions and answers to guide users through the software. Filers can skip around in the software, but the software guides them back to the questions and answers to ensure everything is completed.
Prior Year Pdf, W-2, And 1099-B Imports
TaxAct supports prior-year PDF tax imports, W-2 imports, and 1099-B imports from multiple brokerages. When users upload these documents, TaxAct inputs the information on behalf of the filer. This functionality cuts down on both the chance for error and the time spent on tax filing.
Import CSV Files From Brokerages
In addition to W-2 imports, TaxAct has added the ability to import 1099-B forms and CSV files from brokers. If you have stock market investments, this new functionality could save you significant time on your tax filing.
TaxAct Notable Drawbacks
TaxAct is a robust software without doesn't have many missing features. However, the few drawbacks that it does have could be deal-breakers for many filers.
Errors Only Highlighted At The End
TaxAct has great built-in calculators. However, it only highlights errors once a user completes a section. This can be useful for trying to “get into the flow” but it can also make filing a challenge when you’re unsure about how details fit into the big picture.
Limited Free Filing (State Not Included)
TaxAct limits its free filing to filers with very simple filing situations. Side hustlers, people with HSAs, and even those who contribute to retirement accounts will not qualify for the Free tier. And even those who qualify for free federal filing still have to pay for state filing.
High Cost Given The Functionality
TaxAct is a little less expensive than H&R Block, but it falls well behind on user-friendliness. In fact, it's experience more closely mirrors FreeTaxUSA. Whereas FreeTaxUSA prices its product in line with its limitations, TaxAct prices its products near the top of the market.
TaxAct 2022 Pricing And Plans
TaxAct aligns its pricing with the complexity of a filers situation. Filers who don’t think of themselves as “complex” may be surprised to find that they'll still need to use the Deluxe edition this year.
W-2 income, unemployment income, Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and child tax credits.
Itemizers, HSA contributions, People with child care expenses, student loan interest payments.
Self-employed people (including gig workers)
$44.95 per state
$44.95 per state
$44.95 per state
Xpert Help Federal
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
Xpert Help State
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
$0 in 2022
Note: TaxAct tends to adjust prices throughout the tax season. December and January are the best time to lock in low rates.
How Does TaxAct Compare?
TaxAct positions itself as a premium product, but its performance is more comparable to bargain software.
It certainly gets the job done, but the pricing leaves a lot to be desired. For 2022, we compared TaxAct to FreeTaxUSA (a true bargain) and H&R Block (a true premium software with prices that are comparable to TaxAct’s).
Student Loan Interest
Import Last Year's Taxes
$14.95 per state
Earned Income Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Dependent Care Deductions
Retirement Income (SS, Pension, etc.)
Free Tier Price
Deluxe Tier Price
Premier Tier Price
Self-Employed Tier Price
Is It Safe And Secure?
TaxAct has three major security credentials on its front page, and it is committed to never selling personal information. The company had a security breach in 2016, and since that time has been increasing its security. Since then it has increased its security measures including using encryption more frequently.
TaxAct requires multi-factor authentication the first time a user logs in each year, and it has complex password requirements.
During testing, we did not find any particular security concerns. However, filers should know that using any online tax software puts their information at risk. If TaxAct were to be breached again, a filer could lose personal information.
How Do I Contact TaxAct Support?
TaxAct's general customer service phone number is (319) 373-3600. Operating hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
This year, all tax filers get access to Xpert Assist for FREE. That means that everyone can receive advice from a CPA to make sure that they're filing their return correctly and maximizing their deductions and credits. This is a significant change as in years past Xpert Assist cost $35 to $139.95 for federal filing and an extra $39.95 to $49.95 for assistance on state returns.
TaxAct also launched TaxAct Xpert Full Service this year. If you pay for this product, a tax pro will fill out your entire return for you from start to finish. We haven't been able to find pricing details for TaxAct Xpert Full Service yet, but we'll update this review as soon as we do.
Is It Worth It?
Despite performance improvements, TaxAct isn’t a competitively-priced software for DIY filers. Charging for state returns on the free tier is a bad move. Even for the paid tiers, TaxAct isn’t a great deal in 2022.
That being said, each of those companies either charge extra for access to tax pros or only include it on higher tiers. So if you were planning to pay for pro support with one of these providers, you may save money by choosing TaxAct instead.
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that filers ask about TaxAct:
Can TaxAct help me file my crypto investments?
TaxAct supports crypto filing, and it allows users to import .csv files from a brokerage account. Filers who pay for a .csv from CoinLedger or another crypto accounting service can import their files into the software.
Can I request my stimulus check through TaxAct?
If a filer didn’t get their stimulus money in 2021, TaxAct will ensure the stimulus money is added to the refund. This credit only applies to the third stimulus payment which was issued in 2021. If you didn’t receive your first two stimulus payments (issued in 2020), you'll need to file a 2020 tax return which requires filing an Amended Return or using the IRS Free Fillable forms.
I didn’t receive the full amount for Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments, can TaxAct help me get the rest?
Filers who didn’t receive their advanced child tax credit payment can request the full credit through TaxAct. This service is available even to free filers.
Can TaxAct help me with state filing in multiple states?
TaxAct supports multi-state filing. Users must pay the state filing fee for each state they file in.
Do I have to use the self-employed tier for my side hustle?
Yes, side hustlers who earned cash or a 1099-NEC will have to use the Self-Employed tier to file their taxes.
DoesTaxAct offer refund advance loans?
No, refund advance loans aren't being advertised by TaxAct this year.
Does TaxAct offer any deals on refunds?
No, TaxAct isn’t currently advertising any refund deals.
Here are the features you can expect by version-level of TaxAct.
W-2 Income: Simple Returns
Child Tax Credits
Earned Income Tax Credits
Deduct Student Loan Interest
Deduct Mortgage Interest
Stock And Crypto Investments
Foreign Financial Accounts
Deduct Small Biz Expenses
Small Biz Asset Depreciation
TaxAct 2022 Review
Ease Of Use
Features And Options
Plans And Pricing
In 2022, TaxAct announced unlimited CPA access for all filers; but the prices of its plans are still high if you won’t need assistance.
- Prior year returns and W-2 form imports
- Import stock information from brokers
- Navigation is mostly easy to follow
- Xpert tax advice is now free for everyone
- Expensive for the software quality
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.