This year, OLT.com has an improved navigation and interface, but it’s kept its prices low. Unfortunately the improvements aren’t enough to make this a recommended software, even for bargain hunters.
If you’re an experienced filer who wants an audit assistance guarantee at a low cost, OLT may be the right software for you.
It’s not a perfect filing solution, but with it’s rock bottom pricing, many filers may be tempted by the offering, here’s what you need to know about filing your taxes using OLT.com in 2019-2020.
See how OLT.com also compares to our top tax filing software options.
- Improved navigation but still bare bones
- Low price for audit assistance and live support
- Pricing is one of the lowest for all tax forms included
$9.95 per State
OLT.com Review Video
OLT.com - Is It Really Free?
OLT.com allows all filers to file Federal taxes for free. However, the state return costs $9.95. The software is competitively priced for filers with more complex tax filing situations.
OLT.com Pricing And Plans
OLT.com has two pricing tiers. The Free tier includes all major forms for filing, but it doesn’t come with tech support. The Premium edition comes with live chat and phone technical support, and a guarantee of audit assistance.
The primary difference between the two plans is that the second plan comes with audit assistance protection, customer support via phone, and live chat. The customer support representatives are both knowledgeable and helpful, but they offer tech support not tax support.
Both plans give you access to all the major tax filing schedules, and you can import your data from the previous year.
Anyone comfortable filing their own taxes very manually
If you want customer service and audit support
This year, OLT.com has dramatically improved it’s navigation. The software has a semi-guided form of navigation. It guides users through relevant income, deduction, credit, and health care information. Users can quickly decide whether a section is relevant, and skip it if it’s not.
Another much improved feature is OLT.com’s “Where do I enter?” button at the top of the software. If you’re struggling to figure out where to enter information, the search function really helps.
That only drawback to OLT.com’s navigation is it’s “intra-section” navigation. When you enter a section, you must complete all screens before moving on. Since OLT.com is not a streamlined software system, it can feel annoying to click so often. Plus, many of the screens are wordy, so you have to read a lot to be sure you’re not skipping something important.
Overall, OLT.com’s navigation is best for experienced users who know exactly what they need. Inexperienced filers who want guided navigation should skip over OLT.com altogether. See our OLT.com review video for some of the more confusing aspects of the navigation.
OLT.com Ease Of Use
Overall, I found that OLT.com was cumbersome to use. The software includes excessive amounts of text, and a lot of the text includes tax jargon. Unlike great tax filing software, OLT.com expects users to know the jargon before filing. For example, many screens are "which will you use"? What if you don't know... it's tough.
Each screen contained a lot of text which made it hard to complete the forms quickly. On top of that, OLT.com doesn’t allow any imports of this year’s tax forms. That means that it is possible to make errors while entering information.
OLT.com’s built in calculators are decent. For example the rental depreciation calculators work as expected. That said, the rental property calculator took over a dozen screens whereas many software services help users get through the process in just 2-3 screens.
OLT.com Knowledge Articles
Each section in OLT.com contains a “Useful Information” button on the top right side of the screen. The button serves up links to the IRS.gov website for detailed (overly detailed) information about relevant topics. It also includes a short summary about the section, so users can decide whether it is relevant to them.
Personally, I think that linking out to the IRS website is a poor choice for OLT.com. It certainly doesn’t make tax filing easier. The short summary articles are decent though.
OLT.com also has a knowledge base. You have to search specifically articles that are relevant to you.
If you upgrade to OLT.com Premium, you’ll get audit assistance and Live Chat tech support. The audit assistance can be a good value, although FreeTaxUSA offers a similar guarantee at a similar price, and it has a superior interface.
Can OLT.com Help Me With My Crypto Investments?
OLT.com asks users about virtual currencies at the start of the process. However, it does not include specific directions on adding the information.
If you’ve done it before, you may be able to figure out which forms are important to use. Otherwise, you’ll have to do the research on your own.
Who Should Use OLT.com in 2019-2020?
Despite the low price, OLT.com doesn’t offer a compelling reason to use the software in 2020. Users who want a better software at a similar price should consider FreeTaxUSA rather than OLT.com. Users who want robust audit assistance and a decent price might consider upgrading to TaxSlayer Premium. And, if you qualify for the free services H&R Block or TurboTax are still the leaders in this area.
In particular, people who get annoyed by guided navigation may find that OLT.com is not a good choice. However, FreeTaxUSA offers a superior experience for just a few dollars more.
It’s also important to note that inexperienced filers should probably stay away from OLT.com in 2019-2020. In most cases, H&R Block’s Free Plan for a better user interface at a lower cost.
- Navigation - 60
- Ease Of Use - 60
- Features and Options - 70
- Customer Service - 80
- Plans and Pricing - 90
Online Taxes (or OLT.com) is a barebones tax preparation software that has bargain prices but is more difficult to use.
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 here and here.
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.