Are you someone who wants to do your taxes yourself? Do you also appreciate having a professional just a phone call away?
If so, TaxSlayer could be one of the best value tax filing products for you in 2020. Here’s what you need to know about it.
TaxSlayer should be a top contender for complex and simple filers alike. Let's dive in to our TaxSlayer review and see what makes TaxSlayer one of the best tax software choices of 2020 tax season.
- Free File and Highly Competitive Pricing Options
- Premium and Self-Employed receive access to a tax pro
- Extremely easy to use
Starts at $0
$29 per State
Self-Prepared, Online Support
TaxSlayer Review Video
TaxSlayer - Is It Free?
TaxSlayer offers free state and Federal filing for people with W-2 incomes who want to claim student loan interest deductions or claim another education tax credit.
However, with the free version you cannot itemize your deductions or claim common credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit. For that you have to upgrade to the classic version. HSA accounts cannot be claimed with the free version.
For Military Members: TaxSlayer has been consistently known to support military members. As such, they offer a free Federal return for military members using TaxSlayer Classic - with all forms and tax situations included (state is additional). Learn more about TaxSlayer Military here >>
TaxSlayer Pricing And Plans
If you’re going to pay for tax software, TaxSlayer offers an incredible value with it’s Classic edition. This version includes all deductions, credits and forms. If you’re a person with a small side business, a rental property, and a W-2 job, this is an incredible bargain.
For a step up, the Premium version also includes help from tax professionals and audit assistance if needed.
Since I have a more complicated filing situation, I’m inclined to recommend the Premium edition even though it is more expensive. The help from tax pros and IRS audit assistance guarantee seem worth an additional $20 to me.
The whole concept of TaxSlayer pricing is "pay for service" - not based on how many forms you need. Unlike other companies where you pay for forms or tax situations - you get everything at the base-level Classic edition. Beyond that, you're really looking for assistance.
W-2 income, student loan interest.
All situations and forms.
Designed for self-employed individuals.
TaxSlayer offers both a guided and self-guided navigation. The self-guided navigation is one of the best in the business because TaxSlayer makes it easy to jump back into the guided version if you get confused. Combined with simple explanatory videos that are sprinkled throughout the software, TaxSlayer is an easy to use software, even if you’re trying to do complicated things.
That said, TaxSlayer’s guided version still falls short of the standard set by industry leader TurboTax. First time filers may become confused if they don’t pay attention to the software.
Ease of Use
TaxSlayer isn’t perfect, but it’s very good when it comes to ease of use. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it doesn't import all of your information from previous years on the Free Edition level - it's very weird and selective about what imports. For example, name and SSN did NOT import, but address did.
The other drawback to TaxSlayer’s Navigation is that you cannot see how things “add up” on your own.
For example, you can see your business net profit, but you can’t see a break out of total income and total expenses. This is a particularly tricky business if you’ve got rental properties, and you want to be sure that you’re claiming the right amount of depreciation.
Since TaxSlayer has videos, Learn More buttons and articles throughout the software, most people will find the software easy to use. It’s especially easy if you’ve filed your taxes a few times, and you know what you’re looking to do.
I love TaxSlayer’s knowledge articles and videos. You can access them through the search functionality and they pop up on the left hand side of the screen when you click “Learn More.”
In general, TaxSlayer’s knowledge articles are robust enough to be helpful, but short enough to be readable. My only complaint is that some of the real estate topics are difficult to find without knowing the tax lingo.
For people who are used to searching YouTube for their information, these videos set a new standard for tax software.
Does TaxSlayer Support Crypto Investments?
TaxSlayer supports all forms necessary for filing crypto investments (including mining and buying and selling). It also has instructions on how to file the forms on the website.
However, the software treats crypto currency like any other capital gain or loss item.
If you pay for the Premium or Self-Employed edition, you will get IRS audit assistance from enrolled agents or Certified Public Accountants. You get this coverage for three years. You also get unlimited help from tax professionals (who will generally be enrolled agents).
With the Classic edition, you will receive IRS inquiry assistance for one year. TaxSlayer’s professionals will help you interpret letters from the IRS, but they will not necessarily help you prep letters to help you in an audit.
Is TaxSlayer Safe And Secure?
TaxSlayer allows users to enable multi-factor authentication. During testing, we were always appropriately prompted for access codes.
Who Should Use TaxSlayer 2020?
After years of improvements, TaxSlayer is offering a premium product that rivals software services offered by H&R Block and TurboTax. And it comes at a lower price point than either of those competitors. I recommend the premium version as the package that offers the most value since it includes help from Tax Pros, three years of audit assistance, and unlimited tech support via phone or email.
While free filers will do better to look at H&R Block, people who are paying for a service should strongly consider TaxSlayer in 2020. It is a high value product, with compelling extras that come at the right price.
TaxSlayer is a solid choice for a lot of filers who need all the forms, need some help, and are conscious of the costs. Get started with TaxSlayer for free and try it out.
TaxSlayer 2020 Review
- Navigation - 90
- Ease Of Use - 80
- Features and Options - 90
- Customer Service - 90
- Plans and Pricing - 90
TaxSlayer 2020 is the best tax software for those that need their refunds fast and would like a high level of service online.
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.