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#4696652 - 03/16/18 11:57 AM FreeTax USA
csandste Offline


Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
I've only been using this for the last couple of days, and there may be a big gotcha up ahead, but so far I REALLY like this tax prep site. I know there was tax software discussion up here a couple of weeks ago, but I can't find it.

I've used Tax Act for more than a decade, probably almost two decades if you count paper filing with its Parsons Software predecessor. Used Tax Slayer for a couple of years in the early 2000's, but Tax Act seemed worth the few bucks extra. In the last couple of years Tax Act's pricing took off to be only a few bucks less than Turbo Tax or Block.

Last year I was looking forward to Credit Karma's free tax site, but it was totally a work in progress. Had a box to enter rental property information, but it didn't work--couldn't click on it. It did work for my girl friend's very simple return. Apparently they've gone backwards this year because she was stopped from entering a number of 1099-R's. When she contacted them, she was told to just forget about entering them unless money was withheld and she'd be getting a refund on them. Also, the Obama care "I have insurance" dialogue didn't work. So... for the time being, forget about the freebie from Credit Karma (I like the overall site, but they bought a tax product that needs a ton of work and is apparently getting worse).

Anyway... I stumbled across FreeTax USA after seeing an initial positive review in PCMag. We got all her information into the site in one day (still haven't filed), and I was so impressed I started entry on my much more complex filing. I have rental properties which I'm depreciating, and also part of a race horse. Everything so far is going extremely well. I don't need all of the long dialogues which TaxAct developed when it decided it had to go head to head with the big two.

This is sort of like my last try with TaxSlayer but a bit cleaner and a bit cheaper. I'm not done with my tax yet, and there might be a gotcha ahead but so far this is as fast and painless as tax software can be.

Freetaxusa.com. Fed is free, they charge $12.95 for state returns and another $6.99 for the deluxe version with more hand holding. There's another site called TaxHawk.com which I understand is the same product. Apparently they charge two bucks extra for the state return and with that name, they could always start charging for the Fed return, so why mess with a good thing?

My returns are a work in progress, and I was impressed with Credit Karma's product last year for the first day or so of inputting so this might still bite me, but I thought I'd get the word out in case someone else out there has been procrastinating and disturbed about Tax Act's recent price pops.



Edited by csandste (03/16/18 11:59 AM)

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#4696664 - 03/16/18 12:15 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2724
Loc: USA
Used them to file this year because taxact is now just expensive.

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#4696671 - 03/16/18 12:17 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
goodtimes Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2654
Loc: california
I just bought HR block Deluxe Fed and one state for $19 sealed box free shipping no tax. Some have it a little less. Using it for years now. Mine is a little complicated. It prepares state but I mail it in to avoid the state filing fee, not a big deal.

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#4696690 - 03/16/18 12:46 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
BJD78 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 423
Loc: Nebraska
Have used turbo tax for probably a decade now. Might be better or similar out there , but Turbo imports most data from prvious years and we are pretty used to navigating it's interface. even though HR Block, Jsckson hewitt, tax slayer and others are probably about the same I Not interested in learning a new interface We buy it at Sams every year for about $20 to $30 for the cd. i treat my taxes like I do my oil, I select an oil and stick with it.
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#4696730 - 03/16/18 01:27 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
PeteDC Offline


Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Bellwood, PA
I've used FreeTax for a few years with no issues, although the state fee keeps increasing every year so it now seems to cost as much as anything else.

Pete

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#4696739 - 03/16/18 01:38 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
MotoTribologist Offline


Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 522
Loc: NJ, USA
I just use the IRS website and the NJ Division of Taxation websites and file for free very easily.

I work for someone else though, so mine are pretty simple. Maybe using those free resources isn't so easy for self-employed or other more complicated income sources.

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#4696803 - 03/16/18 02:31 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
csandste Offline


Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
Tax Act ran me $14 in 2012--'11 taxes. Last year ('16 taxes)it had increased to $70. My computer has no DVD player, but am surprised that they're available on disk for so much less--you'd think producing physical media would cost more. Most reviews of the big 3 say Tax Act is still the cheapest. Thought the complete TurboTax was running close to $100.


Edited by csandste (03/16/18 02:33 PM)

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#4696811 - 03/16/18 02:45 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
csandste Offline


Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
https://thecollegeinvestor.com/15201/comparing-prices-turbotax-hr-block-tax-act/

Says Tax Act and Block cost $97, Tax Act $62 for premium editions. Don't know why I paid $70 last year, but I did. Dropping Tax Act will cost me some time the first year because I was importing a lot of prior year data including some fairly complex depreciation tables on horses and houses.


Edited by csandste (03/16/18 02:46 PM)

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#4696858 - 03/16/18 04:04 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
opus1 Offline


Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: Chicago Area
Been a FreeTaxUSA user for many years now. Stumbled on the site years ago when I qualified for free filing due to not having much income. Since then my income and the rules have changed so the federal return is free. Data from last year imports and I've never had a problem with the site. I even fork over the charge to file the state return and it's done.

I believe the discount code FREETAXUSA10 will will take 10% off the filing fees. Not much but it's a savings.
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#4697072 - 03/16/18 08:31 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
Bud Online   content


Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 1620
Loc: Texas
I have used it for the last three years and like it.
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#4697132 - 03/16/18 09:32 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
yesthatsteve Offline


Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 721
Loc: Kansas City, MO
TaxAct was over $100 for me this time, federal plus two states - I work in KS and live in MO; my wife works in MO. Had I known it would cost that much, I'd have done it on my own. My wife and I each have W-2 income, 1099s from interest and dividends, and education tax credits for a kid in college. Not complicated, and the new tax code revisions will make it even easier.
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#4697228 - 03/17/18 12:35 AM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: yesthatsteve]
csandste Offline


Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
Originally Posted By: yesthatsteve
TaxAct was over $100 for me this time, federal plus two states - I work in KS and live in MO; my wife works in MO. Had I known it would cost that much, I'd have done it on my own. My wife and I each have W-2 income, 1099s from interest and dividends, and education tax credits for a kid in college. Not complicated, and the new tax code revisions will make it even easier.


I guess FreeTax would hit you for two state packages, but that's a lot cheaper than Tax Act. I started using this year's Tax Act and got confused when we started into expenses and depreciation tables for my property and horse. By making it more and more conversational in an attempt to compete with the big two, I was actually lost (what property AM I depreciating?)--and I've been using it for a long time.

If I have a big gotcha when I'm ready to file I'll post on here, but so far, this is the clearest, most to the point tax package I've ever used.

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#4697247 - 03/17/18 01:41 AM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
GrtArtiste Offline


Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 723
Loc: Ohio
I've been using 1040NOW for several years. It seems to be very comprehensive, but the rules and fees seem to change depending on which state you are domiciled in. The first time I filed a federal return, it was free. There has been a fee every year since (this year it was $14.95 for the EZ form). Now it appears that there is a federal filing fee in all states but that wasn't the case in previous years. Also, in some states it won't submit a federal return by itself...you must submit a state return at the same time, which has it's own fee. Fortunately, that requirement does not apply in OH and I can free-file my state return on the official state web site. Online support and and a Professional Paid Preparer Edition are also available. My refunds have always been direct-deposited in two weeks or less.

https://www.1040now.net/ if you are interested but this is not a recommendation. Caveat Emptor.

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#4707990 - 03/26/18 10:28 PM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
csandste Offline


Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 1101
Loc: St. Peters, Missouri
Said I'd review this when I filed. Cost me less than a fifth of what I paid TaxAct last year and it was extremely accurate (I think, I didn't go back and check computations), simple and to the point. No dialogue boxes to work through like TaxAct. I don't need to be asked if I got married or died in the last year.

Unlike Credit Karma, this is not a work in progress with numerous coding errors, unclickable boxes, etc. It's mature, very easy to use and well worth the $11+ (with coupon) that I paid for my state filing. I can't recommend this enough.

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#4709386 - 03/28/18 09:45 AM Re: FreeTax USA [Re: csandste]
Sierra048 Offline


Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 801
Loc: N. Georgia Mtns
Csandste,

I've used both. Year before last I made a dummy account on each one and entered the same info into each. My end results were identical. This year I used TurboTax. I guess since it was such a simple return, it didn't cost me anything to file both federal and state returns electronically.
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