The most basic online software from eSmart Tax is free and offers free federal e-filing but charges $19.95 for a state return. This online-only software is backed by the large retail tax preparation company Liberty Tax Service. Liberty Tax took over Complete Tax in late 2012 and rebranded it as eSmart Tax. Although it has taken a lot of knocks for its design in past eSmart Tax reviews, a redesign is in place for 2014. An expert at Reviews.com calls the new interface clean and modern -- a considerable improvement.
Like other popular software, eSmart Tax includes how-to videos and uses an interview-style approach to fill in your information. Still, you're free to skip around and can set a reminder if you want to come back to a section later. The $9.95 deluxe version supports itemized deductions and caters to taxpayers claiming dependents, mortgage interest, and investment gains or losses. It also lets you speak with a Liberty Tax agent over the phone or via email.
Even the free eSmart Tax software comes with free live chat support, as well as access to helpful guides. It also lets users import tax returns from prior years, but only if they were prepared by eSmart. The eSmart Tax review on Reviews.com concludes that although eSmart is missing some basic features, such as a deduction discovery tool or a tax calculator, the redesigned interface; the ability to import previous returns from TaxACT, TurboTax, and H&R Block; and the fact that there are Liberty Tax retail locations all count as pros.
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