Reviews suggest TaxSlayer hasn't kept up with the competition in recent years. The Free Basic edition includes only email tech support (no tax-related support) and charges a hefty sum for state filing. The Free File version is limited to taxpayers with adjusted gross income of no more than $33,000.
- Adjusted gross income of $33,000 or less, or
- $60,000 or less for active military
- Supports all common forms
- Free state e-filing in AR, AZ, GA, IA, ID, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NC, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT, WV, and DC
TaxSlayer Free Basic
- No income or age requirement
- Supports all common forms
TaxSlayer had been gaining favor with taxpayers until recently, according to reviews, when the tax prep software became a little more expensive and a little less useful. The price to e-file a state return is now $23.90* for the first state, a 33 percent increase over last year, and $14.95 for additional states; federal e-filing is still free.
In TaxSlayer reviews, users contend that the online software is easy to navigate, and guarantees of a maximum refund and 100 percent accuracy (of the calculations) put their minds at ease. Other TaxSlayer reviews praise the way the software helps preparers but isn't overbearing with assistance. At Consumer Affairs, though, users complain about weak customer support, system errors, and returns that were rejected by tax authorities due to incomplete or erroneous data.
PC Mag asserts that the user interface is dated, the error-check process is awkward, and overall the software doesn't seem ready for prime time. Product recommendation site The Wirecutter concludes that TaxSlayer's interface and guidance don't measure up to FreeTaxUSA or TurboTax.
Phone and email support is included with TaxSlayer Free Basic, but read the fine print carefully: It covers technical matters only; no answers to tax questions. An upgrade to TaxSlayer Premium ($34.95) includes priority support and access to a tax professional, a service that costs $22 for users of the Free Basic edition.
The Free File version, although limited by a low adjusted gross income ceiling of $33,000, is a potentially good option because it can handle all common tax forms and includes free e-filing in 21 states plus the District of Columbia. Taypayers in the remaining states pay just $12.95. A Free File edition for active military accepts adjusted gross income up to $60,000. Users of Free File can import a previous TaxSlayer return to expedite the filing process. Non-Free File users must use a paid edition for this feature.
TaxSlayer isn't without merit, but unless you qualify for Free File, the steep prices for state filing and complicated returns are a turn-off. Reports about returns being rejected are also troublesome.
*Prices subject to change.