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We have awarded Free Tax USA our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 18 US Online Tax Filing Services. Read our review below to find out why...
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FreeTaxUSA.com is a tax filing website that offers a wide range of tax filing services and assistance at little or no cost. Accessing the site’s “service comparison” page will reveal the true extent of the money you can save using this website as its free services are compared with similar services on other major online tax service websites. Take extension filing as an example, a service which can cost up to $20 per extension elsewhere, or a home owner return (often up to $30). In particular users may be interested in the site’s state tax return price of just $9.95, which includes e-files, printing and online back up. These are all services provided by other service providers, but usually at a considerably higher price.
So you can be pretty sure that freeTaxUSA can offer good value for money, but what about the process of actually filing a tax return? Signing up is quick and easy, though it does require a simple interview process. This interview process isn’t uncommon and, whilst it does take a little longer, you can have some security in the fact that your personal accounts are being taken seriously. Security also seems an important aspect to this site, with TRUSTe and Norton flying their flags on each page and a clearly defined privacy statement in full view prior to signing up. If you e-file then your information is backed up too, so there’s no risk of your data going missing. Once you’ve registered you are able to access a range of key areas through a personalised account, including personal information, income, deductions and credits, and your various files, among other things. Despite the site offering many of its services for free, they have a strong emphasis on customer service, which is also free of charge. You can call their customer services team, send an email or check their extensive FAQ. The FAQ is also searchable, meaning it’s much easier to find the particular piece of information that you’re after, which is good to see because so many sites simply have a list of disorganised questions and answers.
Aside from the free services on offer, FreeTaxUSA also offers a deluxe edition at a very low price ($5.95). The main benefits of the deluxe edition are the supports put in place, particularly for audit assistance, and the ability to make unlimited amended returns. These services often cost around $20 each on other sites, so it’s a very generous offer. In fact you can try the service for free and pay once you file your returns.
There is a lot to like about this tax filing website. Its range of services is admirable, particularly given that most of them are free of charge. There’s a feeling that customer support is important and that security is paramount. Although a few more features would have been useful and there is a lack of communication tools such as blogs, live chat and forums, the features included seem to do a decent job. This is a website which self employed individuals will likely find particularly useful. It may also be useful to small businesses or for people who want to file standard taxes. Larger businesses may want to look elsewhere, as might people who have unusual tax situations. That said, it’s always worth emailing the customer services department to see whether than can help and make recommendations on how to proceed. This is definitely a tax filing website worth a second look.
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