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TaxSlayer.com offers a federal tax filing and tax refund claims support system for a variety of budgets. Its most basic package is free to all users and allows e-filing, email and phone support and a deduction finder. However, you are limited to form 1040EZ only. Though all three packages allow you to file federal taxes, it costs $17.90 for the first state return and $9.95 for each additional state, though these prices are competitive with other sites offering a similar service. If you want to pay for an upgraded package then you have two options which provide extra benefits. The Classic edition has a much wider range of forms and includes all of the major forms used, whereas the Premium edition includes these forms plus the ability to compare the prior year’s taxes and to receive tax audit assistance should you require it. Premium members also receive priority support (though it is worth bearing in mind that the calls to the priority support service are charged).
Signing up is very simple, you simply put in a few basic details and your email address. This is something of a relief because a number of tax filing websites require you to include personal tax information from official documents before you are able to progress past the homepage. Security is also important to TaxSlayer and they make a point of this by outlining their privacy, security and refund policies in links at the bottom of each page. The system uses TRUSTe, Norton and Trustwave for security, and you are also guaranteed a maximum refund, or they will refund any payments you made for their service. It’s reassuring that they are so confident, and this standard of service and accuracy is reflected in their customer feedback, which can easily be accessed through the site.
This site offers very good value for money, even providing a free service to people who are able to file taxes using the 1040EZ form. Active duty military personnel can prepare their federal and state returns for free, including live phone support, a deduction guide, use of all major forms and schedules, use of the tax refund calculator and the ability to file taxes in unlimited states. This makes taxslayer.com a great site to use if you’re in the military as everything is free of charge. Even if, as an active duty military member, you decide not to file your tax returns or claims with this site you could still sign up simply to take advantage of the customer service on offer as tax professionals will be able to advise you on the best courses of action.
The majority of this site’s features centre around customer support, which is not a bad thing but does make you feel somewhat reliant on the customer support team. It would be beneficial to have more tools which allow you to better understand your taxes and to manage them privately. The variety of services is also somewhat limited, or at least not explained in full, though if you are looking for audit support, (should the IRS be inclined to audit your taxes) there is help available to Premium edition members.
TaxSlayer.com is a somewhat basic site due to its standard features and variety of services, but its focus on security and customer services, plus its fair pricing and free service options mean that it is a site worth a visit, particularly if you’re an active duty military member.
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