TaxSlayer is cloud-based bookkeeping software used to file taxes online that comes with a handy calculator and a library of IRS forms. The Tax Slayer app also provides news, resources, and tips for financial management. Those actively serving in the military have free access to all TaxSlayer features. Tax software is notorious for being complicated, but TaxSlayer promises ease of filing and claiming tax returns. Let’s check if that’s true and how TaxSlayer does it in this TaxSlayer review.
Ease of use
Value for Money
Starting from: $29.95
Pricing Model: Per State Return
Yes, has free trial
Yes, has free version
- No out-of-pocket fees
- Tax filing services available in the app
- Reimburses the user in case of penalties
- Unlimited phone and e-mail help
- Requires a phone number
- Can’t handle complex tax scenarios
- Red/green color scheme is not suitable for daltonists
- Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
- Mobile - Android
- Mobile - iPhone
TaxSlayer — Tax Preparation Service
TaxSlayer is a Georgia-based company started in 1956 with the motto of “turning taxpayers into tax slayers.” The founders’ goal was to offer DIY tax preparation and tax-filing services with minimal fees and maximum tax returns. Furthermore, education is another noble goal of TaxSlayer. Offering a plethora of blog articles and sources, TaxSlayer can help a tax preparer figure out how to handle a new tax situation. If they still can’t find the answer, TaxSlayer has a tax professional on standby. Thus, as useful this bookkeeping software is, as necessary a TaxSlayer review! Let’s find out more about this tax software in this TaxSlayer review!
What is TaxSlayer?
TaxSlayer is a suite of tax filing tools grouped into five products:
- Simply Free TaxSlayer
- Classic TaxSlayer
- Premium TaxSlayer
- Self-Employed TaxSlayer
- Military TaxSlayer
They all help users pay taxes online, but they support differing forms. You can use the same data set to file state taxes for a fee. The fees differ depending on which feature is used in which product.
Moreover, businesses can use TaxSlayer to file forms such as Schedule C (profit/loss from business). Sole proprietors practicing a profession can also use it. The taxpayer must be continuously involved with the associated activity and income or profit to qualify for Schedule C. TaxSlayer Classic is the recommended option by TaxSlayer. It has no form or schedule restrictions and covers all tax situations. In addition, the Premium plan offers live chat and the “Ask a Tax Pro” feature.
The Self-Employed solution is for contractors, freelancers, hustlers, and everyone filing a 1099 form. TaxSlayer Military is for active-duty military and covers all tax scenarios.
How to create a TaxSlayer account?
Visit the TaxSlayer website and click any green “Start for free” buttons. Type in a password, username, and your e-mail address in the TaxSlayer sign-in form. Then, you will land in the TaxSlayer dashboard. Use the same credentials when coming back to the Tax Slayer login.
How to file extensions on TaxSlayer?
File Form 4868 using the TaxSlayer Pro desktop version or TaxSlayer ProWeb to get a 6-month extension of the deadline. You can also access this option from inside the tax return; look for “Automatic Extension Form (4868)”.
Why is TaxSlayer charging fees?
TaxSlayer charges you a fee for using the TaxSlayer program and/or infrastructure to file a tax return. Without fees, TaxSlayer wouldn’t be able to update or upgrade the program and/or the infrastructure. Consequently, fees are not refunded to you if the IRS rejects your tax return, but the amended return’s subsequent sending is not charged again unless you upgrade the plan.
How to delete a TaxSlayer return?
While in the TaxSlayer dashboard, click the cog icon in the bottom left corner. Next, click “Transaction history.” Next, select the tax return you want to delete and click “Clear your return and restart.”
Should I use TaxSlayer?
Yes, if you know what to file and your taxable income is less than $100,000 a year. However, if you have any doubts about your tax situation, you should go with another tax-filing product.
Moreover, the main advantages for TaxSlayer users are a clean interface and an intuitive information pipeline, an anti-LinkedIn of sorts. For example, as you browse the dashboard, TaxSlayer will pop up a question: whether you are widowed and have dependents. Of course, you can answer it right away and keep providing the information or skip it to move at your own pace. But, after reading this TaxSlayer review, you will be able to say for yourself if this is the right software for you.
Now, let’s discover some of its best features:
TaxSlayer Simply Free
Simply Free is TaxSlayer’s bread and butter. It is designed for taxpayers without dependents claiming a standard deduction. You can use it to:
- prepare and e-file a 1040 federal tax return
- claim education credits
- deduct student loan interest
In addition, it covers only the types of income coming from wages, tips, salaries, and the like. You should upgrade to a paid pricing tier if you’re earning money from stock sales or have rental property income.If you start filing in Simply Free and discover your situation is more complex than the plan covers, you can upgrade to TaxSlayer Classic and complete the return.
In the dashboard, you will be walked through three steps:
- Choosing the right product
- Entering your information to determine your tax status
- Complete the tax return
Choose a plan and upload the PDF of your last year’s tax return. Next, enter your personal information and provide a mobile phone number. According to the TaxSlayer disclaimer, at this stage, the IRS requires a phone number to file electronically, and it’s the best way for TaxSlayer to contact you.
TaxSlayer phone number requirement
A dummy or landline number won’t work; you will be asked to verify the 6-digit code sent to it. However, this step is unskippable, and users in forums complain that they can’t verify a foreign (non-US) phone number.
Nevertheless, researching the section about e-filing tax returns on the IRS website yielded no mention of having to provide a phone number to file a return. In addition, the IRS Free File program, which offers tax filing for free through partners, one of which is TaxSlayer, states that the taxpayer needs the paperwork and an SSN; no mention of a phone number.
TaxSlayer Quick File
Quick File is the most straightforward route to filling out forms and filing a tax return. It skips the extra navigation pages and saves clicks by displaying the listed forms in their specified order. Moreover, according to the TaxSlayer help article, Quick File is found by accessing your return, selecting “Toolbox” in the menu, and clicking “Quick File.”
Tax tools and resources
Additionally, TaxSlayer’s website has a section dedicated to learning about taxes. Mouse over “Support & Tax Tools” to access it and click “Tax Tools.” This section also hosts a tax calculator and a contact form to ask tax pro questions.
The most interesting section is “Tax Law Info,” which links to articles describing recent tax law changes. As the rules around tax forms change, these articles by the TaxSlayer editorial team keep you updated and give you practical, professional advice.
Multiple refund options
There are three refund routes:
- direct deposit
- TaxSlayer debit card
- printed check
Direct deposit delivers the money to a checking or savings account. Up to three accounts are permissible per refund, with the amount split in any way the user wants.
You can become an affiliate by embedding a TaxSlayer link on your website. Thus, visitors who follow it, make a TaxSlayer account, and buy a non-free plan will earn a commission.
The Android app has 4.5/5 stars based on 6,157 reviews in the Google Play Store. The most recent complaints relate to glitches rotating the screen and adjusting the window size in split-screen — either action logs out the user. Moreover, older phones may also experience crashes.
The app is solid for updating your tax information on the go but is not practical for bulk uploads. In addition, the workflow is constantly interrupted by being logged out due to inactivity and nag screens asking you to upgrade to a paid plan. Scroll down and tap the tiny “No thanks” to continue working.
The iOS app has 4.8/5 stars based on 10,600 reviews on the Apple App Store. Users note it is easier to use than TurboTax and can produce a valid tax return in 30 minutes or less, provided the basic 1040 return.
Finally, any TaxSlayer Pro product has TaxesToGo, a fully integrated app for business owners preparing tax documents for their clients. The app features a document and signature sharing hub with an instant messaging service and a driver’s license scanning option. In addition, business owners can apply their brand over the TaxesToGo app and share a personalized link for their clients to download and install it.
This is a constellation of subscription-based TaxSlayer products focused on business owners and clients. It serves as billing software used to generate invoices and invoice templates. It comprises:
- Pro Classic
- Pro Premium
- ProWeb + Corporate
Let’s untangle this. They all feature:
- an unlimited 1040 program
- unlimited e-filing
- coverage of all states
- web bank integration
- multiple user access
- cloud-based reporting
- a client retention database
Classic is the core product. It does not provide the TaxesToGo app, client portal, or compatibility with digital signatures; the others do. ProWeb is the online-only solution that requires a browser and an internet connection.
Next, the Premium supports two signature pads: Topaz SigLite T-S460-HSB-R and Scriptel ST1476 EasyScript. Others may work, but TaxSlayer tested those two for compatibility. Also, they work in the ProWeb version, provided you download and install the correct drivers. Buying this package provides access to PaperCut, a paper-free document management tool. Furthermore, it supports scanners, with the most compatible brands being Canon, HP, Epson, and Brother.
Moreover, Web + Corporate is a new addition to the TaxSlayer product portfolio. It enables filing LLC and corporate returns. It can only be purchased after a phone call with TaxSlayer.
There is no requirement to obtain an EFIN to buy TaxSlayer Pro; the IRS does require it to e-file tax returns.
After purchasing any of the TaxSlayer Pro products, you can enter a partnership with auditing and security firms. Audit Maintenance Pro (AMP) is touted as a low-cost audit insurance solution baked into TaxSlayer Pro during the bank application process.
If accepted, AMP partnership charges the default AMP fee plus any fee you add on top with every filed tax return. If the IRS schedules an audit of the taxpayer, AMP will handle it.
SecurelyID is an identity safekeeping and restoration service that is also offered during the bank application process. It monitors public databases, such as the sex offender registry and credit bureaus, for taxpayers’ information. In addition, the SecurelyID website promises a $1mm reimbursement in case of identity theft.
Workful is a payroll/HR software that can handle digital payment, onboarding, expenses, and team communication. Also, it provides access to timesheet info and time-off management for each employee. WorkfulBooks is a bookkeeping and journal product optimized for recurring reports, such as P&L statements and balance sheets.
Workful and WorkfulBooks have a 30-day free trial, but keep in mind that they are small business accounting software; their online payments might not match professional accounting programs. You can toggle on or off AMP and SecurelyID through the TaxSlayer Pro interface.
You can start all plans for free. However, TaxSlayer prices are hidden until entering all the tax return information. Most negative TrustPilot user reviews justify the bad ratings with high TaxSlayer fees that spring out of nowhere. A steep paywall can block you on a free plan, so keep an eye out for a TaxSlayer promo code before you start.
- Simple tax situations (basic 1040).
- Includes one free federal and one state return.
- All forms, deductions, and credits.
- State additional
- Ask a Tax Pro and live chat
- Plus skip-the-line phone
- Email support
- Personal and business income and expenses
- Schedule C.
See all Features
Alternatives to TaxSlayer
TaxSlayer vs. TurboTax
In contrast, TurboTax is more expensive but provides more features and a comprehensive filing review. Similarly, this bookkeeping software explains tax issues in a user-friendly way and through an accessible user interface. However, the main distinction is the inability to switch from a free tier to a higher pricing tier mid-preparation, which is why many of its users go for a paid pricing tier from the start.
Moreover, there are downloadable, offline versions of TurboTax for Windows and Mac. Hence, the creator company recommends Windows versions since Mac doesn’t support all the features. For example, Mac users might have trouble filing taxes for an S or a C corporation. In addition, the offline versions have some features the online version doesn’t, such as preparing tax returns 2 or 3 years prior. Also, TurboTax is made by a company that offers two other products — Mint for finance tracking and QuickBooks for small-business accounting. Therefore, a TurboTax account also provides access to Mint and QuickBooks features.
TaxSlayer vs. TaxAct
TaxAct doesn’t have a free plan, but its paid plans aren’t of much use either. In addition, users complain about TaxAct making many mistakes that cause delays and penalties while requiring a US-based phone number for account activation. To add insult to injury, TaxAct shut down its phone support in 2020 and, as of 2021, required a 1-hour wait on hold to connect.
In addition, one business owner groans about the lack of flexibility needed for the 1099-INT form. Everyone else groans about the outdated software and usability problems. There are no refunds either; your money is out the window if anything goes wrong. Thus, in a TaxAct vs. TaxSlayer showdown, the latter is a clear winner.
TaxSlayer Review Conclusions
In this TaxSlayer review, the app’s main draw is the free plan. However, althought it works just fine at the start, that might not be enough for your tax situation, at which point you will need a feature or a form that incurs a fee. Furthermore, if your tax situation is likely to change yearly, TaxSlayer won’t satisfy your needs, regardless of how much money you waste.
The fees are the biggest variable when dealing with TaxSlayer, though your mileage may vary. Some users are happy with the fees, while others resent being charged for what they could have or had done themselves. The difference is the user’s aptitude for filing tax paperwork.
If you know how to file some but not all of your tax paperwork, you will likely find TaxSlayer a rip-off. On the other hand, if you don’t know about taxes and want it done, no matter the cost, you probably don’t need any extra help and will be overjoyed with TaxSlayer. Whatever it might be, we hope our TaxSlayer review helps you get a clearer image of what it is like using this tax software.
Is TaxSlayer safe?
Yes, if you use a disposable/dedicated US-based phone number. The IRS has added the optional field for the taxpayer’s phone number to Form 1040 in 2019, but there’s no apparent need to provide a phone number. But otherwise, it’s a safe tax software to use if you don’t want to be wrong in filing your taxes. Or you want some peace in your mind.