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TaxSlayer

Regardless of which tier you opt for, TaxSlayer offers users an incredible amount of value for a relatively affordable price. Featuring a free federal version meant for simple tax situations, as well as a Classic tier that includes access to additional deductions, credits and forms and a Premium tier that comes with robust customer support functionality, you'll likely be able to find a service offered by TaxSlayer that satisfies your needs. Plus, active military members can file their federal returns for free with TaxSlayer.

Straightforward, Budget-Friendly Tax Prep for Most Tax Needs

If you’re like many people, you’re probably not looking forward to filing your taxes, but doing your taxes is a necessary evil if you want to avoid expensive consequences from the IRS. Fortunately, the right tax preparation software can simplify the tax filing process. And TaxSlayer is one popular prep software to consider.

While it offers fewer features than some competitors, it’s also an affordable option. For this reason, it’s a good choice if you’re looking for budget-friendly software and are comfortable doing your own taxes. Learn more about pricing, features, support, and the benefits and drawbacks of this tax prep software in our TaxSlayer review.

Pros

  • Premium tiers are relatively affordable compared to competing products
  • Free version available for some users
  • Free federal returns for active-duty military members

Cons

  • Some tax credit forms not available in free version
  • Free version not available to high-income users

TaxSlayer at a Glance

Price

  • Simply Free: $01
  • Classic: $28 (32.95 regular) + $39.95 per state
  • Premium: $45 ($52.95 regular) + $39.95 per state
  • Self-Employed: $53.51 ($62.95 regular) + $39.95 per state

Use code SAVE15 at checkout with this link for 15% off**

Guarantees

  • Maximum refund guarantee
  • 100% accuracy guarantee

W-2 + Prior Year Import

  • Yes

Audit Support

  • Basic inquiry help to full audit defense, depending on tier

Access to Tax Experts

  • Yes, with Premium + Self-Employed

1Simply Free includes one free federal return. Simply Free may also include a free state return at certain times during the tax season, or may be free depending on any applicable coupons, discounts, or promotions. Simply Free is only available for those with a basic 1040. To qualify you must meet other eligibility requirements; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Less than the majority of U.S. taxpayers may qualify.

**15% off your federal tax return. Offer is valid on federal tax returns e-filed by April 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Only valid for new or first time TaxSlayer users only. Promotion code must be entered at checkout. Offer is not applicable to state tax returns or additional products. Offer is valid for one-time use only and cannot be combined with any other coupons, promotions, discounts, or offers. Offer is nontransferable, cannot be sold or otherwise bartered, and is not applicable to previous purchases or returns.

Pricing

While some tax prep software makes you pay a premium to file returns, TaxSlayer isn’t one of them. It offers several products catered to different tax filers, and its reasonable prices make it a compelling choice for do-it-yourself tax preparers. Here’s how its pricing structure works and what you get for your money:

TaxSlayer Products & Pricing

Tier Summary Federal State

Simply Free

  • Basic 1040 filing option
  • Free federal returns
  • Phone + email support

$0

Simply Free includes one free federal return. Simply Free may also include a free state return at certain times during the tax season.1

Military

  • Available for any tax situation
  • IRS inquiry help up to 1 year
  • Access to all major tax forms
  • Phone + email support

$0

$39.95

Classic

  • Available for any tax situation
  • IRS inquiry help up to 1 year
  • Access to all major tax forms
  • Phone + email support

$28 ($32.95 regular)

$39.95

Premium

  • Everything included with Classic
  • IRS inquiry help for up to 3 years
  • One-on-one help from a tax pro
  • Live chat and priority assistance

$45 ($52.95 regular)

$39.95

Self-Employed

  • Everything included with Premium
  • 1099 and Schedule C assistance
  • Estimated tax payment reminders
  • Educational tools to make tax filing easier
  • Audit defense for 3 years

$53.51 ($62.95 regular)

$39.95

Use code SAVE15 at checkout for discount**

**15% off your federal tax return. Offer is valid on federal tax returns e-filed by April 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Only valid for new or first time TaxSlayer users only. Promotion code must be entered at checkout. Offer is not applicable to state tax returns or additional products. Offer is valid for one-time use only and cannot be combined with any other coupons, promotions, discounts, or offers. Offer is nontransferable, cannot be sold or otherwise bartered, and is not applicable to previous purchases or returns.

1Simply Free includes one free federal return. Simply Free may also include a free state return at certain times during the tax season, or may be free depending on any applicable coupons, discounts, or promotions. Simply Free is only available for those with a basic 1040. To qualify you must meet other eligibility requirements; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Less than the majority of U.S. taxpayers may qualify.

Features

TaxSlayer offers several convenient features that are fairly common among tax prep software, including:

  • W-2 and prior year return inputting
  • Tax refund calculator
  • Tax law information
  • 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantee
  • Phone, email, and live chat support, depending on your product tier
  • Access to tax professionals with higher-tier products
  • Audit assistance, depending on your product tier

TaxSlayer customers can enjoy peace of mind with their 100% accuracy and maximum refund guarantee. The maximum refund guarantee offers to reimburse you the cost of its services if you see a larger return or smaller tax due elsewhere. Audit assistance is also available with TaxSlayer’s higher-tier services, though you won’t get this benefit with the free version. 

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Support

If you’re filing taxes using the Simply Free, Military, or Classic versions of TaxSlayer, you’ll get access to phone and email ticket support. Unfortunately, TaxSlayer doesn’t specify which hours its support team is available, but it mentions that you can submit an email ticket for a response:

When you opt for the TaxSlayer Premium or Self-Employed package, you’ll get live chat support and help from a tax professional. TaxSlayer also offers priority assistance with its higher-tier services, meaning you can skip the lines and avoid waiting on the phone to get your tax questions answered.

Audit Help

An IRS audit is enough to rattle even the most laid-back tax filer. Fortunately, TaxSlayer provides varying degrees of audit support for most of its packages, though it isn’t available with the Simply Free option:

  • Classic and Military: Get IRS inquiry help from TaxSlayer for up to a year after your return is accepted by the IRS.
  • Premium: If you're audited, TaxSlayer's certified tax pros can help you for up to three years after your audited return's original acceptance.
  • Self-Employed: An IRS enrolled agent can provide audit defense for to three years.

If the IRS contacts you about an audit, reach out to TaxSlayer’s customer service team. You’ll need to provide a copy of the form you received from the IRS, your contact information, and your TaxSlayer username or the email on your account. This information will help the TaxSlayer team find your account and provide the assistance you qualify for.

Refund Options

tax refund

iStock

You can choose from four refund options with TaxSlayer, all of which are fairly common with other tax preparation services:

  • Check: Refund checks are sent by mail, which generally takes about 18-28 days after your returns are accepted. 
  • Direct deposit: Refunds are direct-deposited into your checking, savings or prepaid debit card account and can take around 10-21 days. 
  • Prepaid card: Refunds are deposited onto a TaxSlayer Visa® Debit Card powered by Green Dot, or your personal prepaid card. Green Dot cards are mailed within 15 days of your return being accepted.
  • Refund transfer: Refunds are direct-deposited into your checking, savings or prepaid debit card account, with tax prep fees deducted from your refund. This takes around 10-18 days.

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How TaxSlayer Compares

Robust Free Tier

If you have a fairly simple tax situation and you’re comfortable tackling your own taxes, TaxSlayer's free tier is robust compared to other tax software. TaxSlayer's free version handles simple federal tax situations and may include state filing1. It comes with phone and email support, and you can file federal at no cost, provided you meet certain criteria:

  • Taxable income below $100,000
  • No dependents to claim
  • Taking the standard deduction

Simply Free gives you the option to claim the student loan interest deduction and education credits, which is helpful if you have outstanding loans or you’re still in college. Unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for Simply Free if you’re self-employed, you plan to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), or you have rental income or stock sales. It also doesn't support itemized deductions, so you'll need to opt for a paid tier if you want to itemize. 

Affordable Pricing

Besides its Simply Free version, TaxSlayer offers affordable pricing on its higher-tier products, making it suitable for many tax filers. So even if you have a complicated tax situation, TaxSlayer can probably still get the job done. That said, it doesn’t have as many features as premium tax preparation services.

Right now, you can get 15% off with TaxSlayer using code SAVE15 at checkout.**

Not Ideal for Unique or Complex Situations

TaxSlayer may not be the best fit for those with complex situations. For example, if you’re a self-employed filer with multiple 1099s, have a slew of rental properties, or are in another rare financial situation, TaxSlayer may not be the most convenient. If you're in need of in-person help to navigate the various forms and tax laws, consider a competitor with brick-and-mortar locations.

Is TaxSlayer Worth It?

TaxSlayer may be worth it, depending on your tax situation and what you’re looking for in a tax prep software. It’s budget friendly and has several convenient features for tax filers, including an intuitive online dashboard and a mobile app. And if you have a simple tax situation and can take advantage of its free version, TaxSlayer is a very compelling option. 

With TaxSlayer’s higher-tier packages, you can also get one-on-one help from a tax pro and priority assistance if you need extra guidance. Overall, its features, pricing, and support options make it worth considering. But its self-employed tier might not be the best choice if you have a complicated tax return.

Tax Filing Made Easy

Ready to File Your Taxes? Start Here

FAQs

  • Simply Free includes one free federal return. Simply Free may also include a free state return at certain times during the tax season, or may be free depending on any applicable coupons, discounts, or promotions. Simply Free is only available for those with a basic 1040. To qualify you must meet other eligibility requirements; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Less than the majority of U.S. taxpayers may qualify.

    If your tax situation is more complicated, you’ll likely need to pay for a higher-tier version of the TaxSlayer software. Regular prices vary, depending on the version you want, but right now, using this link and the code SAVE15,** you can take advantage of discounted pricing.

  • Yes, TaxSlayer is a legitimate, IRS-approved tax filing service. Once you file your returns electronically using its software, they’ll be submitted directly to the IRS for review.

  • TaxSlayer doesn’t specify how long it takes to get returns approved. But it does indicate that the IRS processes most returns within 21 days. The amount of time it takes to receive your refund can vary, though. For instance, it may be as little as 10 days if you opt to receive it via direct deposit.

  • You can only file one federal income tax return per account with TaxSlayer, but you can link up to five accounts to one email address. The IRS has rules in place about how many returns an individual can file, and the maximum number is five returns. Unfortunately, there’s no way to bypass this rule as an individual.

    However, if you’re a professional tax preparer, you aren’t limited to five returns. TaxSlayer also offers a Pro version to help business owners filing returns on behalf of others.

JU

Jessica Ullrich

Jess is a freelance personal finance writer. She's been creating financial and business content for over a decade. Before venturing into freelance writing, Jess was on the editorial teams at Investopedia, The Balance, and FinanceBuzz. She's created content across several verticals, including budgeting, credit, debt, insurance, investing, loans, and side hustles. In her spare time, you can find Jess reading about money, working in her garden, or spending time with family.