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          TaxSlayer's $0 plan is for anyone with simple taxes and includes free federal and state returns

          woman using a computer at home woman using a computer at home
          With TaxSlayer, you can file simple federal and state returns for $0.
          damircudic/Getty Images

          Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

          • TaxSlayer is a tax preparation company that offers four plans: Simply Free, Classic, Premium, and Self-Employed.
          • The Simply Free plan is just that — free. You can file simple federal and state returns for $0 if your tax situation is basic.
          • TaxSlayer is a good option for people who are already comfortable with the e-filing process, since it can be difficult to skip around on the website and to access certain customer service features.
          • Use TaxSlayer to file your simple state and federal returns for free »

          Filing your taxes can be a bit like your first trip to the gym — you don't want to spend the money, you aren't sure how everything works, and you keep putting it off. But if you use the right equipment, the process isn't as terrible as you expected.

          TaxSlayer is a tax preparation company for people filing their taxes online from home. But does it include the right equipment for your tax needs?

          Who should use TaxSlayer?

          You might like filing with TaxSlayer if you:

          • Want a plan that is free for both federal and state returns
          • Qualify for the free plan and want to import prior years' tax returns
          • Want a free plan that covers education credits and the student loan interest deduction
          • Don't qualify for a free plan, but still value budget filing options
          • Are already familiar with e-filing your taxes, so a mediocre user interface and limited customer support doesn't deter you
          • Need to skip around in the e-filing process

          You might not like filing with TaxSlayer if you:

          • Value an easy-to-use interface over affordability
          • Want to use live chat or contact an expert without paying to upgrade
          taxslayer logo
          Editor's Rating4.56 out of 5
          Review summary

          TaxSlayer is cheaper than competing tax software and is best for people who either have a simple tax situation or are already comfortable with the e-filing process.


          $0 - $86

          • 4 different product tiers.
          • Completely free option for simple tax situations at any income level.
          • Active US service members can file for free.
          • No W-2 upload capability for the $0 option.

          Next steps

          Learn more on TaxSlayer's website »

          What is TaxSlayer?

          TaxSlayer was founded in 1965 and runs out of Augusta, Georgia.

          It's easy to set up an account with TaxSlayer. Visit the website, choose from TaxSlayer's four plans based on your life circumstances, set a username and password, and you're good to go.

          You don't enter your payment information until the end of the process. This means that if you realize halfway through filing that you don't want to use TaxSlayer, you can quit with pretty much zero hassle.

          How much does TaxSlayer cost?

          Which of the four TaxSlayer plans is right for you? It depends on your employment situation, life circumstances, and customer support preferences. Active service members can file federal returns for free with any of the plans below.

          • Simply Free: $0 for federal returns, $0 for state returns. The Simply Free plan is for simple returns, including returns for single people, married couples, and students, with no income limits.
          • Classic: $17 for federal returns, $39 for state returns. TaxSlayer says this is its most popular plan because it can be used for almost any tax situation.
          • Premium: $37 for federal returns, $39 for state returns. With a Premium plan, you have access to advanced customer support features. This is great for people with complicated situations who need a little help along the way.
          • Self-Employed: $47 for federal returns, $39 for state returns. If you're self-employed, you know that your tax situation is unique. The Self-Employed plan includes features suited to your tax needs and provides education for how to claim deductions and credits.

          Does TaxSlayer really have a free version?

          Some tax software companies advertise a free version, but in reality, only the federal return is free — you still pay for state returns. Even FreeTaxUSA, software with the word "free" in the name, charges for state returns at every level. However, TaxSlayer's simple plan is free at both levels.

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          H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxAct have all introduced truly free plans like the Simply Free option from TaxSlayer.

          Screen Shot 2020 01 10 at 2.11.15 PM

          Keep in mind that TaxSlayer offers one free state return with its Simply Free plan. If you need to file more than one, it's $39 per additional return.

          How TaxSlayer compares to other tax software

          TaxSlayer's Simply Free plan includes features that competing software doesn't. For example, Simply Free grants you access to prior years' tax returns, even if you used to file with a different company. TurboTax and TaxAct also offer this option with its Free plan, but with H&R Block, you have to upgrade to access previous returns prepared by H&R Block.

          TaxSlayer recently added a new feature to its Simply Free plan: It now covers education credits and student loan deductions. H&R Block's Free version provides these benefits, too, but you'll have to upgrade with TurboTax and TaxAct.

          One downside of TaxSlayer's Simply Free plan is that you can't import your W-2 digitally. You'll have to either enter the information manually or upgrade to the Classic plan, even though you can upload a PDF with most competitors' free versions. This isn't necessarily a huge problem, but it is one example of how TaxSlayer can be less convenient than other software.

          What to look out for

          TaxSlayer does allow you to skip around in the e-filing process. Most competitors allow you to do this, but some smaller companies do not.

          However, it's not as easy to skip around with TaxSlayer than with some other software. For example, if you're filling out the Basic Information section, you can't go to the Federal section by clicking on the menu icon. Instead, TaxSlayer requires you to click the "back," "skip," or "continue" buttons on the page. As a result, TaxSlayer isn't quite as easy to use as TaxAct or TurboTax.

          Screen Shot 2020 01 10 at 2.12.27 PM

          TaxSlayer customer support is somewhat limited. Yes, you can access customer service through email or phone with the Simply Free and Classic plans. But to receive live chat support, priority support, or Ask a Pro support, you'll have to upgrade to the Premium or Self-Employed plans.

          If you know what you're doing, don't need much assistance, and have all your information ready to go, TaxSlayer is a strong budget option. Otherwise, you'll have to deal with small inconveniences.

          Use TaxSlayer to file your simple federal and state returns for free »

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          More: Taxes Tax Day 2020 Filing Taxes TaxSlayer
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