How much does TaxAct cost? How much you'll pay to prepare and file your tax return

  • TaxAct is a good tax software option for those who need little help filing their taxes.
  • A simple federal refund is free, but state filing can range from $19.95 to $44.95.
  • TaxAct also offers expert help or downloadable software for an additional cost. 
  • See Personal Finance Insider’s picks for best tax software »

TaxAct is a popular tax software known for reasonable pricing and a clean user interface.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective tax software and don’t think you’ll need your hand held throughout the process, TaxAct may be a good option for you.

Here’s a breakdown of costs. You’ll find additional details on each option below, not considering any discounts.


DIY online filing

DIY + expert access

Computer software

Federal return cost

$0 – $79.95

$35 – $159.95

$19.95- $119.95

State return cost

$19.95 – $44.95

$19.95 – $44.95

$0 – $50

Federal + state

$19.95 – $124.90

$54.95 – $204.90

$69.95 – $119.95

How much does it cost to file your taxes with TaxAct?

Tax prep companies frequently offer discounts on products early in the season. The prices listed in this article do not include any discounts. You can check the company’s website to see current offers.

You can pay as little as $0 or as much as $204.90 to file your taxes with TaxAct. Prices vary based on how complicated your tax situation is and what types of income streams and deductions you’ll need to include. In other words, the more streams of income you have and/or the more deductions or credits you qualify for, the more expensive it will be to prepare your return.

Expert help is available at an additional cost and varies based on the base package you select. If you need to tag on a state return, there is an extra fee per state that costs between $19.95 to $44.95 per state filed, not considering any discounts.

TaxAct offers three main ways to prepare and file your taxes: File on your own, file with expert help, or what is referred to as the “Xpert Help” option, and a downloadable computer software.

Each option has different price points depending on how complicated your tax situation is. The website offers a simplified quiz you can take (pictured below) that helps you determine which package may be best for you.

The lowest price points are the DIY packages, since you are not enlisting expert assistance. If the free version doesn’t meet your needs, the next options cost $44.95, $69.95, and $79.95, not considering any discounts. One important thing to keep in mind is that these rates do not include state filing, which is an additional $44.95 per state filed for each package.

You can expect to pay more if you have any of the following:

  • Mortgage interest, student loan interest, Health Savings Account (HSA), and real estate taxes
  • Small business expenses that may qualify for deductions
  • Rental income and expenses that may qualify for deductions
  • Investment income on stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency

If you’ll need guidance or additional help, TaxAct’s File with an Xpert option gives you access to a tax expert live, or you can schedule a call back. Help is available on weekends as well. This option costs between $35 and $159.95, not considering any discounts.

If you want to use a downloadable software option, TaxAct does have that, starting with the basic version at $19.95; that includes up to five federal e-files. The price does not include state filing, which is an additional $50 for the basic version.

The other software packages, such as the Deluxe, Premier, and Self-employed, also include five federal e-files as well as one state return. They are ideal for maximizing deductions and reporting investment and rental property income or business income. The cost ranges from $99.95 to $119.95, not considering any discounts.

Unlike some of the other tax software companies, such as H&R Block or TurboTax, TaxAct does not have an option that allows you to completely hand off your taxes to a tax professional.

Is TaxAct really free?

Yes, TaxAct is really free but only for federal filing for some users. State filing for the basic free version is an additional $19.95.

The free version includes W-2 income, unemployment, and retirement. You can add credits such as the earned income credit, child tax credit, and credit for any stimulus check money you’re owed. Allowable expenses in this version include dependents and current students.

Is TurboTax or TaxAct cheaper? 

When it comes to cost, TaxAct is significantly cheaper than TurboTax. However, TaxAct’s interface is not as robust as TurboTax’s, and some users have said customer service at TaxAct is not always seamless.

Beyond the free versions, here’s how they stack up on cost for the DIY online filing options (not considering any discounts):

  TurboTax TaxAct
Deluxe $60 $44.95
Premier $90 $69.95
Self-employed $120 $79.95
Additional state return fee $50 $44.95

Are there other fees I should know about?

Like other tax filing platforms, TaxAct offers you the option of paying your filing fees with a credit card or from your tax refund. To pay from your refund, your federal refund amount must be $50 greater than the TaxAct and Republic Bank processing fees. That means, if your federal return is greater than the fees you owe, you can choose not to be charged when you file. Instead, your fees will be deducted from your federal tax refund.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

Source: Read Full Article