eSmart Tax is an online tax filing service run by Liberty, one of the largest tax-preparation chains in the United States. It allows freelancers, contractors, and business owners to file their tax returns online through the platform while ensuring accuracy and compliance with applicable laws.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at eSmart Tax, so you can decide if it can meet your tax filing needs.
How It Works
eSmart Tax offers interview-style tax preparation, in which you are asked simple “yes” or “no” questions in a bid to determine which tax forms you should fill out and what deductions you can apply for.
The site features a menu at the top of the screen, which gives you the option to navigate various sections. When you click on a menu, it leads you to a new screen that encompasses a long list of options. You need to select the options that apply to your tax situation from the list.
One of the great things about eSmart Tax is that it offers an accuracy guarantee. Should the IRS impose a penalty or interest on you due to an eSmart Tax error, eSmart Tax will reimburse you. However, it’s worth noting that this guarantee doesn’t cover state penalties or interest.
eSmart Tax has many features and functions that are geared to enhance efficiency when it comes to tax preparation and filing. Let’s explore some of the most important features:
Minimum Refund Guarantee
eSmart Tax is committed to helping you get the most money or pay out the least on your tax returns as possible. They also promise 100-percent accuracy on your tax returns and commit to reimbursing you should their calculations subject you to IRS penalties or interest.
eSmart Tax offers their clients free audit assistance from an experienced Liberty Tax Service professional. The audit expert will help you interpret any notices that the IRS sends you. He’ll also advise you on how to handle your audit.
With eSmart Tax, you can prepare and file your taxes on the go using your smartphone or tablet. The mobile-friendly platform allows you to do everything on your mobile device, from signing up to completing your tax return.
eSmart Tax has a free chat function that allows you to instantly express your concerns or ask any questions to a customer care representative. You can also email the company’s tech support and receive a response within 72 hours.
eSmart Tax boasts robust security, thanks to HTTPS encryption. When filing your tax return through the platform, you can rest assured that your personal information is safe and confidential.
Also worth mentioning is eSmart Tax’s Safe Keeping feature, which is designed to safely and securely store your tax return for five years. You can conveniently access and print it whenever you want.
eSmart Tax offers four different plans:
Let’s see what each plan has to offer.
If you have a simple tax situation, which can be done with IRS Form 1040EZ, this would be an ideal plan for you. You won’t pay anything for federal returns, but each state return will cost you $29.95.
With the free plan, you’ll enjoy the following:
- Prior year importing and storage – it doesn’t matter the service you used to file past year’s return.
- Prior year access – You can access your imported previous year’s return at any time during the tax season.
- Prior year return preparation and filing – eSmart Tax allows you to file a past year’s return should you need to at no extra cost.
- W-2 Importing – You don’t have to waste time manually entering all your information.
Other features included in this plan include support for Earned Income Credit Tax Credit, credit and deduction checks, Affordable Care Act forms, live chat support, as well as tech support via email and social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest).
If you are required to file Form 1040, want to itemize your deductions, have a health savings account, or need to file a Schedule B, this is the right plan for you. It will cost you $29.95 for federal tax filing and $36.95 per state filing.
In addition to all the features offered in the free plan, you also get to enjoy the following:
- Schedule A support and itemized deductions
- Schedule B Support – Schedule B filing is applicable if, in the past tax year, you earned at least $1,500 in taxable interest as well as ordinary dividend income from various sources.
- IRS Form 8889 – You’re required to file IRS Form 8889 if you have a health savings account.
If you are a contractor, freelancer, or self-employed in any other way, Deluxe is the appropriate plan for you. It will cost you $39.95 for federal filing and $36.95 per state return.
In addition to the features offered in the Basic plan, you also get to enjoy the following:
- Schedule C Support – eSmart Tax can help you figure out if you need to file Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ depending on your individual situation.
If you are a business owner or investor, eSmart Tax premium would be the ideal plan for you. You’ll need to pay $54.95 for federal tax filing and $36.95 for each state return.
In addition to the features offered in the deluxe plan, you also have access to the following features:
- Schedule D support – Schedule D filing applies to those with capital gains income from the sale of real estate, securities, or any other asset. eSmart Tax can help you handle the filing and all applicable deductions and credits.
- Schedule E Support – Schedule E filing applies to those who have rental income. eSmart Tax can help you with the filing and take all applicable deductions and credits.
eSmart Tax Competitors
The market for online tax filing services has gotten more crowded over the last few years Three of the biggest eSmart tax competitors are:
- Liberty Tax – Well known for spinning sign employees, Liberty Tax is a top competitor for tax filing.
- TurboTax – The biggest of all the services, TurboTax offers packages for any level of tax difficulty.
- E-File – Not as well known as the previous two, E-File offers a simple solution for tax filing.
The eSmart Tax plans are priced as follows:
- Free – $0 for federal filing and $29.95 for each state return
- Basic – $29.95 for federal filing and $36.95 for each state return
- Deluxe – $39.95 for federal filing and $36.95 for each state return
- Premium – $54.95 for federal filing and $36.95 for each state return
Pros of eSmart Tax Review
- User-friendly interface
- Loads of helpful resources
- You can print tax returns
- Most features are basic
- No over the phone customer support
eSmart Tax offers attractive packages to meet the specific needs of various taxpayers. Supported by a reputable national tax chain, Liberty Tax, eSmart gives you peace of mind that you are filing with a reliable online tax filing service.
While it is somewhat wanting in terms of customer service, eSmart generally offers excellent value for the price.