Of all the tax return software options out there, EZ Tax Return is one of the simplest. That might be exactly what you need. However, if you have a complicated return, run your own business, or need to claim a ton of deductions, it’s probably not your best bet.
The company has made the software as simple as possible by design. EZ Tax wants every filer to have a top-notch experience. They don’t feel that any software can be all things to all people. Instead, they focus on simple returns. For the more complex stuff, they advise that you speak to a bona fide tax consultant.
Initially, when we started with this EZ Tax Return review, we found this a little off-putting. On further reflection, however, it made sense. EZ Tax is not going to suit everyone, but for those who can use it, it does a good job.
How It Works
It’s simple enough: sign up and create your account, and then answer a series of questions. These will be less complicated and numerous than you find with some other software. For example, it will ask if you have dependents, but not specifically ask if you’ve had a child this year.
In other words, you’ll need to do some thinking for yourself. Generally, though, if you require more complex questions to get to the heart of your tax situation, you may have a more complex return that the software might not be able to handle.
From the answers you give, the software will populate the information onto your form and tell you what, if any, other information needs to be submitted. It will then calculate the results and let you see what they are.
At that stage, you have the option of rechecking everything before you file it online. The company says that you will receive the IRS acceptance within a 24-hour period. From there, it’s just a matter of waiting for your refund to be processed.
We need to stress here that this program is not suitable for people who are running business, trusts, and estates, or anyone else that has a more complex tax situation. The fact that the complex stuff is left out is a bonus for those with simple returns. You don’t have to answer endless questions that are in no way relevant to your situation.
This is a very basic software package. It offers self-guided form completion every step of the way. It is perfect for those who have simple returns but not a clue where to start. What it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes for in ease of use. The questions are simple to answer and can be completed very quickly.
You don’t have to try and figure out which level of service is best for you. You just choose the package you need: state, federal, or both. You do not have to worry about annoying upsell requests or nasty surprises when it comes to costs.
You receive full online guidance and the option of free customer support as well. To get assistance, you just need to email customer support or consult the FAQ page of the website. They support a range of different platforms. You can file with any device you like – smartphone, desktop, laptop, or tablet.
The software is only available in the following states:
Check whether or not it can be used in the state that you live in before signing up. There are three basic versions to choose from.
- State: With this version, you can file only your state return.
- Federal: With this version, you can file only your federal return.
- State and Federal: You can save a bit of money by signing up for this package. This will allow you to file both returns.
If you’re not sure whether your return is too complex for the software, just go through the questions. The software will screen out filers with returns too complex to manage fairly early on in the process. You won’t waste a lot of time as a result.
- Federal: $29.95.
- State: $19.95 per state return (If you have moved to a new state during the tax year, you’ll need to file separate returns in each state.)
- State and Federal: $39.95. By putting the two together, you get to save yourself $10.
These costs cover you for online support. You are entitled to access any returns filed through the company online for three years free of charge. If you need to access them after this stage or access any returns outside the three-year window you’ll have to pay $9.95 as a download fee.
If you want a printed copy mailed to you, you will have to pay $19.95. If you opt for the overnight shipping option, that price increases to $34.95.
You can also purchase audit support for an additional $39.95. This will entitle you to advice on how to deal with an audit and put you in touch with someone who will be able to negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
An additional option that you might want to consider is Amended Return Insurance. It will cost you $9.95 and covers you if you need to change your return after filing it. Otherwise, it will cost you $19.95 to file an amended return.
On the bright side, you can run through the software and get your return ready to file before paying anything. This allows you to test-drive the software for free. The charge is only paid when you actually want to file.
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- It’s a very simple service. You don’t have to answer reams of questions that have no bearing on your situation.
- It’s a good choice for someone who is a complete beginner.
- They guarantee that you’ll get the best possible refund.
- You can buy audit support as an additional extra.
- The fees are reasonably affordable.
- You can work your way through the whole process and see if it works for you before having to pay.
- The software is designed to screen out those that it cannot help early on.
- You can save $10 if you file your state and federal return jointly.
- This is only suited for the simplest returns, other online tax software will beat it for more complex situations.
- To get a hard copy or download a copy of your return, you have to pay extra.
- It is not available to people in all states.
- There is no instant chat or phone support. If you need to ask a question, you’ll either need to email the company or consult the FAQ page. There is currently no available option for speaking with a live person.
EZ Tax Return software is, as the name suggests, easy to use. However, it is only available for simple tax situations in a limited number of states.
If you fit the criteria, though, give it a try – you won’t need to pay if you end up determining you want to file your return through a different program.