TaxSlayer vs TurboTax

Filing taxes can be a hassle. With so many types of taxes, deadlines, and requirements, no wonder you’re looking for a tax prep service to guide you in the process. If you’ve narrowed down your choices to TaxSlayer vs TurboTax, we’re here to help you make the right decision.

Let’s compare the two companies’ offerings, pricing, support, and more.

Side-by-Side Comparison

TaxSlayer TurboTax
Cost $0 – $59.95
+$39.95 per additional state filed
$0 – $119
+$49 per additional state filed
BBB Rating A+ C
In business since 1965 1984
Free plan Yes Yes
Maximum refund guarantee Yes Yes
OS supported Windows, macOS, Android, iOS Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Access to a tax expert Yes Yes
Calculators Tax refund Tax refund, tax bracket, W-4 withholding, self-employed expense, crypto
Military discount Yes Yes

Before we continue with the details about the companies’ plans, let’s clarify that all prices listed in this article are for the 2022 tax filing season and don’t include any promotions. Online tax preparation companies often offer discounts to early filers. Check out the TurboTax and TaxSlayer websites to see the current prices.

TurboTax vs TaxSlayer: Free Edition

You can file your federal tax return and one state return for free using the free editions of TurboTax and TaxSlayer. But keep in mind that the free programs have limited features. They support only simple returns with Form 1040. If you have to itemize deductions, credits, or adjustments, you must upgrade to a paid plan.

Deluxe/Classic

The TurboTax Deluxe version cost is $59 for federal returns and $49 per state. This program is for homeowners, people with child expenses, and student loan payment credits. The Deluxe plan comes with everything in the Free edition plus a charitable donations calculator.

TaxSlayer’s equivalent of this program is named Classic and costs $29.95, plus $39.95 per additional state filed. It includes all major IRS forms, credits, and deductions. Classic users also get all free features and prior-year import.

Premier/Premium

The Premier plan of TurboTax is best for rental property owners and investors in stock, cryptocurrency, bonds, and ESPPs.

The TaxSlayer Premium program also supports all major forms, offers audit support, and access to a tax professional and priority support.

The offerings are similar, but there is a big price difference. The cost for filing federal returns with TurboTax is $89, compared to TaxSlayer’s $49.95. And while the state return of TurboTax is $49, the cost of the state return of TaxSlayer is $39.95.

Self-Employed

The Self-employed program of TurboTax is best for the self-employed, independent contractors, consultants, freelancers and small business owners. This program comes with access to self-employment tax experts and maximizing business deductions. The TurboTax Self-employed plan costs $119 for federal return and $49 per additional state.

The TaxSlayer Self-employed program is significantly cheaper than TurboTax’s but has fewer features. It includes personal and business income and expenses, Form 1099, and Schedule C. This option allows you to access a tax professional with self-employed expertise. The price of this plan is $59.95 for federal returns and $39.95 per additional state.

TaxSlayer or TurboTax: Which Is Easier to Use?

Although both apps offer a user-friendly experience, there is no doubt that TurboTax is easier to use compared to TaxSlayer.

With a straightforward interview-style approach, the TurboTax app will guide you through the filing process with simple questions. This app is great for first-time filers unfamiliar with the tax preparation process.

On the other hand, TaxSlayer’s experience isn’t that smooth. If you know what are you doing, don’t need any assistance, and have all your information ready to go, TaxSlayer is a great low-cost option for you. Signing up for TaxSlayer is easy. You set up an account with an email address and personal information, and then you will be asked a few questions. TaxSlayer also has a document upload, but it supports just a limited number of forms and doesn’t always work.

TurboTax or TaxSlayer: Mobile App

TaxSlayer mobile app offers step-by-step instructions and a 100% accuracy guarantee. You can easily prepare your federal and state tax return on the go, using your smartphone or any other device. As mentioned above, TaxSlayer is an affordable option for those with more complex tax returns. The mobile app is available for Android and iOS devices and has great customer ratings.

The TurboTax mobile app is also available for Android and iOS, offering the same tax topics as the browser-based version. On the home page, you can see the main content on the site, so you can easily navigate your actions. The TurboTax mobile app has a high rating and overall is the best tax filing app, thanks to the several features that make tax filing faster and easier.

Support and Resources

Although both programs walk you through every step of the process, you may need additional help or personal guidance. TurboTax and TaxSlayer offer information on all kinds of tax topics, including updates concerning tax reform changes to the law. But how do their support and resources differ?

TaxSlayer offers email and phone support. Usually, email responses can be expected within 24 to 48 hours. Premium and Self-employed plan users also get priority phone and email support, as well access to the company’s Ask a Tax Pro feature at no additional cost.

TurboTax also offers technical support as well as access to an online community. TurboTax offers professional tax advice from a CPA via their TurboTax Live version of the online packages. The price for this option ranges from $79 to $199. You can also purchase TurboTax Live Full Service and let a tax expert do your taxes. This option is pricier than the previous one, ranging from $199 to $389.

Audit support

Both providers offer IRS audit assistance and support. The tax professionals will guide you on issues that are related to the audit.

If you are using TaxSlayer, this service is available for the Premium and Self-employed plan users at no additional cost. However, TaxSlayer doesn’t offer direct representation before the IRS. The audit assistance of TaxSlayer is not available if you file federal returns with Schedule C, receive income from a K-1, and it also doesn’t extend to state income tax audits.

On the other hand, TurboTax offers audit assistance as a $49 optional add-on for all of its paid packages. The product is called MAX and provides full IRS representation by partner TaxAudit.

Extra services and benefits

Both TaxSlayer and TurboTax offer free services for all active-duty military personnel. The discount applies to all paid packages but excludes optional add-ons, such as TurboTax’s PLUS and MAX products.

Another great benefit of TurboTax is that they developed a TurboTax Skill for Amazon Alexa users. Once you enable the skill, you can ask Alexa to check the status of your tax return or verify the refund amount.

Both providers allow you to start using their service for free, and you can pay after submitting and filing your returns. You can have the fee deducted directly from your refund, but you have to discover the associated fees. The amount of the TaxSlayer’s fee is not disclosed, while TurboTax indicates that the $39.99 fee will apply after you deduct the fee from your refund.

Refund Advance

For users who need their refund fast, a refund program may be helpful. However, there are restrictions on the amounts you can access, and only certain users can qualify.

TaxSlayer offers a few options for you to receive your refund.

  • Direct deposit – your money is transferred from the Department of Treasury to your account. If you want to receive your refund this way, you will need an account number and routing number.
  • TaxSlayer Visa Debit card – it allows you to receive your money even if you don’t have a bank account.
  • Paper check – receive your refund in the form of a paper check. It will be sent to you through the mail. Mailed refunds typically arrive five days after the IRS issues them.

If you want to apply for a refund advance through TurboTax, the option must pop up in the refund options selection before submitting your return. Advances are available for $250, $500, $750, or $1,000. The amounts are issued to a prepaid Visa card.

Verdict

Tax evasion is a serious crime that can result in jail time. A professional service is the best way to ensure you file your taxes properly and on time.

TaxSlayer and TurboTax are certainly two of the best tax filing software solutions on the market. Both providers offer a maximum refund, a 100% accuracy guarantee, and a free plan.

TurboTax is known for its ease of use and multiple features but is significantly expensive compared to TaxSlayer.  Ultimately, TaxSlayer is generally best for money-conscious taxpayers with simple tax situations, while TurboTax is ideal for filers who seek pro support and for whom the price of its programs isn’t a concern.

FAQ

Is TaxSlayer and TurboTax the same thing?

No, TaxSlayer and TurboTax are two different companies.

Can I share TurboTax with a friend?

The TurboTax software is not limited to a family. You can use the same email for up to five accounts. However, the software is not licensed for paid tax preparers.

How much does TaxSlayer charge to file?

TaxSlayer has a free filing program called Simply Free as well as three paid tiers: Classic ($29.95), the Premium package ($49.95), and Self-employed ($59.95). Filing an additional state return costs $39.95.

Which is better: TurboTax or TaxSlayer?

TurboTax is the market leader in tax preparation but comes with a premium price, while TaxSlayer offers a similar product at a lower cost. Our detailed TaxSlayer vs TurboTax comparison will help you decide which service is better for your needs.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Mathematician and content writer. Even if there is no apparent connection between these two, I equally enjoy doing both. I’m dedicated to writing every piece with inspiration so you can navigate the world of finance while enjoying an engaging read. In my free time, you will find me bike riding, doing DIY projects, reading a book, or playing with my dogs.

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