PROS / You can choose which forms to fill out, which can be a timesaver if you know what you're doing.
CONS / It doesn't have a mobile app.
VERDICT / Liberty Tax is straightforward online tax preparation software that allows you to choose which forms to fill out, which makes it a good option for experienced users. It's also one of the few services that has nationwide retail locations, so it's a good choice if you prefer in-person tax assistance.
Liberty Tax is a cost-effective online tax preparation program. It recommends deductions to investigate, and you can use it to file your return online. It can handle complex tax situations, but the interface is more manual than our higher-ranked services. Like the best tax software, it doesn't charge a filing fee for basic federal returns. However, state returns aren't free to file.
Ease of Use & Support
The interface is clean and simple, though it doesn't look as modern as some of the other online tax preparation software we reviewed. Liberty Tax takes you systematically through the tax preparation process, and it allows you to choose which forms you want to fill out and recommends additional forms you should consider for potential tax deductions or credits.
It relies less on popups for information than most tax software, and there’s more scrolling. We also found the navigation isn't as intuitive as it is with other programs. However, our evaluators appreciated the lists of items to gather before starting, audit warnings and the reminder email you can choose to have sent if you start the return but don’t finish it.
Anytime you're working with a program and lots of numbers, it’s easy to type one in wrong. Liberty Tax makes it easy to go back and fix errors at any point in the process. If you have problems with the software or are unsure about a particular tax rule, you can check the help options pinned to the right sidebar, which include live chat and common questions.
Liberty Tax offers a calculations guarantee, which means if you put the numbers in correctly, it fills out the forms accurately. Audit support is included with the program, and you can upgrade to audit representation for a small fee. This online tax software stores your information for five years for free.
Tax Preparation Options
You have two options for preparing your taxes with this program. The most common is to prepare and file your taxes online. Liberty Tax lets you use the program through the internet and stores your information for you so you can access it anywhere. You cannot download this software to your computer, though, nor is there an app for tablets or smartphones.
The other option is to visit one of Liberty Tax’s nationwide retail offices and work with one of its professional tax preparers who can handle the job for you. This is one of the few online tax programs that has physical locations nationwide for you to visit.
No tax preparation software can guarantee a refund, but in the happy occasion that you do get one, Liberty Tax offers several ways for you to get your tax return. You can choose to receive it via direct deposit to your bank account or with a prepaid card or check. You cannot pay your filing fee with your tax return. Instead, you have to pay the fee online when you file your taxes. If you need money quickly, you can apply for an advance on your tax return, but only if you go to a physical Liberty Tax office.
Time & Money Savers
If you used a different tax program last year, such as H&R Block or TurboTax, you may be able to import your information from last year’s tax return. This is an excellent timesaver, especially if you have multiple accounts or long-term deductions like a mortgage or home office. Another nice feature of Liberty Tax is that you can upload your W-2s if your employer uses ADP or Equifax, which saves you the time of manually entering the data. It also has some autofill items, such as city and state if you input your zip code.
Once you've entered your information, the tax preparation software analyzes your information and alerts you to any credits you may qualify for. With the click of a button, you can investigate these possibilities. It also notes the tax credits it didn't see but which you can add if you qualify.
While not as easy to use as higher-ranked online tax software, Liberty Tax is a good tax preparation program. It's more manual than some of the programs we reviewed, allowing you to enter your information directly, which can save you time if you know what you're doing. It offers multiple disbursement options and inexpensive audit support. However, it doesn't have a mobile app, and it charges to file state returns.
Contributing Reviewer: Karina Fabian