Liberty Tax Service Liberty Tax Service
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3 5stars

Liberty Tax Service Review

Liberty Tax Service
Rating:
Bottom Line:
Pricey option for both federal and state filing; thorough customer service and helpful FAQs

Full Review:


Liberty Tax Service, which owns eSmart Tax and took over TaxBrain in September of 2015, is a well-known name to most as the service has in-person franchise locations throughout the country. Unfortunately, with a site design that obscures information, Liberty Tax Service makes it frustratingly difficult to find all of service's features in one place — something that's not ideal when it comes to e-filing. That said, once you start filling out your return, the process runs pretty smoothly.


Pricing

Liberty Tax Service's pricing is rather expensive when compared to other online tax services. Although competitors offer a free EZ/simple federal return, Liberty Tax Service charges $19.95 for this service. The $31.95 state fee for all editions doesn't help with the bloated cost. Liberty Tax Service actually spells out which return forms correspond to which editions. 1040EZ Filers with or without Schedule B can utilize the "EZ" edition. Basic ($24.95) is for families or individuals with a longer 1040. Liberty Tax Service also offers Deluxe ($54.95) and Premium ($79.95) services for those who have more complicated tax returns involving investment and property ownership or in the case of Premium ruining their own business. Both of these more advanced editions also grant you access to a tax professional as well. Liberty Tax Service has also the option to purchase additional tax advice from an expert for those who didn't purchase Deluxe or Premium. With the EZ and Basic editions, you can pay $4.95 to have access to a tax professional via phone or email.
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Interface




For the most part, inputting information into your return is much easier than navigating its external facing site. There is a main page that details all the major steps that you must complete. After each step, you are taken back to the main page, and a green check mark signifies which sections you've completed. Unlike other big-name services, Liberty Tax Service doesn't go into detail about the different credits and deductions that you could be eligible for; it assumes you will know what information to enter. If you already know all your information, this is a nice break from the never-ending questions from other tax services. If you don't know, you might not get the most out of your tax return.

Support

Liberty Tax Service offers unlimited tech support through a variety of options, including live chat, email and phone services. Live chat is a bit slow but offered thorough responses to our questions. We were promptly given a response to our email and the customer service representative we spoke to via phone was very helpful. Unfortunately, while Liberty Tax Service can answer simple tax questions, it does not have any options to connect you with a tax expert unless you pay or schedule an in-person appointment at one of Liberty Tax Service's offices. You can do so from your account interface. It's important to note that in-person support may cost you extra, as it's priced differently than e-filing. As such, it may be best for you to call the office you're considering visiting ahead of time for a quote based on what you need help with.

Liberty Tax Service's website has a frequently asked questions section that detects where you are on the site and produces suggested content on the right side of the page, which is something most may find valuable. Finally, like with eSmart, Liberty Tax Service offers two types of audit assistance. Basic Audit Assistance is free, but Enhanced Audit Assistance is $14.95. The Enhanced plan gives you some time with a professional to prepare for anything the IRS might ask of you in the event that you're audited. The professional can also help you with communications to/from the IRS.
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Conclusion

Many things about Liberty Tax Service can be confusing, from the site design to getting direct and concise information about the service. However, what's ultimately the most disappointing aspect of Liberty Tax Service is that it's mostly a more expensive version of eSmart as it offers essentially no unique features of its own.

Compare to Other Online Tax Preparation

If you have a question or concern we haven't answered on our site, please let us know. Your question will be added to the NextAdvisor Forums so that we and other experts in our community can answer it. Due to volume, we aren't able to respond to every question, but we answer as many as we can.



Service Details

Online Federal Tax Products:Federal E-file:
EZ:$19.95
Basic: $24.95
Deluxe: $54.95
Premium: $79.95
Federal Only Fees:$19.95 - $79.95
State Only Fees:$31.95 for all editions
Support Options:Unlimited access to tech support via live chat, email and phone
Audit Protection:Free Basic Audit Assistance

Enhanced Professional Audit Assistance: $14.95

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