Liberty Tax: Review of the Tax Preparation Software
Most people aren’t tax-savvy and miss out on the credits and deductions due to them. In turn, they don’t get to maximize their tax returns and end up paying higher taxes than they need to. That’s why online tax filing services like Liberty Tax are a saving grace for these types of people.
In this article, we’ll look at Liberty Tax and how it can make the tax filing process much easier.
What Is Liberty Tax?
Liberty Tax is an online service that assists users with filing their taxes electronically. The company is one of a few e-file providers that the IRS authorizes. The main benefit that comes with using an e-filing service such as Liberty Tax relates to tax returns. Liberty Tax can help solve the problem of keeping up with tax returns by identifying all credits and deductions to maximize tax returns.
This tax filing software breaks down complicated tax forms into smaller, more manageable components. It also checks all of your entries across all forms to ensure compliance and eliminate errors. There is also a large pool of tax information at hand to keep you updated and informed.
Many people know Liberty Tax primarily for being a tax information provider. They offer multiple ways to get information about tax filing as well as in-app information, chat, email, and in-person conversation with tax experts. Liberty Tax’s services also extend to other tax-related things. These include tax education and online application for TIN. All of these services are accessible online through desktop, laptop, mobile, and tablet.
How Does Online Tax Filing Work?
At the very heart of online filing are the tax forms that you need to fill out. Most tax filing software administers two types of questionnaires: a personal one and a tax-specific one. The personal questionnaire will try to classify you into the appropriate tax category. Based on your answers, the software will generate the forms that are appropriate to your situation. For example, it will give you the form W2 if you are a regular employee or the form 1099 if you are self-employed. You cannot answer forms that do not apply to your situation, so the software helps to make sure that you fill out the correct ones.
A good tax filing software like Liberty Tax will also help you to fill out the forms. It will have restructured the tax forms in a way that beginners can understand. It also usually provides a hint next to each question and comes with a variety of self-help options that you can access when you meet a stumbling block on the forms. Most software carries specialized calculators that automatically calculate numerical information. These are very useful, especially for calculating deductions, credits, and returns.
A good tax filing software will also have the ability to review your answers at the end of each form. It will inform you if you missed a question or if your answer doesn’t fit the context of the question. By the end of the process, the software will offer you different ways to file your taxes online. It will also ask you to select how you will get your tax returns. If you are in urgent need of a tax filing solution, we highly recommend this list of the best tax software to help you file taxes efficiently.
Liberty Tax Pricing
Liberty Tax currently has three offerings: Basic, Deluxe, and Premium. Each package differs in terms of its target audience, price, and features. Here are the basic packages that Liberty Tax has to offer:
Liberty Tax Basic
The Basic package costs $44.95 for federal returns and $39.95 for state returns.
Liberty Tax intended for the Basic package to be used by people with a relatively simple tax situation. That is, you should be either single or married with no children or dependents. You also need to have a taxable income of less than $100,000.
The Basic package supports Forms 1040, 8853, and Schedule A and B.
Liberty Tax Deluxe
The second tier is called Deluxe, which has a reduced price of just $44.95 for federal returns and 34.95 for state returns.
The Deluxe package is intended for people with more complex living circumstances. It includes people with children and other dependents. This tier takes into consideration expenses that come with having children. These may include expenses such as childcare costs, school fees, and even mortgages. The tier is also meant for people with investments and retirement income to consider.
The Deluxe package supports Forms 1040, 4562, 8829, 4136, 8839, 8853, and Schedule A, B, C.
Liberty Tax Premium
The top tier is called Premium, and it costs $89.99 for federal returns and $34.95 for state returns.
This tier is ideal for people who are self-employed, such as freelancers and contractors. It also includes people who run their own businesses, such as in farming or real estate. It’s ideal for people with unusual income sources, such as shareholders or partners in a company. You will also need to have an income of over $100,000 to qualify for this tier.
The Premium package supports Forms 1040, 4562, 8829, 4136, 4684, 4835, 8839, 8853 plus Schedules A, B, C, E, F, K-1.
Liberty Tax Features
Liberty Tax has several notable features, all of which are designed to help make the tax filing process much easier. Anyone can benefit from these features, whether it be a long-term taxpayer or a beginner. Here are some of the core features that you can expect from Liberty Tax:
Its core feature is the tax wizard which you can use to enter your tax and related information. The wizard will walk you through the tax filing process and provide hints for questions along the way. The website breaks down the forms into a series of web pages that are much easier to understand and answer.
Normally, when you are filling out tax forms, you need a calculator on hand. But with Liberty Tax, you won’t need one since they have in-app calculators. They have four different calculators in all, and they incorporate these into the forms. These calculators will compute your tax returns, refunds, W-4 Withholding, and mileage reimbursement.
Tax Return Options
Besides making the form filling process much easier, the software also offers more than one way to get your tax returns. You can choose whether to receive your returns through a check, prepaid card, or direct deposit to your bank account. They also guarantee customers a faster receipt of their tax returns compared to when they are routed through the IRS.
Tax Forms Storage
On top of everything, the software also stores a copy of your tax forms, for long-term reference. This is also why you may need extra protection for the computer that you are filing your taxes with. An antivirus program plus a VN service is highly recommended. Here’s a guide on how to set up a VPN for your computer today.
Liberty Tax has carefully designed its website and corresponding forms to simplify the filing process. The platform separates your federal tax forms from your state tax forms. It also breaks down tax forms under each category into main topics to make them easier to digest. For example, you will get sub-sections such as Income, Deductions & Credits, and Health Care with the federal filings. You can fill out the sub-sections in the order that you want, but you can also fill them out in chronological order. The main thing is to save your work as you go since the program only accepts entries that you have saved.
The website is designed intelligently and offers an intuitive interface. It has divided the main tab into five different sections. One section is dedicated to filling out your tax forms and another one is to providing information about tax laws and the filing process. Meanwhile, you can also find a section that tackles all of the services that you can get with Liberty Tax. There’s also a section dedicated to providing information about how the company started and how you can get in touch with them. Each section drops down to sub-layers that are easy to understand, so you don’t really need to have a tutorial for it. But in case you do need help, they have a dedicated Help section plus a chatbox and email channels.
Ease of Use
Liberty Tax aims to make the tax filing process as simple and convenient as possible. It’s simple because the tax forms have been compartmentalized and simplified to be understood across the spectrum of taxpayers, from beginners to long-time taxpayers. It’s convenient because every step of the process takes place entirely online, which should allow you to fill out forms on the go. The online method is also eco-friendly since you don’t need to print anything or mail anything.
Quick and Easy Sign-Up Process
The sign-up process for Liberty Tax is as easy as can be. All you need is a simple username and password combination. After that, the software will ask you to choose a package, as the forms you will get depend on this. Then you can already pick through sections of your tax documentation. The entire process should only take a few hours at most, even less if you have all of your references on hand. You will only need to pay at the very end when all the forms have been checked.
Automated Document Review
One of the best things about Liberty Tax is its automated document review process. The software essentially reviews all of your answers once you get to the end of it. The software will inform you if an answer is incorrect or if you failed to answer a question in the forms. It will also compute numerical values for you, and you just have to provide the details. It can’t, however, detect whether you are being honest or accurate about your inputs. For this reason, Liberty Tax still expects its users to exercise due diligence in filling out the forms.
Liberty Tax also takes the time to upgrade its forms whenever necessary. The company constantly updates its forms based on the latest amendments to tax laws. This offers some assurance to users that the forms are up to date. It’s also an assurance that the computations, especially for tax returns, are accurate.
Another aspect of Liberty Tax that many users love is its variety of help and support options. First off, the software allows users to upload copies of their previous filings to use as reference. While that’s not exactly a customer-service-related function, it’s still very helpful in the form-filling process. When it comes to actual customer support, Liberty Tax has an ever-present Help tab at the top of every window and an FAQ section should you need help. Besides that, they offer a chatbox for you to get in touch with a real representative from the company. If you don’t need immediate assistance, they also offer an email address for you to get in touch with customer service. The company has over 3,000 brick-and-mortar offices across the country that you can call or visit.
Final Thoughts on Liberty Tax
Filing taxes has never been an easy feat, even for those who have been filing taxes for a long time. There are always changes in the tax regulation to take into account, and it’s always easy for any person to commit mistakes on complicated forms. Making mistakes is of course a normal human thing, but the IRS won’t be so forgiving about it. With Liberty Tax, you can reduce the probability of making a mistake on your forms. The software facilitates filing online, and it also provides a lot of ways to assist you in the process. At the end of the day, the tax filing fees are only a small price to pay for the convenience and assistance that you get in return. If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in the best robo advisors to help you manage your money.