About TaxSimple

Without requiring any downloads or installation, TaxSimple is internet-based software that’s claimed to help you file your federal and state personal taxes quickly, easily, and at a low cost. And TaxSimple is so sure that their software will provide 100% accurate calculations, they guarantee a maximum return or your money back (more about this in a moment).

In order to accomplish this, TaxSimple claims their online software will provide step-by-step guidance in a simple-to-follow Q&A format that makes filing your return as simple as answering a few questions. In fact, the company claims that you can complete your return in as little as 10 minutes, print or e-file your return at no extra charge, and then follow up to check its progress. And if necessary, you can save your progress and return at a later time to complete your refund.

Are you thinking about doing your own taxes this year and wondering if TaxSimple can make it easy? Consider the following:

Are Consumers Using TaxSimple to File Their Taxes? If So, What Are They Saying?

Although TaxSimple has been in business since 1983 (although they were acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2010), there were surprisingly few online consumer reviews for their software at the time of our research.

Looking at Yelp, TaxSimple’s software appeared to have a fairly low reputation, with consumers claiming it messed up their returns and caused much more work than it helped alleviate. Consumers also complained of poor customer service, and that company reps were unable to help them solve their problems and often provided short, one-sentence answers to their detailed questions (as most correspondence occurs through live chat). NextAdvisor.com wrote a much shorter TaxSimple review by writing: “We do not recommend TaxSimple due to their limited email only support and poor user interface. We also found their service to be spotty as far as availability and page load times.”

TaxSimple didn’t have a Better Business Bureau rating at the time of our research either, despite holding 6 closed complaints (as of 1/13/15), one of which the company never responded to. Details were only available for 2 of these complaints, both of which appeared to reference difficulty using the software and poor customer service, as noted previously. 

There Are Other Fish (Or Tax Software) in the Sea

First, keep in mind that online tax filing software is extraordinarily commonplace, so you have a wide variety of options from which to choose. This includes alternatives from some of the largest companies in the industry, such as TurboTax, TaxAct, and H&R Block, and even directly through the IRS, which could end up being less expensive than TaxSimple. In addition, many of these companies have large, well-staffed customer service departments that are standing by to provide you with support, which is something that TaxSimple appears to be sorely lacking (more about this momentarily).

Of these options, Intuit’s TurboTax is generally the most popular option, and has been around the longest. Because of this, TurboTax is generally thought of as the first Q&A-based tax software, while other companies have mimicked their approach, including TaxSimple. In fact, many of us here at HighYa use TurboTax to prepare our taxes each year, and have been pleased with the results.

With this said, you’ll definitely want to research your options before committing to a purchase.

Easy to Use Doesn’t Mean Accurate

While it’s no secret that the Q&A format used by tax software such as TaxSimple (or any other company) might be the easiest approach to filing your taxes each year, keep in mind that your results are only as accurate as the answers you provide. In other words, if you provide incorrect answers to even seemingly insignificant questions, it can make a big difference in whether or not you’ll receive a refund, or if you’ll have to write a check to the IRS.

Which leads us to…

Should You Use TaxSimple Or a Professional Tax Advisor?

According to Investopedia, there “is no universally correct answer to the question of hiring a tax professional or doing your taxes yourself with software,” although “the complexity of your finances should be the key deciding factor.” In other words, if you work for a traditional employer, are filing a 1040EZ, and have filed taxes in the past, software like TaxSimple might be right up your alley. On the other hand, if you’re required to file something more complicated due to your role as an independent freelancer, or if this is your first time doing taxes, you may want to rely on the services of an industry professional. 

Security is Key

If you do ultimately decide to use software to file your taxes this year, remember that second only to ease of use, security is the most important consideration you need to have. This is obviously because you’ll be sending very detailed information about you and your finances online, which could be intercepted by scammers and used for a variety of purposes, including ID Fraud.

According to the TaxSimple website, in order to prevent this from occurring the company uses “Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption technology to safeguard your credit card information while it is being sent to us. The SSL encryption is designed to make the information unreadable by anyone but us.” And while this security measure is a very positive feature, it’s also common among essentially all tax preparation software.

TaxSimple Pricing & Guarantee

TaxSimple’s software is available in 3 different tiers (be sure to read through their handy side-by-side comparison to see which version is right for you):

  • Basic: Free – Ideal if you earned less than $100K, and/or do not have any dependents or itemized deductions.
  • Deluxe: $27.95 – Claimed to help you uncover every deduction you’re eligible for, including homestead, childcare, charitable contributions, investments, and more.
  • Premier: $49.95 – Ideal if you’re a sole proprietor or own a home-based business or rental properties, or need advanced credits or deductions on your filing.

On top of this, TaxSimple charges a $24.95 fee to file your state taxes and $9.95 for city returns.

Note: TaxSimple’s software is free for students and active members of the military, who will also receive reduced prices for their state returns.

Regardless of which version you choose, TaxSimple’s filing fee will be deducted from your Federal refund, which means there’s no out of pocket expenses or need to enter your credit card information to begin.

According to the company’s website, TaxSimple guarantees that their calculations are 100% accurate, or they’ll reimburse you the amount of the penalty, plus interest. In addition, if a competitor’s tax preparation software correctly determines that you're entitled to a higher refund or owe a smaller tax payment (using the same data), they’ll also refund your money.

As we mentioned above, if you encounter a problem with the software, TaxSimple doesn’t offer a customer service phone number; only live chat.

Can TaxSimple Really Make Filing Your Taxes Simple?

Chopping to the Point: When it comes down to it, if you’ve filed taxes for several years, have a fairly good understanding of the process, and don’t have a lot of complicated deductions, but are looking to branch out and see what other tax software available can provide, then TaxSimple may be a viable option for you.

On the other hand, TaxSimple doesn’t provide any kind of free demo (or even screenshots of their software in action) on their website. As such, there doesn’t seem to be anything that differentiates it from the competition, other than a customer reputation for almost wholly unavailable service in the event that something should go wrong—which is not good.

Because of this, TaxSimple seems to be a workable option as long as the filing process goes as planned. If it doesn’t though, you may experience slow support that may not end up helping you find a solution, potentially putting you back at square one during a very busy time of year.

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3 Customer Reviews for TaxSimple

Average Customer Rating: 1.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 0 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 3
Bottom Line: 0% would recommend it to a friend
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  • TaxSimple is a bad idea

    • Logan Township, NJ,
    • Jul 15, 2015

    Their software doesn't work properly. They simply have bugs in their code. With them I had all my state taxes refunded because I moved from one state to another. That can't be true. If I filed with them, I would pay penalty and interest later. 100% sure that they would not reimburse for that. Because when I had a chat with "customer service", they told me that I have to contact a tax professional and check the return by myself before filing. So why use their service if they don't know what they are doing?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Messed up my tax return

    • Staten Island, NY,
    • Jul 14, 2015

    I used TaxSimple to do my daughter's return, who is a qualified child on my tax return. Upon filing her return, I selected her as a qualified child on another return, however, when this converted to the tax return, the program selected her as claiming herself. Upon trying to deal with TaxSimple, they could not resolve my problem and an email to the company has fallen on deaf ears. However, I will continue to try and make them take responsibility for the error in their program.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Do not use this service

    • Apr 19, 2015

    I actually had to file an extension due to issues with their online return service and even after two weeks of discussion with their customer service I have yet to receive any contact from their technical support. Do not use this service!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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