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Liberty Tax Online 2021 Review


Liberty Tax Online Review

Liberty Tax Online is a digital, brick-and-mortar hybrid company. Its online presence is powered by Drake Software company which owns and operates 1040.com.

Since Liberty Tax Online costs more than 1040.com, it may seem silly to consider it. However, Liberty Tax offers a few compelling extras.

Despite the extras, we’re giving a pass to LibertyTax online this year. 

See how they compare to the other best tax software options this year.

Liberty Tax Review
  • Offers a Double-Check Guarantee to get your return checked at a Liberty Tax branch for free
  • Tougher to navigate and use than other tax software
  • Higher price point that most other tax software options

Liberty Tax Online – Is It Ever Free?

Liberty Tax Online doesn’t offer a free filing option. All users will need to pay $44.95 for Federal Filing. Users also need to pay a state filing fee. The filing fee includes a “Double Check” from an Enrolled Agent inside LibertyTax’s brick-and-mortar office.

What’s New In 2021?

LibertyTax’s big change in 2021 is the simplified pricing schedule. All users pay the same Federal tax rate. Users will also need to pay for state filing.

Aside from the new payment structure, LibertyTax remained similar to last year. It still has a decent user interface, but it can be cumbersome at times.

Liberty Tax Pricing And Plans

Liberty Tax advertises that it has one low price for all of its three product tiers this year. We did catch one typo on the “Basic” state form which advertised a $39.95 price for each state form. All the other tiers offered the state form for $34.95. However, logging in revealed the pricing is $34.95 for basic pricing.

That is a $5 decrease in state filing costs, while Federal filing remained the same.

Also note, that in prior years, Liberty Tax has offered a variety of promotions that significantly discounted the price.

Navigation

Liberty Tax Online uses the exact same software that powers 1040.com, so the navigation patterns between the two software match. LibertyTax online relies on a “hybrid” navigation model. Users can decide between a question and answer style navigation, or they can choose to guide themselves.

Unfortunately, LibertyTax doesn’t do a great job with the interview style guidance. The questions tend to be too long and too full of tax jargon. The interview style gets tiresome quickly. 

Poor navigation is a big mark against LibertyTax. Premium software like TaxSlayer, TurboTax, or H&R Block offers superior navigation, often at competitive price points. Even TaxHawk, a bargain software, offers slightly better navigation at a lower price point.

Ease Of Use

While Liberty Tax Online has a decent user experience, the software is still a bit clunky. For example,  some forms are nested in other forms. That adds overhead, extra reading, and extra clicking. Although that might seem unimportant, it can lead to getting lost.

Additionally, 1040.com doesn’t support any imports. Users need to hand-enter information from W-2 forms, 1099-NEC, brokerage statements, and more.

Liberty Tax Online Double Check Guarantee

Although the Liberty Tax Online software isn’t particularly easy to use, it has one important draw that’s unique to it. Liberty Tax online has Double Check Guarantee.

Users who complete their filing online can visit participating Liberty Tax retail locations and have a tax professional review their forms before filing. This guarantee is unique to Liberty Tax Online.

Since the Double Check Guarantee is included with your purchase price, Liberty Tax Online becomes significantly cheaper than comparable offers from competitors. 

Knowledge Articles

LibertyTax doesn’t have a deep knowledge library to learn more about their taxes. Instead, LibertyTax relies on a “360-degree” support model. Users can use the software’s “Tell Me More” buttons to learn more about tax topics. They can also make phone calls, send emails, or do live-chat to get questions answered. Users can even visit a LibertyTax location to get a second pair of eyes on their returns.

Extras

The most important extra that LibertyTax offers is it’s “Easy Advance” loan. These are loans ranging from $500 to $6,250 depending on the size of your refund. But this money isn’t free. They each come with a financing charge ranging from $15.78 to $192.75. Liberty Tax estimates that the APR on these loans is 35.99% which is unacceptably high in my opinion.

See how their loan options compare here: Tax Advance Refund Loans.

LibertyTax also offers a free in-person “Double Check” for anyone who wants to get a professional’s eyes on their returns. This is a great service that can help new filers gain confidence.

Finally, LibertyTax comes with Audit Assistance for all users. That means a LibertyTax professional will help you respond to IRS inquiries if you are faced with an audit.

Can Liberty Tax Help Me With My Crypto Investments?

Liberty Tax Online supports tax filing for crypto investments, but hardcore crypto investors may want to look elsewhere. To get the software working, users have to enter every single trade manually. Plus, they have to convert from the crypto base currency to USD. This is not something that I recommend doing by hand.

Can I Request My Missing Stimulus Check?

LibertyTax online allows all qualifying users to request the Rebate Recovery Credit through the software. If you didn’t get your stimulus checks, or your stimulus checks were smaller than they should have been, you’ll qualify for the Rebate Recovery Credit. LibertyTax asks questions about your stimulus checks. Then it calculates the amount you should have received. If you were underpaid, the money will be added to your tax refund check.

How Does Liberty Tax Compare?

LibertyTax is the only online filing company to offer in-person support. However, the software itself is middling in quality.

We compared Liberty Tax to FreeTaxUSA, a bargain tax software with minimal support and H&R Block, a robust tax software with full support and some in-person options. 

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Liberty Tax Review
HR Block Logo
FreeTaxUSA updated logo

$36.99 per additional state

$12.95 per additional state

Retirement Income (SS, Pension, etc.)

Small Business Owner (over $5k in expenses)

$44.95 Fed & $34.95 State

$29.99 Fed & $36.99 State

$44.95 Fed & $34.95 State

$49.99 Fed & $36.99 State

$44.95 Fed & $34.95 State

$84.99 Fed & $36.99 State

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Final Thoughts On Liberty Tax Online In 2021?

Although LibertyTax is loaded with extras, it failed to impress this year. The refund advance loan has a high finance fee. The offers of in-person double-checks seem lackluster this year. So many other companies are offering pro support for a low price. Instead of being lured in by LibertyTax’s extras, check out the best tax software for your situation

Try Liberty Tax Online >>



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