While Liberty Tax Service may be known for its Statue of Liberty sign-wavers on what might feel like every street corner from January to April, the company also has a solid online presence. The service offers four distinct plans to get you started toward maximizing your return, and encourages anyone who gets stuck to make an appointment to finish their claim.
Is the service guaranteed?
|There is a calculations guarantee|
Is the service easy to use?
|Yes, file online or in-store|
Cost or difficulty to cancel?
Ease of access
|Physical locations nationwide, and online support|
Are all State and Federal forms available?
Does the site offer discounts?
|Yes; referring a friend can result in up to a 50% discount|
How can I get my refund?
|Direct deposit, prepaid card and check|
Is the software secure?
Liberty Tax Service is not entirely user friendly for those just beginning to receive income from Social Security. The four plans are focused more on business-related income, as well as other traditional revenue streams. That said, Liberty Tax Service is a great starting point to get your bearings for the filing season. You can easily transition to a physical office location, most of which offer extensive hours (some are open as late as 2AM). There is no free option.
If you decide to go with Liberty, be prepared to complete your filing either online or in-person before tax season ends.
There is no significant health benefit to using Liberty Tax Service when filing your taxes as compared to similar sites. If you have never filed online, then this site might be a good place to start, since it imports previous year filings from competitor sites and can easily set you up with an office appointment in the event you run into trouble.
The user interface is a bit clunky, however, and could prove frustrating for the not-so-web-savvy among us. Additionally, there is no option to download the software, and a strong Internet connection is required to further reduce headaches, stress and the like.
Liberty Tax Service only very narrowly bridges the divide between a web-based tax preparation company and one still heavily reliant on its brick-and-mortar footprint. There is no offline, or downloadable, software, and the tax preparation is online only. Additionally, there is no free trial or free version in which to start your filing. The EZ filing is the least costly at $14.95, but may not be suitable for those with questions regarding disability income or the like.
Ultimately, Liberty Tax Service is a great site to try filing online for the first time, since you can always go to one of the many nationwide branches to complete your taxes before the April deadline.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long are my files kept on record?
Files are kept for five years.
Can I use my refund to pay my filing fee?
No, and it is important to note that there will definitely be a filing fee, given the lack of a free option.
Can I visit a physical location?
Yes, this option is highly encouraged if you get stumped completing your forms online.
Liberty Tax Service is the most man-hour intensive online service compared to competitors, and comes with no free option. The company does offer extensive support, however, but primarily at its physical branches. This service is best for those who know what they are doing, do not need to download software to their desktop, and may not mind booking an appointment locally to maximize their returns.
Liberty Tax Service has four unique plans for online filers. The first is for the 1040EZ only, starting at $14.95. This is followed by the Basic plan at $19.95, and the Deluxe at $39.95. The final plan is the Premium, at $69.95, with the idea being that each product builds on the last. The Premium option covers the most complex situations. Liberty Tax makes it easy to get started online and then transfer to an in-person experience at one of the many nationwide branches.
While there are a few differences between the EZ and the Basic plans, the Deluxe is best suited for those still working in their golden years, or who own their own businesses. Premium is best suited for those with income from farming or rental properties.
Optional Accessories or Add-on Services:
Liberty Tax Service does not offer a downloadable option and comes as a web-based package only.
Contract Details: Liberty Tax is the only online tax preparation service that does not have a free option. That said, the company makes it easy to initiate a filing online for $14.95, and then transfer any progress on that return to a physical location to ensure you get your maximum refund. Liberty does provide some limited IRS audit support, but charges audit representation fees starting at $14.95.
Warranty: Liberty Tax Service offers a numbers calculation guarantee. This means that if you put in the numbers correctly, then the staff will guarantee the outcome. In the event you are audited, though, representation will cost you at least $14.95.
Accreditations: Liberty Tax Service has received a D- from the Better Business Bureau, with both customers and employees contributing to the less-than-stellar rating. The company is not accredited by the BBB.
Company Details: As odd as it may sound, Liberty Tax Service began life as Canadian firm U&R Tax Depot. It was acquired by Jackson Hewitt co-founder John Hewitt in 1997, and over the span of 21 years, has grown to become the third-largest tax preparation service in the U.S.
Liberty Tax Service
1716 Corporate Landing Pkwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5681