Tax Refund

We get it; filing your taxes is a chore you’d rather not do. That’s why TaxAct® makes the tax prep process as seamless and easy as possible — and did we mention you can also file your basic federal return with us for free1?

A woman sits on a couch and uses her laptop next to a green plant and a lamp.

Is TaxAct’s offering actually free?

With TaxAct, you have different filing options for different tax situations.

Our basic federal sku includes your tax return essentials like W-2 income plus retirement and unemployment income. You can also claim popular tax breaks for dependents and current students like the Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

In addition, you’ll get the following when you use TaxAct:

  • Free access to Xpert AssistSM – Connect with an actual tax expert who can answer the questions you have about your taxes2.
  • Step-by-step guidance – We’ll ask you simple questions and fill out the necessary tax forms for you as you work through our product.
  • Prior year importing – This feature lets you upload a PDF of last year’s 1040 tax return, saving time and reducing errors such as typos3.
  • ProTips – These hints can help you save by uncovering potential deductions and credits you may have overlooked4.
  • Easy state filing – We’ll automatically pull your federal information into your state tax forms for super quick state filing5.
  • Real-time refund estimate – As you file and enter more information, you’ll be able to see your refund amount (or taxes due) update in real-time.
  • Maximum Refund and 100k Accuracy Guarantee – We’re so confident that our calculations are correct and that you’ll get your maximum tax refund that we’ll pay up to $100,000 to cover you if we make a mistake*.
  • Alerts – We’ll closely inspect your return and flag any potential errors or omissions before you file. Our Deduction Maximizer4 will also alert you to possible tax breaks you may have missed.

How do you file your basic federal taxes for free with minimum fuss with TaxAct?

No fuss is something we take seriously. We’ve streamlined our tax software to make filing your taxes a breeze.

To file your basic federal tax return for free this year, follow these eight steps:

  1. Create an account with TaxAct or log in to your account if you already have one.
  2. If necessary, import last year’s income tax return information or enter your information manually3.
  3. Fill out your basic information, including your name, address, Social Security number, birthday, marital status, dependent information, and more.
  4. Follow our step-by-step guidance. We’ll begin by asking you questions about your income, and then we’ll continue into tax deductions, credits, other taxes paid, and more.
  5. If you live in a state with income tax, we’ll help walk you through your state tax return next. We’ll use the information you provided in your free federal tax return to make this process quick and easy. Filing your state return is an additional cost.
  6. Once you’re through your federal and state returns, we’ll review your return for accuracy. This is where we’ll alert you to any potential errors, omissions, or additional tax savings opportunities.
  7. After your review, you’ll be given the option to e-file or print and mail your paper return. We’ll also ask you for payment information (if you owe taxes) or direct deposit information (if you’re owed a tax refund).
  8. If you’re filing a state income tax return with us, we’ll ask for your payment information here as well.
  9. Once you’ve gone through all the above steps, it’s time to submit your return to the IRS for processing!

Main takeaways about filing your Basic Federal Return with TaxAct

TaxAct makes free online tax preparation easy when you file your basic federal tax return with us. We’ll guide you step-by-step through filing your own taxes for free.

When you file with us, you’ll also get peace of mind thanks to our free Xpert Assist2 feature that connects you with a real tax professional for tax assistance and our Maximum Refund and 100k Accuracy Guarantees.*

Ready to file? Let’s get started.


All TaxAct offers, products and services are subject to applicable terms and conditions.
*Read more about the TaxAct Maximum Refund and $100k Accuracy Guarantees.
1Free TaxAct Online Free Edition makes free federal filing available for basic returns only. Not everyone has a basic return. Find out if you have a basic return and more about what this year’s Free Edition includes.  For all other online products, you can start free and pay only when you file. This means you will not be charged if you decide to stop using any product prior to printing or e-filing.
2 Offer for Free TaxAct® Xpert Assist may expire at any time without notice. Xpert Assist is available as an added service to certain users of TaxAct’s online, consumer prepared 1040 product. Service hours limited to designated scheduling times and by expert availability. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service. View full TaxAct Xpert Assist Terms and Conditions here.
3 TaxAct can import the data you filed last year with us or your return from PDF files of 1040 returns prepared by many but not all tax prep software solutions.
4 Our Deduction Maximizer is programmed to research dozens of deductions that often go overlooked.
5 State filings additional.

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