Are you looking for help filing your taxes? e-SmartTax, a subsidiary of Liberty Tax, is one of the few software programs that allows users to personally access tax professionals.
Unfortunately, despite this benefit, e-Smart Tax is too expensive to be competitive. Here’s what you need to know about the software this year:
Instead, check out our list of the best control software options for your situation.
- Self-guided navigation and few import options
- Higher prices than other competitors that may be easier to use
- Flat rate prices, but higher than other software
Is It Really Free?
This year, e-SmartTax does not offer free submission. All users pay for state and state filing. However, you can preview the software for free.
What’s new in 2021?
The only major change e-Smart Tax introduced this year was a price overhaul. All users pay the same price regardless of the complexity of the situation.
This year, e-SmartTax (a subsidiary of Liberty Tax) continues to use the Drake Software Company’s tax software. This means that the e-Smart Tax interface is the same as the 1040.com interface.
This year, e-Smart Tax closely coordinated its pricing plan with parent company Liberty Tax. Federal returns are $ 44.95 regardless of the complexity of the return. Filing costs $ 36.95 per return, $ 2 more than Liberty Tax fees.
While e-SmartTax supports all important forms, access to Schedule E is cumbersome for rental properties. Users need to add the form and calculate all expenses themselves. Landlords may want to stay away from this service.
In addition, the e-Smart Tax website makes some false or misleading statements about the software. At the time of testing, we couldn’t find a way to import last year’s taxes from a competitor. We also saw no way to import a W-2 form. Apparently, the advertisement on the e-Smart Tax website has not been updated to match the software.
eSmartTax licenses the same software that 1040.com supports. As a result, these two software programs have identical navigation.
With e-Smart Tax, users can choose between a question and an answer navigation option. You can also navigate the software yourself. The interview style guide is decent but can be lengthy or cluttered with tax jargon. This can make it difficult to answer all of the questions.
Users who want a better navigation experience should consider premium software like TaxSlayer, TurboTax, or H&R Block. Those looking for a bargain can take advantage of TaxHawk, which offers superior navigation for just $ 12.95 per state (federal filing is free).
In general, eSmart Tax is quite easy to use, but it doesn’t offer any meaningful upgrades that improve the user experience. For example, there are no imports, which means that users have to enter most of the information into the software.
eSmartTax has a small library of frequently asked questions and articles in the software’s help section. Most of the knowledge base, however, is embedded directly in the software. The software’s “Tell Me More” buttons offer quick popups with important tax information.
Users can also make phone calls, send emails, or chat live to answer questions. This support is not limited to technical questions. e-Smart Tax Filers are eligible for assistance from tax professionals (including in-office support at Liberty Tax locations).
eSmart Tax offers two important extras that were high quality offers in the past. First, the company offers unlimited help from tax professionals. This includes the option to have taxes checked at a Liberty Tax office location.
The software also includes audit assistance for all users. When a filer is audited, a LibertyTax expert will help them answer IRS queries.
In the past, these extras may have been worth the extra cost. However, TaxHawk and TaxSlayer offer full tax professional support, audit assistance and great user experiences, and lower prices than e-Smart Tax.
Can eSmartTax help me with crypto investments?
While E-Smart Tax supports crypto investment tax returns, it doesn’t have built-in options to make filing easy. Users have to manually enter each crypto transaction. This work comes after converting from crypto base currency to USD. Most crypto investors will want to look elsewhere.
Can I claim my missing stimulus money?
Many families were either underpaid for the stimulus, or they never received one or both of the economic checks this year. Fortunately, all taxpayers have the option of receiving the incentive in the form of a tax credit known as a Rebate Recovery Credit. Taxpayers who qualify for this credit will receive larger tax refunds this year.
e-Smart Tax verifies that users qualify for the discount recovery credit by asking questions about your stimulus payments. If you were underpaid, it calculates the amount you should have received. If you were underpaid, the money will be returned to your tax refund check.
How does eSmart Tax compare?
eSmartTax (and its parent company Liberty Tax) is the only software program that offers personal support. However, the software itself is mediocre.
We decided to compare e-Smart Tax with premium software (TurboTax) and a bargain software (FreeTaxUSA).
$ 12.95 per additional state
Retirement income (SS, pension, etc.)
Small business owner (over $ 5,000 in expenses)
$ 44.95 Fed & $ 36.95 State
$ 44.95 Fed & $ 36.95 State
$ 44.95 Fed & $ 36.95 State
Final thoughts on eSmartTax in 2021
This year we were not impressed by e-Smart Tax. While it has some nice features, it doesn’t make up for mediocre software. The price of e-Smart Tax is too high to warrant it. Most users can find a better alternative. If you’re not sure which software to use, take a look at the best tax software for your situation.