Online Taxes Review

article by Kerri L. author April 06, 2017
our score
Online Taxes (OLT) offers a great free service for users looking to save money on preparing their taxes. Federal filings for most Americans is completely free and state filings are as cheap as $7.95.
pros
  • Totally free federal filings
  • Live chat and phone support for premium users
  • File state for just $9.95 ($7.95 for premium users)
  • No downloads needed
  • All form types supported in free filings
cons
  • Service not free non-resident and Puerto Rican filers
  • More guidance needed in interview
  • Email support is dreadfully slow
While OLT offers an awesome free service for filing federal taxes, their Premium service offers outstanding customer support and discounts for state filings.
Kerri L., author
Free Storage Limit Federal Tax Return
Is it Useful for Small and Large Businesses State Tax Return
Key Factors Amended Tax Return
Syncronization Prior Year Tax Return
Features and Specifications E-File Service
Free Edition Order Now >>
$ 0 /sub
  • Free e-file of E-File 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040
  • All Forms and Schedules Supported
  • Self-Employed and Small Business Owners
  • Investment and Rental Property
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Most Popular
Premium Edition Order Now >>
$ 7.95 /sub
  • All Free Features
  • Dedicated Customer Service
  • Audit Support
  • Year over Year Comparison
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OLT offers a great support system for their premium users and this is one service where you should definitely invest in the small fee for the upgrade.

How to Prepare and File Taxes

The first step in filing your return on OLT is to create a user account. Once created, you can login and begin your return. If you prefer to signup for Premium, you can do so during registration.

Once logged in, you will be prompted for the type of return you need to file. You’ll have several options based on various taxpayer situations. Most of you will want to select the option for the standard 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040.

Afterwards, you will be walked through a series of data forms to fill out. The forms are divided by major categories such as personal information, income, adjustments, deductions and so forth. You can save your return at any point during the interview provided the form you’re working on is completed.

One thing we wish was included is general guidance for certain tax topics like deductions. There are certain “Guide Me” links in some sections but they are more for general information. Some of the best tax software apps will walk you through various steps to make sure you qualify for various deductions and credits.

Refunds and Deductions

Online Taxes does a great job in providing form support for all of the major and most minor deductions and credits. Again, we wish they offered more guidance during the interview for these credits, but at least you have the ability to claim them. With that said, those of you that opt for a Premium account can contact support and get a tax professional to help you if you’re uncertain on any credits.

When requesting your refund, you have the standard options of having your funds direct deposited or send to your bank account. Direct deposits take up to 21 days to process while paper checks can take a month or longer.

Extras 

OLT doesn’t offer users anything at all in the way of added features. The site lacks all of the helpful features of the best online tax filing programs like TurboTax. There are no audio or video guides, no tax calculators or even general news or software update information.

Software Options

OLT is another in a growing list of web-only tax programs. You don’t need to download anything to your computer or install any apps on your mobile device. Just point your browser to OLT.com and get started.

Pricing Pricing

OLT offers free tax filings for most with all forms and schedules supported. The exceptions are non residents and those living in Puerto Rico. In that case, you have to pay $7.95. If you want additional support services, then you need to upgrade to Premium. It gives you access to customer support via live chat or telephone. In addition, you get Audit Support in the event the IRS ever questions your return.

State filings are not free on OLT, but they are cheaper than you will find most anywhere. If you file your federal return using the free service, state returns are $9.95. Those opting to upgrade to Premium will get state returns for $7.95.

Support

Support services for OLT are fair for free users and solid for Premium users. Those filing for free will be limited to using the searchable knowledge base on the website or sending an email to support. The average response time to emails is a staggering two days.

One of the main benefits for paying the $7.95 for Premium is the support services offered. When you signup for Premium you get access to both live chat and telephone support with customer support or tax professionals depending on your issue. The fee for support is cheaper than the fee charged by some tax preparation services.

Unless you are completely comfortable with doing everything yourself, we suggest you opt for the Premium upgrade.

Bottom Line Bottom Line

OLT offers a great service with totally free federal filings and economical state filings. For the cost of a McDonalds combo meal, you can upgrade to Premium and receive world-class tax and customer support along with a deeper discount on your state filing.