TaxACT 2013 Deluxe Edition is 2nd Story Software's best value if you've previously filed your federal income tax returns with TaxACT. It has everything in TaxACT's free service, including free federal filing, guaranteed accuracy, and assistance if you're audited, plus state tax filing for a small fee. The Deluxe edition includes extra tax calculators, expert advice, free phone support, and more. You can download TaxACT Deluxe as standalone software, but we tried the Webware version, which integrates with your secure TaxACT account. Like TaxACT's other products and similar services, you can try TaxACT Deluxe for free and pay when you file. But you can also try it without registering or sharing personal data, which will appeal to privacy-minded users. You'll need to register to take advantage of all of TaxACT Deluxe's features and to file, of course.
We clicked TaxACT Deluxe's "Start for Free" button, selected the "Register Now" tab (instead of "Register Later"), and then clicked "Start My Return." Tabs labeled "Basic Info," "Life Events," "Federal Q&A," and so on made it easy to enter our personal data. Lots of help is available at each step, starting with a video tutorial, a tabbed sidebar, and a searchable Answer Center. Clicking "Jump to Forms and Topics" produced a pop-up page with handy tree views for quickly accessing tax forms, instructions, and more. We recommend taking advantage of the Review stage, which can find errors as well as flag savings you may have overlooked, and printing a paper copy of your returns.
For what it offers, Deluxe Edition's cost is modest, but there are numerous TaxACT options available. We suggest sampling each offering and going with the one that's best aligned to your needs and financial situation. For many taxpayers, that's TaxACT 2013 Deluxe Edition.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of TaxACT Deluxe Edition 2013.