eSmart Tax is an online tax preparation service affiliated with the popular brick and mortar tax preparation service, Liberty Tax. Founded in 1997, Liberty Tax currently operates over 3,800 tax service centers with a network of 23,000 tax preparers throughout the United States and Canada. If you're planning on using the online tax preparation service with eSmart Tax, help is never further than the closest Liberty Tax office location or the tips of your fingers.
Navigation through your return is simple and straightforward with the help of a streamlined user interface. eSmart Tax is a powerful online tax filing system that utilizes an interview style approach with questions generally prompting "yes" or "no" answers, which will navigate you through corresponding forms, depending on your answers. A navigation bar at the top of your return lets you move to various sections of your tax return, allowing you to skip forward to any section.
On the right side of the interview screen, the comprehensive help center provides guidance for your specific location as well as frequently asked questions and where to enter form specific information. eSmart Tax also utilizes a “Refund Ticker” to keep you automatically updated on the amount of your tax refund (or taxes owed) as you fill out your return.
Online tax preparers possessing elementary tax knowledge and basic computer skills can appreciate the fluidity and intuitive feel of eSmart Tax. If you're switching from another online tax service provider, eSmart Tax will allow you to import prior year tax information from TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxACT, Efile.com, 1040.com and several other lesser-known online services, which can help save you a good deal of time.
eSmart Tax also has a program to assist customers receiving audit notices for the current year of filing. “CPA Powered Audit Assistance” provides a certified public accountant to aid in the preparation of your audit, explains to you what you can expect during the audit, assists in your responses to taxing authority questions, explains the results of your audit and discusses possible next steps. eSmart expands the scope of assistance to include both IRS and state audits.
If you need technical support while preparing your return, live chat representatives will be available January 13 through April 20 from 9 a.m. until midnight ET. Support questions and tax inquiries can also be emailed at your convenience and an eSmart Tax customer support representative will likely respond via email within 24 business hours. For general tax information, there’s also a section for common tax information, which lists subjects via 10 separate life stages to match your current situation.
In addition to any information you can obtain from live chat or emailed questions, you can find a great deal of tax and non-tax information within eSmart’s blogs. With such lively names as “The Greenhornet Blog,” “The Daily Deduction” and “Tuscon Tax Talk,” topics are usually well researched and presented in easily understood language. In fact, eSmart Tax emphasizes that all questions and information should be presented in easily understood terms, without technical tax wording or “confusing IRS-speak for you to decode." Users are also invited to use the customer support offered by one of its social media channels: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Another eSmart Tax advantage is in the area of individual states. On the website, a separate page is devoted to each state, along with a display of all the state forms supported by eSmart Tax. In some cases, it will even have a listing of forms from prior years for comparison. In this area, you can download actual state instructions for each form and peruse a list of helpful tax links. Links to general tax knowledge as well as official information is also provided to conduct your own research using over 20 links to various tax professional sites as well as links to the IRS and Social Security Administration.
Basic is free for federal filing and $29.95 for each state filed. This version is designed for taxpayers with simple returns needing limited assistance. Technical assistance is provided via free chat.
Deluxe is $29.95 for federal filing and $29.95 for each state return filed. This version is designed for those taxpayers with dependents and itemized deductions. Deluxe users will have access to free tax support from a Liberty Tax professional.
Premium is $49.95 for federal filing and $29.95 for each state return filed. This version is designed for business owners, freelancers and/or contractors. Premium users will also have access to free tax support from a Liberty Tax professional.
eSmart provides a wealth of information combined with a guided interactive experience, allowing for a smooth filing experience likely without any surprises. Its website offers basic information that the do-it-yourself preparer will find helpful, as well as offering a tax preparation solution that’s competitive in pricing. eSmart Tax is an especially good fit if your taxes are unchanged from the prior year, as integration of previous years from other companies may be seamless. So if you’re ready to get your taxes done quickly and correctly, consider letting eSmart Tax’s service put the headache behind you.