Online Tax Pros Review – Affordable for Everyone
If you’re looking for an affordable online tax preparation program, you’ll find that Online Tax Pros falls into the group of less expensive alternatives to the more established products from TurboTax or H&R Block. In fact, they offer only two tiers of pricing, and their more expensive product includes your state return, too. While it’s not for everyone, Online Tax Pros does offer a good opportunity for someone who’d rather support a smaller company when filing their income tax returns. Read on for our full Online Tax Pros review.
Online Tax Pros Overview
Most online tax preparation products have multiple tiers of pricing, in order to accommodate those with different needs. The ranges usually cover someone who needs a 1040 EZ, someone who might have basic deductions, someone with rental property or investments, and someone with a small business. Four tiers is pretty typical, and that’s what we’ve seen most often with online tax preparation software. Online Tax Pros is different, however, as they only have two versions:
Online Tax Pros Standard
The Online Tax Pros Standard edition allows you to file and print your Federal income tax return for a price of $19.95. The Online Tax Pros Website also says that you get free customer support.
Online Tax Pros Deluxe
The Online Tax Pros Deluxe edition offers the same features included in the Online Tax Pros Standard Edition, but also includes state tax returns. That’s it; there’s no other difference between the two versions. One includes a state return, and one does not.
The description of each version of the Online Tax Pros includes a link to the list of forms that are supported by the Online Tax Pros software; in both cases, this link led to a page with a 404: Not Found error.
Both versions of the Online Tax Pros software claim to offer free customer support, and there’s an icon at the top of the page that shows a woman wearing a headset, as though there’s a telephone operator standing by to take your call. When you click on the link, however, you’re taken to a page with an email form. As far as we can tell, Online Tax Pros offers no support other than by email, so if you need help and need it in a hurry, you’re at the mercy of the email Gods and whomever is tasked with replying.
We attempted to create an account at Online Tax Pros and were told that a confirmation email message had been sent to our email address and that we had to click on the link in the message to activate our account at the Online Tax Pros Website. That message arrived within a few seconds, but it was completely blank; there was no link in the message, so we were unable to create our account.
In addition, there’s little other information on the Online Tax Pros Website about help. There is a limited FAQ page with a few questions such as, “When will I get my refund?” but little information about how the software works. Do you simply fill out forms? Do you answer interview-style questions? Is there a refund monitor or a meter that checks your progress? We have no idea. We’ve also noticed that the Online Tax Pros Website is slow and not particularly responsive.
While the price for Online Tax Pros is affordable and you might be able to file simple returns there if you can get the email activation to work, we don’t really think that Online Tax Pros should be the first place to start if you’re looking for a smooth online tax preparation experience.
It’s possible, of course, that the software works well and we just tried to sign up on a bad day. Even if Online Tax Pros is the best software ever, it is going to have one significant drawback – it can’t possibly know about all of the ways that you could be saving money on your income taxes and it can’t suggest them to you because most tax software, including Online Tax Pros, simply doesn’t know about everything in the US Tax Code that could be saving you money.
The US Tax Code is lengthy and complex and has tens of thousands of pages and sees hundreds of changes every year. Buried within that code, however, are hundreds of ways that you could legally be saving money on your taxes. Some of them are obvious, such as mortgage interest deductions, but many of them are quite obscure and some of them are context-dependent; that is, you can use them if you know how to use them properly.
For most taxpayers, keeping up with all of the ways that they could be saving money, or even finding out about them in the first place, is simply too time consuming. We get it; even most tax professionals don’t know about all of the ways to save money that are permitted by the tax code. If they don’t know about it, then you can rest assured that Online Tax Pros doesn’t know about it, either. Again, that’s not a shortcoming of Online Tax Pros; that’s a problem with all tax software. It can’t know everything, but if you know about the deductions, then you can enter them into Online Tax Pros or whatever other software you’re using and then you can file your taxes and get the refund to which you’re legally entitled.
Online Tax Pros Summary
Fortunately, where Online Tax Pros fails, another product comes to the rescue. There is a way to learn about all of the ways you could be saving money on your income taxes, and it’s all legal. You’ll learn about deductions that affect you, not just this year, but every year. That information will be spelled out in simple English and not complicated tax talk. You’ll learn about ways to save money on your taxes that never even occurred to you and then you can plug them into Online Tax Pros or any other program and save money. While we cannot recommend Online Tax Pros, we can certainly recommend that you learn how to pay less in taxes.