TaxAct has rolled out its TaxAct Online Free Edition, which allows filers with simple tax situations to prepare and file federal and state returns for free.

The platform also provides phone support and other resources previously only available to paid filers. Customers have complimentary access to up to three years of prior-year TaxAct online returns and tax-related information, as well as TaxAct Life Events, which includes guidance for life changes and related tax implications.

They can also import information from prior-year returns to the Online Free Edition for a flat fee of $5.

TaxAct also touts the fact that there are no paid upgrades within the platform.

“Bait and switch tactics have become a common pattern in the do-it-yourself( online tax preparation industry,” said Rob Gettemy, chief operating officer of TaxAct, in a statement. “It is not customer-friendly to lure filers in with a free message only to force an upgrade for features they would expect in the free product.”

Should a taxpayer start to prepare a free return but realize that there tax situation is more complex than those covered by the Online 2016 Free Edition will, however, need to upgrade to a paid TaxAct product, the company acknowledged.


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