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Serguei Solokhine author image

In a Nutshell is a tax return filing program that is best suited for experienced users looking for a self-guided experience. While its paid pricing tiers do not provide access to an accountant, they are significantly cheaper than competing software with similar features provided by other brands. For a self-employed user who is comfortable filing without an accountant’s assistance, can save a lot of money at tax time.


  • Paid pricing tiers cheaper than competition
  • Free federal return available
  • 88% of reviews positive on Trustpilot, and A+ rating with BBB


  • No free state return
  • No assistance from an accountant Visit Site  Plans

Free Federal Basic Plan

Best for: Salaried individuals with no mortgage or dependents

Deluxe Plus E-file

Best for: Salaried individuals with complex deductions

Premium Plus E-file

Best for: Self-employed individuals

File Online
Phone and Online Support
File with Dependents
IRS Audit Assistance

How much does cost? (Plan Pricing, Service Fees) offers free federal tax returns, as well as state tax returns for $21. Users can opt to upgrade to the Deluxe Plus or Premium Plus tiers to unlock more features. Here is the pricing for each plan level.

Federal Basic Plan
Deluxe Plus E-file
Premium Plus E-file
Federal Tax Return
State Tax Return

Online Tax return software ranges in price from free to about $50 per federal filing, with an additional cost for state filing. This places in the lower middle of the pricing range.’s Deluxe Plus tier has similar features to the Deluxe tier of the popular TurboTax software, which costs $60 for a federal filing. is comparatively cheaper for a similar feature set. 

How does work? is user friendly and straightforward. After signing up with an email and password, you are directed through a series of screens asking you to fill in basic personal information, such as SSN, income, and health insurance. also saves data on exit, enabling you to interrupt filling out your return at any point, then pick it up again at a later date. The program also saves contact information from previous years for future filings and stores a complete pdf of your tax return for the next 8 years. 

The paid tiers come with an impressive set of features for their price point. For instance, E-file Deluxe, at $19.49, enables you to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on your return. To unlock the same deductions in TurboTax you would have to pay $60. Other premium features that cost much less with include itemized deductions, credit schedules, and business income.

The free version of is comparatively light on features. It allows for single or joint federal filing with no dependents, and is limited to an income of less than $100,000. There is no free state filing. Contrast this to TurboTax, which offers a free federal and state filing, with no income cap and deductions for dependents included.

In our opinion, brings the most value if you need its deluxe or premium features—users who want a free filing can find a more robust free program. 

Is reliable and safe? has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since Jan 17, 2014, and currently holds a rating of A+. It has 49 reviews on Trustpilot, with 88% of customers rating the program as Excellent, or five stars out of five.

Customers generally praise the quality of the customer service, and the program’s ease of use. One recurring issue which was responsible for the majority of 1-star reviews. It appears that when customers attempt to use the free version of, but require features that are not included in the free plan, they are not informed of this upfront. Instead, once users get to the end of the filing process they are presented with a bill, and it’s suggested that they pay the cost out of their tax refund. was responsive about this issue, with representatives responding to the comments on Trustpilot and politely explaining the situation. However, it remains something for users to watch out for as it has not been fixed at the time of this review. To ensure that you are qualified for’s free plan, read the company’s article on How to File for Free. Aside from this singular issue, customers seem pleased with, and reviews are overwhelmingly positive. 

Users should be aware that there is another brand with a similar name,, that has poor customer reviews. Please make sure that you enter the correct URL when searching for

Help and Support offers customer support via email to all its customers. This is accessible by filling out the form on their Contact Us page. Telephone support is available to Deluxe and Premium Plan holders, who can access the customer support number by logging into their account and pressing Help & Support in the top-right navigation bar. support agents are not tax specialists, and are therefore not qualified to provide personal tax advice. makes this clear on their Contact Us page and advises customers with personal tax questions to contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.

Getting a response through the contact form is a slow, potentially multi-day process. Fortunately, some questions can be answered by the knowledge base located in the website’s footer. This knowledge base discusses different commonly asked tax questions in great detail, featuring articles like Ways to Pay Your Taxes, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, and Navigating IRS Audits

What about the app? doesn’t have an app.

Bottom Line is easy to use with affordable premium tiers. Its Deluxe and Premium price levels are priced at less than 50% of what competing brands charge for similar features. If you are self-employed, or have a return with many complex deductions, can provide significant savings over the competition.

However, the program is not suitable if you are looking to hire the services of an accountant, as is entirely self-guided, even at its topmost pricing tier.

Finally, its free version is limited in scope, and lacks a free option for State tax returns. For this reason, we consider it most suitable for users that want to take advantage of its paid pricing tiers and are comfortable filing their own taxes without an accountant. Such users can save a significant amount at tax time by using Visit Site


Is safe?

According to the Better Business Bureau, currently holds a rating of A+, and it has been accredited since Jan 17, 2014. Of its 49 Trustpilot reviews, 88% of customers rated it as “excellent,” with 5/5 stars. is also an IRS authorized E-file provider. This means that they were deemed capable of handling sensitive customer tax return data by the IRS. Based on customer reviews and the IRS certification, there do not appear to be any safety concerns with E-file.

Is legit? LLC is a real company registered out of Ponte Verde, FL. They are licensed by the IRS to process electronic tax filings on behalf of individuals. Part of this licensing process involved conducting criminal background checks and credit checks on key decision-makers in the company to ensure that management was financially and morally responsible enough to handle tax returns on the public’s behalf. Based on the IRS’s findings, is a legitimate company run by responsible management.

Is the IRS? is a private company, LLC. It is not owned or operated by the IRS. It acts as a middleman between taxpayers and the IRS, filing returns with the IRS electronically. is an IRS-authorized e-file provider  in the United States. This means that while they are not owned by the IRS, their company was licensed by the IRS to conduct its business.

Serguei Solokhine is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. A digital nomad, he loves writing about finance, business, and travel. With degrees in finance and marketing, plus five years of experience in the financial services industry, Serguei has developed a wealth of knowledge in personal and corporate finance, marketing, CRM software, and other SaaS platforms. A seasoned writer, his byline has appeared on many popular websites.
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