This story is part ofCNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything else you need to file your return quickly, accurately, and on time.
This year we are voting on Cash App Taxes. Unlike other “free” commercial tax software offerings, Cash App Taxes doesn’t hide its free version behind tons of marketing, limit people based on their tax situations, or even charge you for your state tax return. Even if you have , retirement distributions, rental property income or health savings accounts, Cash App Taxes can e-file your tax returns completely free of charge.
Cash App Taxes requires the installation of Cash App mobile software on a phone or tablet and does not include the extensive help and support of tax software industry leaders such asand . It includes solid contextual help as well as live chat technical support from real people, but no professional tax or phone support.
Although it is free, the interface and functionality of Cash App Taxes is very professional. If you’re looking for a way to file your 2022 tax return at no cost, Cash App Taxes might be worth a look.
Who is Cash App Taxes best for?
If you have experience with Cash App, you should strongly consider the free Cash App Taxes software. The tax interface is integrated well into the mobile app and filers with simple returns can complete the process in minutes.
Cash App Taxes is best for do-it-yourselfers who don’t need a lot of work during the filing process, as there’s no help with some of the more complex forms and professional expertise isn’t there.
Former Credit Karma Tax users should also try Cash App Taxes. Your tax returns from previous years are easy to access and the software is virtually identical to Credit Karma Tax.
Who should look elsewhere?
Those who want tax support should look elsewhere. Cash App Taxes has a proper help section and live chat for simple technical and tax questions, but no support from tax professionals.
Freelancers orwith multiple 1099 forms you should also try another tax office. Unlike its competitors, Cash App Taxes doesn’t support uploading forms other than previous year tax returns, so you’ll have to enter each one manually.
Here are some of the other tax situations that are not supported by Cash App Taxes:
- Returns multiple states
- Returns to a non-resident state
- Increased standard deduction
- Foreign income
- Married filing separately in community property states
The Cash App Taxes Support Portal has separate pages for a complete list of federal forms and situations that it supports and forms and situations that Cash App Taxes does not support. Be sure to review the listings before you start to see if Cash App Taxes will work for you.
How do cash app taxes work?
To use Cash App Taxes, you download the Cash App mobile software and create a Cash App account using a valid email address or phone number. The onboarding process will also ask for a debit card to link to the account, but you don’t need to continue.
From the mobile app, you can access Cash App Taxes through the Banking tab: Under the Taxes tab, find the Free Tax Filing link. An interstitial screen offers File Now or Estimate Refund buttons, as well as a link for people who have filed with Credit Karma Tax in previous years.
After verifying your identity with your social security number, the app will ask you to create a password specially for Cash App Taxes, not Cash App in general.
Cash App Taxes offers a wide selection of IRS forms and schedules, but the interview-style filing process is fairly simple. There is no navigation scheme – you will have to return to the tax home page to access different parts of your return. Technical support and tax assistance content is also limited. A question mark icon is available for all entries on the form, but the instructions are brief and often refer to the IRS site for more information.
The FAQ in the sliding help panel only links to the main Cash App Taxes support page at taxeshelp.cash.app. Live chat is included here for website issues and basic tax questions, but there is no phone support or guarantee of communication with a tax professional.
How to Run Cash App Taxes on Desktop
You can use either a mobile device or a computer to file with Cash App Taxes, but the login process for the browser-based software is unique. Each time you log in to the desktop version, you must click a QR code with the Cash App mobile app and then enter your Cash App Taxes password on your mobile device. You must use the mobile app and password every time you sign in to the desktop version.
Since Cash App Taxes doesn’t support form uploads, you can enter a lot of data by hand, which works much better with a keyboard. The desktop login process is a mild annoyance, but it can become increasingly frustrating if you’re working on a long return or logging in frequently. Cash App Taxes does allow taking photos of W-2 forms, but I was unable to access this feature via a desktop web browser (Chrome or Opera) or an Android tablet.
Although you can use Cash App on both the mobile app and desktop, switching between the two platforms can cause some issues. While information such as dependents and charitable deductions synced instantly, W-2 information took about an hour to transfer from the mobile app record to the browser-based version. We also occasionally encountered some ugly error screens when switching between the mobile app and the browser software.
Is Cash App Taxs really Free?
Yes, Cash App Taxes is free. There is actually no option to pay for the service or upgrade to premium support. The product makes money through targeted advertising for other financial services.
Cash App Taxes also signs people up for the Cash App payment service, which makes money in a variety of ways, such as retailer hardware fees, transaction fees, selling bitcoins and net interest loans.
What is the difference between Cash App Taxes and Credit Karma Tax?
Credit Karma Tax was a free tax service originally offered by financial company Credit Karma, which sold the tax service to Cash App in November 2020. Cash App’s corporate owner Block acquired Credit Karma Tax in late 2020.
Other Notable Features in Cash App Taxes
Cash App Taxes offers two guarantees: accurate calculations and maximum refunds. The Accurate Calculations Guarantee will pay up to $1,000 if the service makes an error that results in IRS penalties.
Cash App Taxes also provides one year of free audit protection. If you choose to file again with Cash App in 2023, audit protection is extended to three years.
Taxpayers can file digitally or print their returns to file by mail. Cash App Taxes recommends using the desktop version to print forms. Tax refunds can be added to your Cash App account, deposited into your bank by direct deposit, or delivered by check in the mail.
Cash App Taxes provides a simple mobile option for filers looking for a free version that doesn’t skimp on forms and schedules. The lack of comprehensive tax support makes it a better choice for pets and taxpayers confident in their ability to file taxes. Cash App users who already have the mobile app installed and are not exempt from Cash App Taxes restrictions have no reason not to give it a spin.
Compare other tax software
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