Cash App Taxes review: Same free tax experience, new name

Most IRS forms and schedules for federal and state taxes, including Schedule C, are supported by the free Cash App Taxes. It’s the only service we’ve tried that provides thorough preparation and filing at no expense. Just don’t expect the same level of support as commercial apps.

PROS

  • FAST LOADING FREE PAGES
  • Excellent layout and navigation Great mobile apps Supports key IRS and state forms and schedules
  • You can view tax forms in PDF format

CONS

  • There isn’t enough depth in the support.
  • No interest or investment data can be imported, and W-2 imports are limited

CASH APP TAXES SPECS

Imports Competitors’ ReturnsYes
All Major IRS Forms and SchedulesYes
Comprehensive Navigational OutlineNo
Chat HelpYes
Phone Support for Tax TopicsNo
Hyperlinked Help In InterviewYes
Context-Sensitive HelpYes
Searchable Help DatabaseYes
Mobile AccessYes

Credit Karma Tax was the term given to Cash App Taxes when it first launched five years ago. It was a one-of-a-kind online tax service that offered free federal and state tax preparation and filing, as well as support for the majority of IRS forms and schedules. It was a nice-looking tax site with easy-to-use navigation tools. Block, Inc. (previously Square, Inc.), a business known for its online payment tools and other apps, has owned the site since last year.

The service is best suited to individuals who either have basic returns or are very tax-savvy, as its support content is nowhere like as rich as its competitors’. It is now called Cash App Taxes, reflecting its tight integration with Cash App. The fact that it’s free is enticing, especially during tax season, but rival services explain the tax code in far greater depth, which could save you money and time in the long run. Because it delivers outstanding help and an overall top-notch tax-filing experience, one of these paid programs, TurboTax.

Competition Is Expensive

It’s great that Cash App Taxes gives a free method to filing Schedule C, which is required if you have self-employment income, after a year when so many Americans had to establish new online enterprises or take on side activities due to the still-unpredictable economy. Competitors charge a lot for self-employment support, with the exception of FreeTaxUSA (free for federal, $14.99 for state) and TaxSlayer Classic ($17.95 for federal, $36.95 for state).

The most expensive version is TurboTax Self-Employed. The federal portion is $119, while the state portion is $39 (if a long history repeats itself, those prices will go up later in the filing season). Granted, TurboTax provides an excellent user experience, delves deep for deductions, and provides unrivaled assistance. Self-employed taxpayers, on the other hand, can use Cash App Taxes to file a 1040 with all of the required forms and schedules for free.

Cash App Taxes Review – Forbes Advisor
Cash App Taxes

Cash App Taxes received its name from a requirement that the tax preparation website integrate with Block’s Cash App, a peer-to-peer money transfer business that started in 2013. It has expanded to encompass financial services for spending, sending, storing, and investing money. Direct deposit, a cash card, and fractional investing in traditional equities and bitcoin are among the company’s financial instruments.

Taxes in a Familiar Setting

If you’ve ever done your taxes by hand, you know how time-consuming, complex, and stressful it can be, especially if your return necessitates completing additional forms and schedules in addition to the 1040. After you’ve found the right forms, schedules, and tax documents, you’ll have to conduct all of the computations yourself. Similarly, you must move the appropriate figures from the appropriate documents to the appropriate lines on Form 1040.

Cash App Taxes, like many tax preparation services, offers an online alternative to filing your taxes on paper. It controls the entire process, just like a professional tax preparer in an office would, by asking you questions and documenting your responses. Before moving on to the next set of questions, you just read the questions on the page and answer them by clicking buttons or inputting data.

As you progress, Cash App Taxes works in the background, entering your answers on the proper lines of the appropriate forms and schedules after performing all of the necessary computations. If you come across an unknown concept, you may be able to reference help content. When you’ve finished filling out your federal tax information, the site transfers the information to your state return, if you’re required to submit one. You can pay for the service and file after the site checks your return for faults and possible missing deductions. This is how all personal tax preparation services work.

How to Begin Using Cash App Taxes

To get started with Cash App Taxes, you’ll need to go through a unique set of processes, beginning with creating a Cash App account. Your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, plus a few other facts are all that is required. You can also use it to transfer money from an external bank account.

تويتر \ obj على تويتر: "Filing your taxes should be free. But everyone  up-charges and up-sells every step of the way. This is bullshit. Proud and  excited to be launching CASH APP
Cash App Taxes

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a sign-in process like this. To log in to Cash App Taxes on your desktop browser for the first time and every time after that, go to the Cash App Taxes login page to get a QR code, which you then scan with the Cash App mobile app. Then you use your phone to log in to Cash App Taxes. Biometrics and written passwords are both supported. The whole application opens in your desktop browser once you’ve logged in on your phone.

Of course, if you want, you can merely utilize the smartphone app to prepare your taxes (more on that later).

Initial Concerns

Once you’ve logged in and gone to the IRS site, you’ll be asked a series of questions regarding your filing status, dependents, and income and spending for 2021. This information is used by the site to personalize your online experience. It also asks whether you’d like to link your tax information straight to Cash App, which offers more refund deposit possibilities. In addition, you must enter personal information for each member of your family, such as name, address, and Social Security number, as well as answer certain common 1040-related questions. When you’re through, the site gives you a summary and directs you to the tax preparation sections.

Getting Right to Work

Cash App Taxes’ homepage, which you use to explore the site, displays the themes you picked in your first steps. It is made up of a sequence of blocks that are identified with the content they contain (such as W-2, Self-employed, and Family credits). Even if you didn’t indicate that they applied to you earlier, you can still add topics at this time.

There will be a button that says Start if you haven’t visited a topic yet. It will mention Edit/Review if you have. When you click one of these options, you’ll be taken through a Q&A session in which you’ll be asked specific questions about your income and expenses. When a topic is wide enough, it may be divided into multiple subsections. When you select the Start button next to Self-employed, for example, you’ll see Business income (Schedule C), 1099-K (Lyft, Uber), and 1099-NEC among your options. When you’re done studying one topic, you’ll be taken back to the homepage, where you can move on to the next.

H&R Block and other tax preparation websites have a similar user interface. They ask you questions regarding your tax issues up front and then organize the remainder of the site’s course to make sure they’re covered, with the opportunity to go above and beyond if needed.

W-2s (Wage and Tax Statements): You should be able to import your form data directly from ADP without having to submit anything if your company uses ADP for payroll. If you don’t have a scanner, you can scan your W-2 or take a photo with your phone and upload it. Cash App Taxes sends information from the form to the appropriate fields automatically. Precision is crucial here, and the organization advises that if you use the scanning approach, you should constantly double-check your numbers. You also have the option of manually entering everything.

Creating a Schedule C

Here’s an example of how the Q&A navigation in Cash App Taxes works. You must fill out a Schedule C if you are self-employed. You give basic information about yourself and your company, such as your address, business type, 1099 requirements, and previous year losses. Then you answer other questions (Did you participate materially? In 2021, will you start or buy a business? (Do you prefer cash or accrual accounting?). Cash App Taxes then wants to know about your gross receipts or sales, returns and allowances, other income, and merchant card and third-party network payments, among other things.

The next step is to categorize your expenses (advertising, office expenses, etc.) and answer questions about the Qualified Business Income deduction. The website then guides you through areas such as business use of your home, vehicle and other expenses, health insurance and long-term care payments you and your family paid, and depreciation. Cash App Taxes, like the rest of the site, emphasizes the most common answers and lets you view the associated Q&As on one big screen or in smaller pieces.

User Experience is Taxed in the Cash App

Cash App Taxes landing page design inspiration - Lapa Ninja
Cash App Taxes

The user experience of Cash App Taxes is appealing and intuitive—better than it was last year when it was known as Credit Karma Tax. It’s basic and clean, with a well-designed layout and an appealing combination of fonts and colors. The graphics are simple, and some screens are completely plain, which contributes to the speed with which the screens load.

The homepage’s vertical list of topics is organized in a similar way to how you’d work your way through form 1040 and its supporting documentation, similar to the go-it-alone option offered by other sites like Jackson Hewitt. You can utilize a link in the upper right to drop down a menu with many housekeeping activities, one of which is to return to the tax homepage directly, no matter where you are on the site. You can return to the tax homepage and work on another topic once you’ve completed one. At any point during your journey, you can also access PDF versions of all the real tax forms where you’ve supplied information.

It’s simple to navigate the site. To proceed, you may simply click the Yes or No buttons. On other screens, there are simple Back and Continue buttons. On every screen, after you enter a topic area, the site makes remarks or asks one or more (often many) questions. You can answer in one of several ways. Some displays include vacant fields where you can provide your answers. To provide your response, you may need to select an item from a drop-down list or click a button.

You can choose between a full-form view and one that minimizes the number of questions on each page for screens with a large number of questions, such as those supporting Schedule C. Cash App Taxes is the only place where you may see this view.

Part-year or multiple state returns, Form 2210 (Underpayment of Estimated Tax), and Form 8885 are among the kinds that the site does not support, despite how generous it is with tax forms and schedules (Health Coverage Tax Credit).

Examining Your Tax Return

Cash App Taxes reviews your responses after you’ve completed each applicable section. If it detects any errors or omissions, it will offer to return you to the offending screens to correct them. It also suggests ways in which you might be able to save money. It advised me, for example, that if I hadn’t received the third stimulus payment, I might be entitled for the recovery rebate credit.

Reconfigured Assistance

Anyone who has ever done their own taxes understands that questions abound, and that seeking professional assistance is essential. Cash App Taxes hasn’t had the same amount of time as its competitors to build up their support resources, thus the advice it provides is still limited. It does a decent job of explaining what it’s searching for on each screen, but it doesn’t hyperlink difficult terminology like TurboTax does, for example. Frequently, the website does not properly clarify the present question or subject.

Credit Karma Tax is now Cash App Taxes | Free Tax Filing
Cash App Taxes

Many lines in the service have a little circled I at the end of them. These links provide quick overviews of the current topic, however, some are sketchy and others aren’t very informative. Take, for example, the eligible business income deduction. Granted, it’s a particularly complicated area of tax law that even financial pros often find perplexing. However, for a deduction that can save some firms a lot of money, there is very little information offered.

Even for simple topics, this lack of information can be found across the site. Furthermore, the site occasionally links you to an IRS publication, which is a major flaw in a tax website support system (a few competitors are guilty of doing the same thing). Cash App Taxes does a good job of translating tax law into layman’s words for the most part, but it lacks the depth and breadth of rival services.

There are two more options for obtaining assistance. The Tax Help Center opens in a new tab when you click the menu symbol (three dots) in the upper right. You can either search for a term or phrase here, or browse topics by category. Some of the educational material is excellent, straightforward, and well-written. There are normally links to at least a few of pertinent articles—in some cases, several—but the additional links can occasionally lead to other regions. For example, when seeking for information on medical expenses, I came across “What is the Moving Expense Deduction and how can I claim it?”

Similar to how a generic Google search works, some tax sites dribble off into answers to questions you didn’t ask. H&R Block Deluxe, on the other hand, does a far better job of returning relevant and useful results to searchers.

You can also open a two-tabbed pane by clicking the question mark in the upper right, one of which allows you to search for phrases. It was more useful to me than the dedicated Tax Help Center. It showed many jumps to similar forms when I typed in “medical expenses” (but also to some seemingly unrelated or marginally-related forms). It, too, included a link to the Tax Help Center’s articles. These two alternatives appear to be interchangeable.

If you’re stuck, you can start a chat with a Cash App Taxes support staff member at any time, seven days a week, however you’ll only get technical site help, not the professional tax help that many competitors provide. You can also send an email to us. I opened the Chat tab once but did not ask a question, therefore it was closed. Later, I received an email asking if I needed assistance, which was a lovely touch that I hadn’t seen elsewhere.

Security

Because Cash App Taxes is an authorized e-file provider, it follows the IRS’s security, privacy, and business guidelines. 128-bit or greater encryption, a dedicated onsite security staff, independent third parties that monitor the site for vulnerabilities, and multi-factor authentication with authenticator applications are among the company’s security procedures. In terms of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards of taxpayer information, it complies with applicable law and federal standards. As I previously stated, it also necessitates a secure login each time.

Mobile Access in the Same Way

I tested both the Android and iOS apps for Cash App Tax and found them to be quite functional. I had a comparable mobile tax-filing experience to what I had on my PC. The only noticeable difference is the reduced screen size, which affects how some assistance content and the navigation menu are shown. The app is fast and free, just like the desktop version. It has the same appearance and feel as the browser-based version and follows the same data entry principles.

Cash App Taxes - 100% Free Tax Filing for Federal & State
Cash App Taxes

On the apps, help operates in the same way, except that FAQs and article material take up the entire screen rather than overlapping. The problem I encountered last year has been resolved. To return to your original screen, click the “X” in the top right corner or Done in the upper left. Since my last evaluation, chat assistance has also been added. The mobile applications from Cash App Taxes were a joy to use, and they worked so effectively that even a difficult return could be completed on them—if you don’t require a lot of help.

Fine and Free Cash App Taxes claims to support all key IRS forms and schedules, which it does, for free, for both federal and state tax preparation and filing. However, several forms are still missing. Furthermore, some complex topics, such as investment sales, are not covered by services like TurboTax, which provides step-by-step data entry and advice.

If a personal tax preparation website intends to accommodate taxpayers who must grapple with complex themes like rental property income and self-employment, it must provide great help tools. Cash App Taxes provides the means to deal with such complications, but its instruction falls short of the competitors. It might be useful if you have a relatively easy return or know your way around 1040. Give it a go if either—or better yet, both—of these circumstances apply to you. After all, it’s free, and if there’s one thing everyone thinks about during tax season, it’s money.

However, if you’re ready to spend a little money on your taxes and want the greatest overall online experience available today, you should look into TurboTax, our Editors’ Choice for filing your taxes this year. TurboTax outperforms all of its competitors because of its comprehensive help and guidance, in-depth Q&A interview, and cutting-edge user experience.

Read our roundup of the top personal finance software while you’re thinking about your money. If you own a small business, we have the best accounting software for you.


Cash App Taxes

Most IRS forms and schedules for federal and state taxes, including Schedule C, are supported by the free Cash App Taxes. It’s the only service we’ve tried that provides thorough preparation and filing at no expense. Just don’t expect the same level of support as commercial apps.


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