No one looks forward to doing their taxes – and worse, no one wants to pay for it. Cash App Tax offers a free solution for both federal and state returns that will allow most people to file for for free.
Their free version covers a wide range of situations and includes audit defense, which is not a free feature you’ll see elsewhere. They also include an extensive catalog of help articles and a chat feature for customer support.
In November 2020, Cash App acquired Credit Karma Tax and renamed it Cash App Taxes. If you previously used Credit Karma Tax, all your prior year’s information is still there. So far, the only thing they’ve done is changed the name!
Table of Contents
What is Cash App Tax?
Cash App Tax will guide you through the process of filing your tax return for free. It covers the most common tax forms as well as 1099 income, itemizing (schedule A), business profit and loss (schedule C), child tax credit, and earned income credits.
There are some other fundamental features of Cash App Tax:
- Cash App Tax can be used for both federal and state taxes, and you can do so even on the free version of the app. This is rare – most other tax filing apps will make you pay for this extra functionality.
- Cash App Tax can be used by both students and freelancers, and can greatly simplify the process of filing taxes for these groups.
- The app is also encrypted to keep your personal information safe, so you don’t have to worry about your details falling into the wrong hands.
How Much Does Cash App Tax Cost?
Arguably the most attractive feature of Cash App Tax is the price tag – the app is totally free. It will even do your state taxes for free too – many other tax packages will charge extra for state returns.
Cash App Tax offers plenty of functionality on a free account, which will handle everyone but those with the most complex tax situations.
There is one downside – if you start filing and don’t qualify for the free version there is no upgrade to a paid version. You’ll simply cannot use Cash App Tax and will have to start over with another service – which can cost you a bit of time.
Who Can Use Cash App Tax
Those looking to use Cash App Tax to calculate and file their taxes should bear in mind that there are some basic requirements for using the app:
- You’ll need to be 18 or older
- You’ll also need to be a U.S. resident or resident alien
- If you have to file a state retur,n you’ll have to have earned all your income in the state you currently live in
Cash App Tax supports an extensive number of forms, many of which are not included in other tax preparation program’s free plans. These include 1099 income, itemizing, HSAs, business income (schedule C), and plenty more. Here’s the full list of covered forms.
It does not cover foreign income, income from an estate or trust, or the health coverage tax credit. Here’s the full list of forms that are not included.
Double check these lists carefully because if you have a form that isn’t included, you cannot file with Cash App Taxes. You will have to go with another service.
Cash App Tax has some quirks when it comes to state returns.
You can file returns in 43 states (and Washington D.C.) for free, but you can’t file a state return with Cash App Tax unless you also file a federal return. You can file just a federal return if you want, as some states don’t require returns to be filed.
Also, Cash App Tax can’t file multiple state returns, part-year state returns, or non-resident state returns. If you earned income in multiple states, you can’t use Cash App Taxes. You have to earn it all in the state in live in, which can get tricky if you invest in things like crowdfunded real estate (if you invest in property in another state, income from that property is considered to have been earned in that state).
There are also state return restrictions for those who are married filing separately.
Key Features of Cash App Tax
There are some key reasons to choose Cash App Tax:
Cash App Tax offers two guarantees in relation to the calculation of your taxes. The first is their Max Refund Guarantee, through which you are assured that you will receive the maximum refund due to you. If another service finds you a bigger refund, Cash App will refund you the difference, up to $100 (with a minimum of $25).
The second guarantee covers the accuracy of your tax liability – known as the Accurate Calculations Guarantee. If the Internal Revenue Services finds that there are errors in your calculations, and sends you an unexpected bill, Cash App will refund you an amount up to $1,000.
Cash App Tax also offers a system called “Smart File”. This is a highly adaptive filing system that changes to meet your circumstances – so that you won’t see questions and windows about parts of your return that you don’t have to fill out.
Cash App Taxes works with Tax Protection plus, LLC, to provide audit defense. This protects you in the event you are audited on your tax returns. There are some restrictions for this insurance protection so you’ll want to review that list here.
Positives and Negatives
Cash App Tax offers some advantages for those looking to file their own taxes, but does have some drawbacks as well:
- Free and easy to use
- Covers more tax situations than most free plans
- Good level of customer support
- Must file return in Cash App
- Currently, no ability to import forms
- Can’t file multiple state tax returns
- The app can’t handle every tax situation and doesn’t have an upgrade paid version
- There is currently no support for foreign incomes or nonresident aliens
Cash App Tax Alternatives
There are several alternatives to Cash App Tax. These alternative apps have been around for a while, and are highly trusted by their customer base.
The primary competitors to Cash App Tax right now include TurboTax, H&R Block, and Tax Act. While each of these options is also free for simple and W2 filers, none of them are free for homeowners, investors, state returns, and the self-employed:
Turbo Tax offers both free federal and state returns but does not cover any business income or 1099 income outside of 1099-INT and 1099-DIV.
The free version of Turbo Tax also doesn’t cover itemizing, stock sales, income from rental property, or income and deductions covered on Schedules 1-3.
With TaxAct, it’s free to file your federal return but state returns cost extra. The free version will cover simple tax situations such as W-2 income, retirement income, child tax credit, and earned income tax credit.
The free version does not include situations such as business income, itemizing, capital gains, dividends, or HSAs.
H&R Block offers both federal and state filing for free. Again, the free version only covers simple tax returns which include W-2 income, retirement income, earned income credit, and student loan payments and interest.
It does not include investment income, self employment or business income, rental income, or HSAs.
Overall, Cash App Tax a great free tax return app. It’s highly recommended for individuals looking to simplify their calculation, and for people running a small business.
If your own tax situation is extremely complicated, however, you might want to pay for an account with an alternative provider, or even hire an accountant.