Cash App Taxes Review 2024: Free Tax Prep

Cash App Taxes

FREE
9

Overall

9.0/10

Strengths

  • Completely free - federal and state filing
  • Covers many tax situations
  • Includes audit defense

Weaknesses

  • Must prepare return within Cash App
  • No option to speak to a tax pro
  • Can't file multiple state returns
  • No paid upgrade for complicated situations
  • Cannot import forms

No one looks forward to doing their taxes – and worse, no one wants to pay for it. Cash App Taxes offers a free solution for both federal and state returns that will allow most people to file 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.

What is Cash App Taxes?

Cash App Taxes 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 Taxes:

  • Cash App Taxes can be used for both federal and state taxes, and you can do so even on the free version of the app.
  • Cash App Taxes 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 Taxes Cost?

Arguably the most attractive feature of Cash App Taxes 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 Taxes 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 simply cannot use Cash App Taxes and will have to start over with another service – which can cost you a bit of time.

Who Can Use Cash App Taxes

Those looking to use Cash App Taxes 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 return you’ll have to have earned all your income in the state you currently live in

Cash App Taxes 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. It also does not cover multiple state returns. If you have to file in two or more states, you can’t use Cash App Taxes.

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.

State Returns

Cash App Taxes has some quirks when it comes to state returns. It can’t file multiple state returns, part-year state returns, or non-resident state returns.

You can’t use Cash App Taxes if you earned income in multiple states. 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).

You also can’t file only a state return. You must file a federal return to file a state return.

Get started with Cash App Taxes

Key Features of Cash App Taxes

There are some key reasons to choose Cash App Taxes:

Guarantees

Cash App Taxes offers two guarantees. 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 Service 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.

Smart File

Cash App Taxes 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.

Audit Defense

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 Taxes offers some advantages for those looking to file their own taxes, but does have some drawbacks as well:

Pros

  • Free and easy to use
  • Covers more tax situations than most free plans
  • includes audit defense

Cons

  • Must file return in Cash App
  • No option to speak with a tax pro
  • Can’t file multiple state tax returns
  • The app can’t handle every tax situation and doesn’t have an upgraded paid version
  • There is currently no support for foreign incomes or nonresident aliens

Cash App Taxes Alternatives

There are several alternatives to Cash App Taxes. These alternative apps have been around for a while and are highly trusted by their customer base.

FreeTaxUSA

FreeTaxUSA isn’t completely free, but it’s pretty close. Federal returns are free, and state returns are only $14.99. If you want to get your taxes done as cheaply as possible and don’t qualify for Cash App Taxes (or just don’t want to use them) then FreeTaxUSA is your next option.

FreeTaxUSA covers all common tax situations, including small business, for only $14.99 per state return (federal is free). You can add on audit defense for $19.99, and if you want to speak to a live tax professional, you can add that feature for $39.99.

Here’s our full FreeTaxUSA review.

TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer’s free version is completely free, including one state return. It does have some limits however, you have to have taxable income under $100,000 and no dependents. But if you qualify you could have your taxes done completely free.

You will not get audit defense or access to a tax pro on the free plan. If you don’t qualify for the free plan, TaxSlayer’s Classic plan covers most tax situations and is reasonably priced.

Here’s our full TaxSlayer review.

TurboTax

TurboTax used to have very complicated and expensive plans, but they really came through for 2024. While they are still on the more expensive side, they have greatly simplified their plans, plus their free plan is comprehensive and includes one free state (not everyone will qualify for the free plan).

Their free plan includes dependents but does not include unemployment income, which many free plans do these days. However, if you file before March 31st, you can add on live tax assistance for free, which is incredible.

Here’s our full TurboTax review.

Summary

Overall, Cash App Taxes is a great free tax return app. It’s highly recommended for individuals looking to simplify their calculations and for people who don’t qualify for the free plans on other software.

If your tax situation is extremely complicated, however, you might want to pay for an account with an alternative provider, or even hire an accountant.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools, everything I use) is Empower Personal Dashboard, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Leif
2 years ago

I used the Credit Karma tax features in the past, and it worked very well. This year I see that Cash App has acquired that division, and so I thought, OK, I’ll get going with that since they already have my info. Totally free? Nope. The first thing that happened when I went to sign up on the new system was that my card started getting hit with fraudulent charges. So, not only NOT FREE, but now I get to wait for replacement credit cards, since the ones I tried to sue had to be shut down. There is no… Read more »

Adam Smith
2 years ago

Important pro/con: Cash App Tax requires a Cash App account which is how the security verification you mention is performed. Support is separate for each as well.

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