1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

CompleteTax / eSmart Tax 2012 Versions, Features and Prices

Liberty Tax Buys CompleteTax, Rebrands as Smart Tax

By

CompleteTax is now operating and branded as eSmart Tax, a former tax software competitor. You will get the same online personal income tax preparation app whether you use CompleteTax or eSmart Tax to file for tax year 2012, and while the app is branded as eSmart Tax throughout, you're getting the tax interview from CompleteTax (see my review for details). This change is good for eSmart Tax since CompleteTax was easier to use when I tested the two last year. I will refer to the individual versions below as eSmart Tax.

As with any online tax software, you don't pay until you file your return. eSmart Tax recommends using Internet Explorer 7 or 8, although Firefox should work, too. The Chrome browser is not supported.

A state tax return can be added for $9.95, but you might want to check to see if your state offers free state tax software.

Updated: 01/18/2013
Prices subject to change.

Features in All Versions

eSmart Tax Basic is free tax software.
eSmart Tax
by Liberty Tax
All CompleteTax / eSmart Tax versions offer:
  • Tax and tech support questions are answered for free via chat all year around. The hours that chat is available are 9:00 a.m. to midnight EST until April 20, 2013, then again April 22, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST until January 12, 2014.
  • A Liberty Tax Service CPA to assist you if you're audited by the IRS.
  • Federal eFile included.
  • Import data from last year's return prepared with one of 10 other tax software packages: TurboTax, TaxACT, H&R Block, FreeTaxUSA, Efile.com, 1040.com, TaxHawk, My1040EZ, My1040A and Express1040. You'll need to save your return as a .PDF if you haven't already done so.

eSmart Tax / CompleteTax Basic

eSmartTax Basic 2012 tax interview.
Starting the Tax Interview in eSmart Tax Basic 2012
Liberty Tax
This is the free version of eSmart Tax, and it will work with any single, married filing jointly filing separately statuses, whether or not you itemize deductions. However, if you itemize, I recommend bumping up to the Deluxe to get more help with your taxes, or the Premium version if you have noncash donations to charity as deductions. Going by product descriptions, you need to use at least the Deluxe version to take dependent credits for kids or other qualified individuals.
  • Unlike most other free tax software, Basic will import your W-2 and 1099 data to cut down on data entry.
  • If you used CompleteTax or eSmart Tax for last year's return, you will not be able to import last year's data in this version.
  • The Add Reminder feature is useful if you've started your return and you don't have all documentation available yet. Set a reminder on the page on the return that you can't finish and it acts as a sort of bookmark so you return to it before completing your taxes.
  • Support for tax credits for education, retirement savings, foreign tax and disabled or elderly credits.
  • Education-related deductions are supported, such as tuition, fees and student loan interest.
  • Add a state return for $9.95.
Cost: Free
Get started with eSmart Tax Basic

eSmart Tax / CompleteTax Deluxe

CompleteTax is now eSmart Tax online tax software.
Employment Information Entered in eSmart Tax Deluxe 2012
Liberty Tax
This version has all the features in eSmart Tax Basic, but you can import last year's return filed with CompleteTax or eSmart Tax. Additional features are targeted at home owners, retirement income distributions and investors:
  • Support for government payments, social security distributions, interest income, payments from qualified education programs and railroad retirement distributions.
  • Claim dependents.
  • Expanded credits coverage.
  • Unreimbursed employee business expenses.
  • Investment support for sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, dividends, capital gains distributions and related income and expenses.
  • Support for distributions from IRAs, 401ks, pensions, HSA distributions.
Cost: $9.95 eSmart Tax Deluxe

eSmart Tax / CompleteTax Tax Premium

eSmart Tax Premium tax software has all features needed to complete any personal tax return.
eSmart Tax Premium 2012 Mortgage-Related Deductions
Liberty Tax
eSmart Tax Premium includes everything in the Deluxe version plus the following features for more complex tax returns, or if you are self-employed or own a business.
  • CharityDeductions for extra help with determining the value of tax deductible donations.
  • First-time Home Buyer Credit.
  • Self employment and rental property income/loss support.
  • Business and S-corp income/loss.
  • Income or loss from rental property, royalties, sole proprietor business, and from farming.
Cost: $29.99
Try eSmart Tax Premium

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.