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Cash app Taxes (formerly Credit Karma Tax) review

File without any pricey overheads

Cash App Taxes
(Image: © Credit Karma Tax)

TechRadar Verdict

While the free-to-use aspect of Cash app Taxes is appealing you'll need to register for an account and people filing more complex tax affairs might want to look farther afield.

Pros

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    No charge

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    Easy enough to use

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    Simple layout

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    Reasonable built-in support

Cons

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    You’ll need an account

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    Navigation can catch you out

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    No multiple state feature

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    Weak for investors and real estate filers

Cash App Taxes (formerly Credit Karma) (opens in new tab) will most likely be a familiar name in the world of tax software as it’s been around for a number of years now, most notably supplying free credit scores. Its range of services now includes another online service for filing personal taxes. It's essentially up against the likes of TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Jackson Hewitt Online, and FreeTaxUSA.

One of the most appealing aspects of Cash App Taxes is that it’s free to use, although the trade-off to that is the fact you’ll need to sign up for an account. If you’ve already got an account with them though it’s even easier to get started with the step-by-step filing process.

Cash App Taxes

You'll need to sign up for an account prior to being able to use Cash App Taxes (Image credit: Credit Karma)

Pricing

As we pointed out, Cash App Taxes is a free-to-use online system, which on that basis alone makes it seem like a very good idea. That said, some might not like the idea of having to sign up for an account, which is a stipulation before you can use the system. 

What’s more, Cash App Taxes can help you file both Federal and State taxes and if you’re just starting out down the tax filing highway, aren’t self-employed and don't have things like rent from property to factor in then it's a pretty sweet option.

Cash App Taxes

The help areas of Cash App Taxes have seen some big improvements of late (Image credit: Credit Karma)

Features

Cash App Taxes doesn’t do anything particularly innovative but much of that is down to the nature of the online filing service. Preparing to file your taxes is a dry subject at the best of times, so what you get with the Cash App Taxes interface is a by-numbers exercise in digital form filling. That’s not to talk down the user experience as it features all of the tools and functionality you’d expect.

Cash App Taxes

You'll want to check which forms will work for you however as some are not supported (Image credit: Credit Karma)

Performance

Cash App Taxes is much like any of the other online filing services in that it uses a series of progressive screens to take you though the different aspects of filing your states. Thankfully, Cash App Taxes keeps things minimalistic in terms of layouts, with not much in the way of graphics. This means that once you get into your stride you can pick through the pages in a quite erudite fashion. 

The feel is similar to the way you work through your 1040, effectively allowing you to tick off things in a logical order. Performance, both your own and Cash App Taxes itself does falter a bit if you start trying to dart around as it’s not very forgiving in that respect. Cash App Taxes is therefore best tackled in page-by-page orderly fashion.

Ease of use

As it’s a step-by-step design, the interface of Cash App Taxes is really pretty straightforward to work through, even if you’re less than confident at filing your taxes. Once you’ve selected the Start option you're on your way, plus there’s a handy search function within the pages that lets you track down answers to queries along the route. 

As is the case with other products in this arena, Cash App Taxes can handle imported W-2 forms. There are one or two negatives though, with some forms not being supported, which is worth investigating before you sign up. And, if you’ve moved from one state to another in a tax year then you might be best looking farther afield.

Support

Along with help from within the interface itself, including some natty information bubbles that offer quick tips, Cash App Taxes also benefits from the addition of support staff who are also on hand to help get you out of tricky tax spots. There’s a beefy tax support center too, which delves even more comprehensively into areas that might otherwise have you feeling a little stumped. 

All in all, Cash App Taxes leaves you with the feeling that you’ve got a pretty good handle on things, which is always a bonus with such a crucial process as filing state and federal returns.

Final verdict

Cash App Taxes is evolving nicely with each successive incarnation. If you have fairly simplistic tax affairs then the free-to-use aspect of this online service is very appealing. There have been improvements to the help side of things too, with plenty to assist you in steering a correct course come tax filing time. 

There’s no dedicated app edition of this package, but you do get an optimized version of the site for your phone or tablet, which can be handy if you're not always ready or able to tackle your tax affairs on a desktop machine. 

While it’s not got an exhaustive range of features, with some crucial tax forms not being supported for example, Cash App Taxes is great for anyone with less complex filing arrangements to prepare.

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.