eSmart Tax Review: Online Tax Filing From Liberty Tax

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esmart logo with "Review" below itEveryone dreads tax time, but it’s a necessary evil that no one can avoid. eSmart Tax, one of our top picks for online tax software, makes filing taxes as easy as possible. With no software to download and free federal e-filing, eSmart Tax is a great option for folks with simple returns.

Liberty Tax, a well-established and long-time tax service provider, owns eSmart Tax, so you get the benefits of Liberty Tax when you sign up for eSmart Tax. Read our eSmart Tax review to find out if it’s the right fit for your needs. This eSmart Tax review covers 2020 products for the 2019 tax season.

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Article Overview

eSmart Tax

4 / 5
eSmart Tax
Cost 4.5
Ease of Use 4.0
Professional Tax Prep Assistance 4.0
Features 4.0
Customer Support 3.5


  • Very affordable pricing, especially for the number of features
  • Free live chat and email support
  • In-person support at Liberty Tax offices nationwide
  • Import last year’s return from most major tax services
  • 100% guarantee for biggest return, accuracy and customer satisfaction
  • Free W-2 download
  • Free professional audit assistance


  • No larger business filing options
  • Additional fee for enhanced audit assistance and storing your prior returns
  • No downloadable software available

Can eSmart Compete?

With so many people e-filing these days, how do companies like eSmart Tax compete against the big online tax software companies?

One of the most appealing aspects included in all of eSmart tax filing options —  it provides support at any of the 3,000+ physical Liberty Tax Service locations throughout the United States and Canada. That means that unlike most online filing services, eSmart filers can get access to a tax professional in person when they have questions about their filing.

What’s missing from eSmart Tax compared to the top-of-the-line services? Downloadable software, the ability to ask questions to a community using an interactive forum, no phone support, national average comparisons and the ability to file as a larger business.

Products Offered By eSmart Tax

Another great feature of eSmart Tax is its product wizard. If you’re not sure which edition is right for you or which forms you need in order to file, eSmart Tax starts you off with a free and easy questionnaire about your past year’s financially related circumstances to help you determine your filing needs.

All e-Smart Editions also include:

  • Free live chat and email support
  • Credit maximizer
  • W-2 download from your employer
  • Import last year’s return FREE from any competitor (TurboTax, H&R Block, etc.)
  • Professional audit assistance (enhanced is an additional $29.99 fee)
  • Access to Affordable Care Act forms.
  • 100% guarantee — biggest refund, accuracy, and customer satisfaction
  • Ability to save returns for five years (for an additional fee)

Free Edition

The eSmart Free federal edition is best for simple filing needs. In addition to filing your federal 1040EZ form for free, users have access to all of eSmart’s enhanced features listed above. State filing is an additional $29.99 fee.

Basic Edition

Families with dependents or those with simple income from stocks and investments (Schedule B) should consider filing with the eSmart Basic Edition. This edition includes all the features from the Free Edition plus itemized deductions, detailed assistance with dependent deductions and assistance for those with health savings accounts. Federal e-filing with the Basic Edition costs $44.95, and state filing is an additional $36.95 fee.

Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe eSmart Tax filing is the best choice for investors and those with home businesses. eSmart’s Deluxe Edition provides all the features of the Basic Edition but with enhanced tools for more advanced investors.

This edition, tailored to sole proprietors, freelancers and independent contractors, gives specific guidance on Home Office deductions and asset depreciation. Federal e-filing with the Deluxe Edition costs $44.95, plus an additional $36.95 for state filing.

Premium Edition

The Premium eSmart Tax filing option is recommended for small business owners who have more tricky tax situations — it allows users to maximize deductions from a small business, the sale of a house, or income and deductions related to rental properties or real estate.

This edition provides expert guidance and advice concerning the sale of business assets or gains, profits and loss for S corporations (Schedule D). Federal e-filing costs $44.95, and state filing is an additional $36.95.

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from eSmart Tax.

eSmart Overview

Learn more about eSmart Tax and the interface in this video.

eSmart Tax Filing Users Weigh In

Here’s a sampling of what consumers have to say about their experiences with eSmart Tax.

Positive Reviews

Unfortunately, it was difficult for us to find more recent positive reviews for eSmart Tax, so these reviews are more outdated than we’d like them to be.

The people were nice and extremely helpful. They walked me right through the program, and it was fast and easy. They also expanded the detail and direction in which my data was used and received. The refund experience was also good and I got back what they said I would. I thought the refund would be a long time but it was actually faster than I had been sent. Filing was not hard at all. I thought it was a real learning experience and I would do it again if I ever needed to. – Ray, ConsumerAffairs 1/9/2017

I definitely recommend it as it meets the expectations and adapts to all needs. It is a basic and elemental tool for our activities. It is of great trust and enjoys high appreciation in the market which assists. – Rosa, ConsumerAffairs 12/30/2016

Negative Reviews

Liberty tax’s online tax application is unbelievably bad for what should be a relatively simple process. I’ve had several chats with their customer service, who seem to not have any idea how to fix the web glitches. The solution: visit a Liberty Tax office, to pay them MORE money. If you actually want to submit your taxes online without a hassle, Do NOT use Liberty Tax. – Samuel, ConsumerAffairs 6/17/2019

To my recent surprise, I received a notification from my state tax board that they had not received my state taxes for 2016 and 2017. They are assessing a penalty against me. I filed my state taxes through eSmart tax online and have documentation to prove that yet apparently eSmart tax took my money but did not file the returns. I am deeply concerned that the site is either not being managed well or is fraudulent in some way. Going forward I will not use them again. I recommend to stay away from this company, eSmart Tax. – John, ConsumerAffairs 4/12/2019

How Does eSmart Tax Compare To The Competition?

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There are always going to be those who prefer to go with a big-name tax service provider rather than a “newer” company like eSmart Tax, but the services offered by eSmart Tax are comparable to most of the big-name, online tax filing providers. Compare all of the leading tax filing services in our online tax preparation service comparison.

Have you used an online tax filing service?

About The Author:

Michelle holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has worked in marketing at Bank of America, Mattel and Hanes. Michelle’s 20+ years of digital marketing and brand building experience inform our content and keep us on top of the latest tech details. Her expert advice and opinions have appeared in noteworthy media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest and Apartment Therapy, among others.

Michelle is also an experienced entrepreneur and small business operator, sharing her knowledge with our readers since 2012. When not geeking out, you can find her on a hike in the mountains or reading in the hammock with her dogs.

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