I’ve used Credit Karma for years to keep an eye on my credit score. But until recently, I didn’t know that they had a tax service as well. Because I love trying new tools and giving helpful tips, here’s my Credit Karma Tax review and if you should give it a try.
Overall, I think Credit Karma Tax is a great service. And it could be worth it if you’re willing to use them but they can only be used in specific and simple situations.
- What Is Credit Karma Tax?
- Credit Karma Tax Features
- Credit Karma Tax Pros & Cons
- What Doesn’t Credit Karma Tax Cover?
- Who Should Use Credit Karma Tax?
- Credit Karma Tax Review: Would I Recommend It?
What Is Credit Karma Tax?
So what exactly is Credit Karma Tax? If you’ve ever wanted to check credit scores, you may have already come across the site Credit Karma. Credit Karma lets you see your credit score for free, without your score dropping due to credit checks. You can use them completely free and check your credit score as often as you want.
In 2017, Credit Karma launched Credit Karma Tax, which is their own tax filing service. Credit Karma Tax offers the service for anyone looking to file their federal and state taxes. However, their system isn’t perfect just yet, which is to be expected for a new service.
There will be quite a few things that will either make you want to use the service or keep you away from using them. When you read its Terms of Service, it points out the company might add or take away features.
Pricing and Features
Luckily, Credit Karma Tax is completely free tax preparation service you can use for both federal and state taxes. So if you don’t want to spend a fortune on your taxes, but want to make sure they’re done right, Credit Karma Tax is a great option for you.
They also have a guarantee that if you receive a larger federal tax refund or owe less in taxes using a different filing service, you might be eligible to receive the difference up to $100 in the form of a gift card. And they also have a promise that they have a team that will help you if you’re audited by the IRS.
In comparison to other tax filing services, Credit Karma Tax is a great deal, especially because it’s free. And with the perks of guarantees and promises, you won’t have to lose your hard-earned money if things do go wrong or if you find a better tax service for your needs.
Credit Karma Tax Features
Because Credit Karma Tax is free, you may think that they don’t offer many features. But that really isn’t the case. In fact, Credit Karma Tax is just like Credit Karma. Both are free, but offer quite a bit to their customers and users. Credit Karma Tax has quite a few features, so let’s talk about them.
Document Picture Importing
Just like with other tax filing services like TurboTax, you can enter information on your W-2 just by uploading a picture of your form. This is a newer feature but still needs to be talked about because it’s so easy.
It’s a great option if you’re an employee, or have had multiple jobs throughout the 2019 year. Entering that information can be tedious and can take up so much time, especially if you had multiple jobs throughout a year. Taking the pictures frees up a lot of that time.
All you will need to do is confirm that the info they pulled is correct. If you filed a return with the sites TurboTax, TaxAct or H&R Block, you can also upload a return from the previous year to import the information that you might need.
Easy Refund Options
After you’ve filed, if you are owed to a refund, it will be directly deposited to your bank account. To get this option you’ll just need to enter your bank’s routing number and your bank account information. If you go this route, remember to double-check your numbers, because they can’t be fixed once the money is sent. With this option, you can receive your refund in as little as 21 days (or even less if you get lucky!).
However, if you don’t have a bank account, you can opt to get a check sent to you instead. Just keep in mind that the check can take up to six or eight weeks to receive, so direct deposit might be faster. If you’re not in a rush though, it won’t be a problem.
Free Audit Support
As stated before, when you use Credit Karma Tax you also get free audit support from them. With that, you’ll get free help from a tax preparation professional if you get audited by the IRS. If you do so happen to get audited, the tax professional will draft letters for you so they can help you communicate with the IRS and get the situation resolved.
Just like Credit Karma, Credit Karma Tax is big on security. To even access your account, you have to go through multiple authentication steps, as well as prove you are who you say you are. That includes answering information that only you would know, including where you lived 10 years ago, what electric company you’ve used, and other questions that might be asked.
These questions are not to take your information, but instead, to ensure you are actually you. This is done to protect you and your money. They take your security seriously, especially because filing taxes requires using your social security number, address, and more information.
Helpful Articles & Resources
Do you find yourself having questions while filing your taxes online? If you have a quick question, or need some help, Credit Karma Tax has information bubbles (or the little “i” that you hover over) that can answer most questions you might have.
If you need more help than what the little “i” offers, you can also search for your specific question using the search bar that Credit Karma Tax has. And of course, you can also contact customer service if things still aren’t making sense to you. However, it is important to note that customer service might not be the best, especially as it gets later in the tax season.
Credit Karma Tax Pros & Cons
The service seems great, especially when you look at the features that Credit Karma Tax offers. However, look at the pros and cons before choosing which tax software you will use to file not only your federal taxes, but state taxes, too. Pros and cons tend to be highly subjective, and what I consider a pro might be a con for you and vice versa. However, based on my research, I have come up with some positives and negatives. First, let’s go over the pros.
- It’s completely free – You won’t pay a dime to use the Credit Karma Tax filing service. This is the biggest pro because filing your taxes can easily become expensive, especially if the system you use misses out on credits, deductions, and more.
- It’s easy to use – Unlike with some online tax filing services like TurboTax, Credit Karma Tax is easy to use and you don’t need to be tech-savvy to file your taxes.
- There is a $1,000 guarantee – Credit Karma Tax offers an accuracy guarantee up to $1,000 (and up to $100 as a refund if you find better elsewhere). That means that when you file with them, it will be as accurate as possible, or they’ll pay you.
- There isn’t much customer support/customer support is poor – You can’t contact Credit Karma Tax via the phone, and there are a few complaints online that state customer service is hard to reach and resolve issues.
- The system doesn’t cover a lot of different situations – To use Credit Karma Tax, your filing situation has to be fairly simple — it’s not for complicated tax situations. If you happen to have a complicated situation (like a trust fund, multiple residences, or the like), you will probably want to look at other tax software.
What Doesn’t Credit Karma Tax Cover?
While Credit Karma Tax is great, there are quite a few limitations that can be considered a con for many tax-filing Americans. When researching, this was a big con for me. there are so many tax forms and tax situations that Credit Karma Tax doesn’t cover.
And because taxes are never easy, and many people can have slightly difficult or different situations, I thought all of this would be important to talk about. That’s why I decided to write a whole section on what Credit Karma Tax doesn’t offer when it comes to situations and forms.
Some situations Credit Karma Tax doesn’t cover (as of 2020):
- Non-resident state returns.
- State returns for part of the year or over multiple years.
- Married but filing separately in a community property state? Credit Karma Tax doesn’t allow it. Here are the community property states as identified in IRS Publication 555: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin. You can still file federally. If you do want to file while married, you’ll have to do it jointly.
- You, or your spouse if filing jointly, lived in New York City or Yonkers for part of the year cannot file with Credit Karma Tax.
- If you are a resident of Puerto Rico and are self-employed, you cannot use Credit Karma Tax.
- You cannot file your taxes across other platforms. You’ll have to file both your state and federal tax together with Credit Karma Tax.
- Credit Karma Tax users cannot file state taxes without first filing their federal tax returns.
There are also many limitations on forms.
If you file with any of the following forms, you will not be able to use Credit Karma Tax:
- Forms 8915A-8915D – Theses four forms refer to Qualified Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments from 2016-2019.
- Earned Income Credit with Non-Dependents – This may apply to you if you are a non-custodial parent that is claiming a child on your taxes.
- Form 8885 – Health Coverage Tax Credit – If you are between the ages of 55 and 65, this may apply to you.
- Form 8903 – Domestic Production Activities Deduction
- Clergy Member Tax Filing
- Form 1116 – Foreign Tax Credit
- Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income
- Schedule J – Income Averaging for Farmers & Fishermen – If you are a farmer or fisherman that doesn’t plan on using this form, you can file with Credit Karma Tax.
- Form 8615 – Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income
- Form 8864 – Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit
- Schedule K-1 – Estate and Trust Income
- 1040NR Form – Non-Resident Alien Federal Tax Return
- Form 2210 – Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts – This is also important to look into if you’re self-employed.
- Form 8332 – Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent
If you don’t have any of these forms and if you don’t fall into any of the situations listed above, you can still use Credit Karma Tax. If or when Credit Karma Tax ever starts accepting these forms and situations, I’ll be sure to update my post.
Who Should Use Credit Karma Tax?
With everything being said, who should use Credit Karma Tax? Even with the stipulations that Credit Karma Tax doesn’t cover, it is still a great and easy service to use for filers who are W-2 workers, have children, or even self-employed.
However, if you are self-employed, I would highly recommend using a site like TurboTax. In fact, you can get TurboTax for free if you are a Quickbooks user. Or, if you want a little bit more help, I would suggest using a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
I would also not recommend Credit Karma Tax if this is your first year filing your taxes by yourself. With little customer support, things can go wrong and you wouldn’t have the help and support you may need. There are many other tax filing services that are better options for first-time filers. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, at least Credit Karma Tax has an auditing guarantee.
Credit Karma Tax Review: Would I Recommend It?
Now that we are at the end of my Credit Karma Tax Review, would I recommend them? I would say it depends. I love what they offer, and also love that they are free.
But as someone who is self-employed and has semi-complicated taxes, I don’t know if I’d be willing to risk filing my taxes with Credit Karma Tax. However, I would recommend them to anyone who has had a simple year — that includes being an employee, and those who know how to file their taxes. Also, if you typically file your taxes online, Credit Karma Tax will be incredibly easy for you to use.
Overall, I think Credit Karma Tax is a great service. And it could be worth your time in the right situations.
So, What is Your Credit Karma Tax Review?
Have you used the service? What did you think about it? Where did you find it helpful? Where did you find it challenging? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a reply below with your Credit Karma Tax return review.