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Cash App Taxes 2022: Fully Free DIY Mobile Tax Filing, With Room to Grow

Cash App Taxes 2022: Fully Free DIY Mobile Tax Filing, With Room to Grow
Written by Publishing Team

Cash App Taxes offers “free for everyone” tax preparation software.

Cash App Taxes

This story is part of Taxes 2022CNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything else you need to get your return quickly, accurately and on-time.

Cash App Taxes is premiering for the 2022 tax season, expanding on its former identity as Credit Karma Tax. This tax software avoids the tiered payment plans of its competitors, offering a “one size fits most” free service that includes nearly all the important IRS forms and schedules — even if you’re a gig worker or self-employed.

Since it’s new, Cash App Taxes doesn’t include the extensive help and support that services like TurboTax and H&R Block do. Cash App Taxes does offer contextual help and provides technical and tax support from real people via live chat, but there’s no professional tax or phone support.

How does Cash App Taxes work?

To use Cash App Taxes, you’ll have to download the Cash App mobile software and create a Cash App account, using a valid email address or phone number. The onboarding process will also ask for a debit card to connect with the account, but it’s not necessary to proceed.

From Cash App’s mobile app, you can access Cash App Taxes through the banking tab: Under the “Taxes” section, find the link for “Free Tax Filing.” An interstitial screen offers “File Now” or “Estimate Refund” buttons as well as a link for users who have filed with Credit Karma Tax in previous years.

After verifying your identity with your social security number, the app will ask you to create a password specifically for Cash App Taxes, not Cash App in general.

Cash App Taxes offers a wide selection of IRS forms and schedules, but an interview-style filing process is quite bare bones. There’s no navigational outline — you’ll need to travel back to the Tax home page to access different parts of your return. Technical support and tax help content are likewise limited. A question mark icon is available for all the form entries, but instructions are brief and often link off to the IRS site for more information.

The FAQ on the help slide-in panel only links out to the main Cash App Taxes support page at https://taxeshelp.cash.app/. Live chat for website issues and basic tax questions are included here, but there is no phone support or guarantee of communicating with a tax professional.

How to run Cash App Taxes on a desktop

You can use either a mobile device or your computer to file with Cash App Taxes, but the login process for the browser-based software is modernly unique. Every time you log in to the desktop version, you must snap a QR code with the Cash App mobile app and then enter your Cash App Taxes password on your mobile device. You have to use the mobile app and password every time you log in to the desktop version.

Because Cash App Taxes doesn’t support uploading forms, you could be entering lots of data by hand, which works much better with a keyboard. The desktop login process is a minor annoyance, but it could become increasingly frustrating if you’re working on a long return or logging in often.

While you can use Cash App on both the mobile app or a desktop, switching between the two platforms may cause a few hiccups. Although information like dependents and charitable deductions synced immediately, W-2 information took about an hour to transfer from the mobile app entry to the browser-based version. We also experienced some ugly error screens very occasionally when switching between the mobile app and browser software.

Who is Cash App Taxes best for?

Experienced Cash App users should strongly consider the free Cash App Taxes software. The tax interface is integrated well into the mobile app, and filers with simple returns could complete the process in a few minutes.

Cash App Taxes is best suited to DIY individuals who don’t need much hand-holding through the filing process, since there’s no help for some of the more complicated forms, and professional expertise is nonexistent.

Former Credit Karma Tax users should also give Cash App Taxes a try. Your tax returns from prior years are easy to access and the software is virtually identical to Credit Karma Tax.

Who should look elsewhere?

Those wanting tax support should look elsewhere. Cash App Taxes has an adequate help section and live chat for simple technical and tax questions, but no tax professional support.

Taxpayers with multiple W-2s or income from several 1099 forms should also try another tax service. Unlike competitors, Cash App Taxes doesn’t support uploading or taking photos of forms, so you’ll have to enter each of them manually.

Here are a few of the other tax situations not supported by Cash App Taxes:

  • Multiple state returns
  • Nonresident state returns
  • Increased standard reduction
  • Foreign earned income
  • Married filing separately in community property states

The Cash App Taxes support portal has separate pages for a full list of federal forms and situations that it supports and forms and situations Cash App Taxes does not support. Be sure to review the lists before getting started to see if Cash App Taxes will work for you.

Is Cash App Taxes really free?

Yes, Cash App Taxes is free. In fact, there’s no opportunity to pay for the service or upgrade for premium support. The product earns money through targeted advertising for other financial services.

Cash App Taxes also generates users for the payment service Cash App, which makes money in a variety of ways, such as retailer hardware fees, transaction fees, selling Bitcoin and net interest lending.

What’s the difference between Cash App Taxes and Credit Karma Tax?

Credit Karma Tax was a free tax service originally offered by finance company Credit Karma, which sold the tax service to Cash App in November 2020. Cash App’s corporate owner Block, Inc. acquired Credit Karma Tax at the end of 2020. This year marks the first tax season for Cash App Taxes.

Cash App claims that the new service has all the same features as Credit Karma Tax, but with a new name and branding. The software does seem to be nearly identical in functionality, and the design even keeps the spare look and feel of Credit Karma Tax. Aside from the name, the only obvious difference in software is the QR code login process.

If you’ve filed with Credit Karma Tax before, you can get your past returns by visiting the Tax Returns section of Cash App Taxes. If you have not used Credit Karma Tax, you’ll need to upload PDFs in order to include info from past returns.

Other notable features in Cash App Taxes

Cash App offers two guarantees: Accurate Calculations and Maximum Refund. The Accurate Calculations Guarantee will pay up to $1,000 if Cash App Taxes makes an error that results in IRS penalties.

Cash App Taxes also provides one year of audit defense for free. If you decide to file with Cash App again in 2023, the audit defense protection extends to three years.

Taxpayers can file digitally or print their returns to file through the mail. Cash App Taxes recommends using the desktop version for printing forms. Tax refunds can be added to your Cash App account, put into your bank with direct deposit or delivered via check in the mail.

Cash App Taxes’s live chat feature is staffed by humans and available 12 hours every day, from 8 am to 8 pm PT (11 am to 11 pm ET). There’s a wait time to chat live with a Cash App Taxes representative, but in several tries, our longest wait was less than 2 minutes. That wait time could increase greatly as April 18 gets closer.

Summary

Cash App Taxes provides a simple mobile option for filers looking for a free version that doesn’t skimp on forms and schedules. The lack of comprehensive tax support makes it a better choice for DIYers and taxpayers confident in their ability to file their taxes. Cash App users who already have the mobile app installed and aren’t excluded by Cash App Taxes’ restrictions have no reason not to give it a spin.

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Publishing Team