Posted by William Charles on December 22, 2017
Credit Monitoring Sites

Published on December 22nd, 2017 | by William Charles

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Credit Karma: Free Tax Returns (New Features For 2017)

December 2017 Update: Credit Karma has added a number of new features:

  • Click and fill: You can import Form W-2 from supporter major payroll providers or a mobile device
  • Easy Switch: If you used H&R Block, TurboTax or TaxAct last year you can import your past return data automatically
  • Mobile filing: You can fill out portions of your return on a mobile device and then complete it when you’re back at a computer (or vice versa)
  • Max Refund guarantee: $25 gift card if you receive a higher return from another tax preparation software when using the same tax return information.

Original post: In December 2016 Credit Karma that they would be offering free tax returns for their users. Credit Karma is most known as a free credit monitoring tool (and one of the websites we recommend using to monitor your credit for free). Given the fact that free credit monitoring and free FICO scores are becoming more common place, Credit Karma has been looking to expand their offerings and the latest is this free tax return offer.

credit karma tax

The service is completely free & no credit card is required (they make their money by marketing to you, if you’re a regular Doctor of Credit reader then you should be able to spot the bad deals). They are providing free tax returns for both federal & state taxes. You can view a list of supported forms here. I personally pay an accountant to handle my taxes for me, so I can’t really comment on how useful their offering is. If anybody has used it, or plans to use it I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Also feel free to share other options out there.



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Anonymous
Anonymous

Does anyone worry about CreditKarma selling people’s tax data to credit card issuers, and issuers’ user of that data decreasing approval likelihood?

fish
fish

As far as I know (IIRC from the reddit AMA), they said they don’t sell user data. Their monetization strategy is similar to that of their credit monitoring service, using the income data they collect to better target users for CC offers.

I found the quote from the AMA “How does tax make money? First, we believe giving people a $100 a year value is pretty awesome in itself. The business reasons are all lenders have an income threshold for approval. Many times, we know users are credit approved but they will get declined because income doesn’t make the lender requirements. In this situation, we will know if you qualify with more certainty making for a much better experience. Just like before we are not selling your information.”

Andy
Andy

Used it this week. My return is pretty straightforward but needed to add 1099B info for my investments. TurboTax wanted me to pay $55 for that “package”. Credit Karma allowed me to do it for free.

Tim
Tim

I wonder if they have that feature this year?

AB
AB

Can you make a post about which banks/cards are offering tax return direct deposit bonuses this year?

SkayDk
SkayDk

In my case it doesn’t support part year residency for state filling. And about month ago system said that state filing for MA was not available, now I see that it allows me to fill in information.
TurboTax ask little easier questions and provides more help, but if your situation is not complicated – you can still fill everything in without a problem + if you have time – you can fill in Turbotax and compare results.

Offtopic – last year turbotax allowed to fill in everything and preview resulting 1040 without paying, so you can file it free elswhere. This hole is fix this year, i think.

Humberto Rodriguez
Humberto Rodriguez

I filled out both CRedit Karma and taxAct. Tax act taxes were lowe.

TomTX
TomTX

Did you claim the $25 guarantee payment?

L
L

Credit Karma doesn’t appear support three scenarios from my tax return from this year. None of these are listed on the page that lists situations that they don’t support, and I don’t think that any of these is especially uncommon. It took two weeks for them to confirm that one of the situation was not supported and I’m still waiting on a response on the other two.

I wouldn’t be as put off if they would update their unsupported forms and situations page with a more complete list.

Unless your return is very simple, I’d be careful about using their software.

I think their credit monitoring service is great though. Hopefully their tax service is better next year.

Tech_Mo
Tech_Mo

Been lots of complaints about their calculations not matching up to other traditional tax software. If you’re going to use them, I would recommend doing your taxes on TurboTax or some other service to see if they match up before submitting through CK.

Matt P
Matt P

Schedule C needed for me and my wife, so we decided not to be guinea pigs this year with CreditKarma since that’s a much different beast. Maybe next year. We used Turbo Tax last year because Taxact that we normally use wasn’t calculating right and giving us half the return we should have gotten. We went back to Taxact this year and got $1 more than Turbo Tax and had half the cost, so we used that one.

Sarah
Sarah

I was going to use credit karma for my 2016 taxes and I fill out a schedule C . They didn’t make my business name optional, even though it’s optional on the schedule c itself, so I went back to tax hawk.

escot
escot

Attracted at first to their big promo that you didn’t have to pay a separate nasty filing fee if you wanted to file yr state return electronically. (a nasty bad habit of TurboTax — though maybe, by golly, that’s changing)

I do have one reservation though about using creditKarma — can we really know for sure that the creditKarma side of things will not have access to our tax returns itself? Anybody seen verbiage on that? Even with such assurances, this reminds me of Ariana’s rule about not ….. where you eat. (doing one form of financial business where you do another. 🙁 )

JuicyJosh
JuicyJosh

Credit karma was calculating my HSA incorrectly. It was increasing my income by the amount of contributions and there was no way to offset it. Ended up using my normal software. Maybe they will get the kinks worked out next year. Def check your numbers. A $15 savings for free file almost cost me $350 in extra tax.

Brett
Brett

CK is a no go for GA, at least when I filed last week.

Kevin
Kevin

Stupid nitpick, but they are offering free tax filing, not a free tax return. Your tax return is free regardless of how you file 🙂

That said, I’ve tried CK tax this year and wasn’t terribly impressed so far. Especially if you have capital gains, the way they ask you for it is basically a input-box version of the form with very little guidance. Definitely planning on doing my taxes twice with CK and TurboTax or HR Block.

Kevin
Kevin

Well maybe I’m wrong about the word “return” vs “refund” (after Googling) but “filing” would still be clearer IMO 🙂

Skor
Skor

Anyone found out a way to e-file only the State return and not the federal return with Credit Karma? Or any other software for that matter?

Heather
Heather

I used CK after using turbo tax and got an additional $1500 back that turbo tax missed.

Dillon Welch
Dillon Welch

Filed both my federal taxes and state (CA) taxes with no hassle and got my refund super quick. One criticism is that entering in the 1099-INT (for all the lovely bank account bonuses we get) is a bit tedious and involves multiple screens that you have to click through when all we need to enter is company # + amount. Can’t beat free though.

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