But all e-filing sites are not the same. In fact, one site, Free1040TaxReturn.com, has been singled out by the SiteJabber community as a "horrible" site to avoid at all costs. (Consumer Ally partner SiteJabber's mission is to help consumers avoid bad websites and steer them toward good ones, through positive or negative user reviews.)Free1040TaxReturn.com is "an authorized IRS e-file provider," which the IRS links to on its Free File Company page. However, SiteJabber users complained, among other things, that Free1040TaxReturn.com wasn't really free, that it placed unauthorized charges on their credit cards, that it failed to respond to their calls and emails, and that tax returns approved by the site were subsequently rejected by the IRS.
And it's not just SiteJabber users who found fault with Free1040TaxReturn.com. A quick Google search turned up scads of complaints from other sites as well. Below are several of SiteJabber's 16, one-star reviews of Free1040TaxReturn.com, some of which we've edited for space constraints.
C A. faults the IRS for recommending Free1040TaxReturn.com:
Brenda I. says the IRS was no help at all when she called to complain about Free1040TaxReturn.com:
"I can't believe the IRS has a link for this shoddy website. They sure did take the money quickly enough. Now no response to their supposed 'contact' button. I only get messages with sql errors."
Gary V. said Free1040TaxReturn.com is a government-endorsed rip-off:
"This is the worst site I have ever used. Every comment I have read so far on this site is true! I filed my sons federal tax return and I can't get back in it to see where his state refund is at. No one is responding to my messages that I have sent and no phone # listed to call anyone. When I tried calling the IRS they were no help either."
Tyler M. said the IRS rejected his return when he used Free1040TaxReturn.com:
"This site will give you nightmares. It WAS NOT free. I had a very simple return to file as we are retired. I had to use the 1040 form to claim a slot win in CT where they took out taxes. On this form, we had Social Security income, the slot income and two weeks worth of unemployment pay. For this,...they charged us $40.00. I have tried to get back on the site to get a copy of our return, but can not log in. They have no phone number to call, yet they claim 24 hour service. This site is a rip-off that is a link provided by our government. More of the 'change' we were expecting?"
"This site is horrible!!! I was first told (one week after submitting) that my return was accepted by the IRS. I continuously checked and 2 1/2 weeks out still received the same message. I checked again 3 days later (3 weeks total now) that my return was rejected by the IRS THE DAY AFTER I INITIALLY SUBMITTED IT!!
"I would steer clear of this site and I am actually hoping this site is not just another scam to get personal information because they've got it all and have done nothing for me except delay my receipt of funds I need to pay my bills. I now have to start the whole filing process all over again.
"THE IRS SHOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS SITE AND NO ONE EXPECTING THEIR RETURN TO BE DONE CORRECTLY SHOULD USE IT!"
As many SiteJabber users pointed out, there's no phone number listed anywhere on the site, not even on the Contact Us page. And that reason alone, paul k. noted in SiteJabber's questions & answers section, should have disqualified the site from receiving an IRS recommendation."The IRS transferred me to a dozen different departments and they said they do not have a phone number for the site anywhere," paul k. wrote. "What kind of IRS or any company puts a recommendation on their site without getting a phone number for the company?"
Consumer Ally contacted the IRS to request a comment on the complaints, inquire about its vetting procedures for authorized e-file sites, and to find out how many complaints it's received about Free1040TaxReturn.com. The IRS did not respond to Consumer Ally's inquiry.
If you're searching for the official IRS site, make sure not to click on IRS.com by accident, which is not affiliated with the IRS. The correct site is www.irs.gov.