TurboTax injects some personality into its lengthy online interview.TurboTax originated this trend of using a wizard-based approach to tax preparation, though it has evolved substantially over the years. The service alternates between stepping you through a Q&A and displaying a list of available tax topics. You provide an answer, click a button to advance to the next screen, and keep answering and clicking until the service says you’re done. Next, it combs through your return, lets you fix any problems, and helps you file or print the finished product after you pay for your federal returns. TurboTax offers support in many ways depending on the product you use to file your return. All products, including TurboTax Free, let you view TurboTax’s extensive database of FAQs and tax-related articles to help you understand potentially confusing concepts.
There’s a pop-up that reminds you that help is available, which is less annoying than your usual pop-up since let’s face it, filing taxes is hard. Once you’re done inputting your information, which takes about 30 minutes depending on how complicated your background is and your typing speed, TurboTax moves on to your federal return, then state return. If you have a PDF of last year’s return , TurboTax automatically populates your address, previous year’s income, AGI, and applicable tax breaks. But if you don’t, you can select the manual option, which allows you to type in your information. TurboTax Desktop Basic is for simple tax situations and costs $50 for a federal return and $45 for each state return plus an additional fee if you want to e-file the state return. TurboTax Deluxe and higher each come with one free state download, but e-filing state returns cost extra. As of December 2020, the full price for a state e-file is $25, but TurboTax anticipates price increases in March 2021.
- File taxes electronically (e-file) and receive email confirmation from the IRS once your online tax return has been accepted.
- When you consider its entire family of products, its tax topic coverage is comprehensive enough to satisfy the majority of taxpayers, and its onsite help rarely leaves a question unanswered.
- We’ll find every tax deduction and credit you qualify for to get you the biggest tax refund, guaranteed.
- Receive assistance to take advantage of more than 350 deductions and credits.
- Many tax preparation services and software claim to get you the maximum refund.
It first asks about income, then deductions and credits, then other tax situations. As you move into the income section, it first asks you several questions about income you might have–some of which would kick you into a more expensive version of TurboTax. Then it displays a list of all the income topics that might apply to you. If you think anything is missing, you can ask to see the whole list, including Wages and Salaries, Unemployment, and Interest and Dividends. Click the Start button next to one of these , and a multiscreen wizard opens that provides more information, asks questions, and provides blank fields or multiple-choice lists for your answers.
These tax professionals have certifications that prove their tax knowledge. This should make you feel comfortable that you’re getting the right answers when you ask detailed questions about your tax situation. You can share your screen with these professionals so they can guide you to solutions faster or see what may be causing problems with your return. TurboTax’s desktop products offer U.S. based phone support with TurboTax specialists. These specialists should be able to help you with your problems, but they’re probably not CPAs or EAs.
TurboTax’s Self-Employed packaged helps take the stress out of the season. It includes all the features in the Premier option, as well as software-based guidance tailored to freelancers, contractors, and small business owners. Despite its higher price, TurboTax Deluxe earns an Editor’s Choice award again this year.
We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy . It’s also worth noting that the desktop version of the software randomly closed during testing, citing a connection error. While this wasn’t a major issue during the review process, it would have been a very different story at 10 p.m. Another con is that manually inputting your information takes a good chunk of time, so the automatic upload option is recommended. All in all, the best feature of TurboTax is the user experience of the software. The interactive card-based design helps make the tax-filing process a bit less painful, and the quippy content doesn’t hurt.
Tax & Finance Software
It runs an extra $60 and includes features such as identity theft monitoring, loss insurance and restoration help. One of TurboTax’s most outstanding support options is TurboTax Live. It offers a one-on-one review with a tax pro before you file, as well as unlimited live tax advice throughout the year.
Once you’ve visited all the entries there, you can click Wrap up Income to move on. The path TurboTax Deluxe takes is similar to one you would take if you were working your way through the IRS Form 1040.
What You Need To Know Before You File
It provides an outstanding user experience that improves every year. When you consider its entire family of products, its tax topic coverage is comprehensive enough to satisfy the majority of taxpayers, and its onsite help rarely leaves a question unanswered.
When you come to issues that may be confusing, like filing status and dependents, TurboTax Deluxe asks questions and provides extra guidance, just as sites like TaxSlayer do. As you finish, you see a summary of your personal information. PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing. Accurately deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your tax return.
TurboTax has a lot going for it, but price isn’t one of them. The list price of its software routinely is on the high end of the spectrum, especially when adding the cost of a state return. And if you want access to human help, it costs even more. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.
TurboTax’s free version is the best and most cost-effective option for those with the simplest tax situations. But the more complicated your taxes become, the pricier the software gets and you might be better off with another option. TurboTax is great for the millennial crowd or anyone who enjoys a smooth user experience and immediate gratification. It provides quick support wait times and a running tally of your expected tax refund or tax owed amount, too. Filing your taxes with TurboTax feels more like a conversation with an understanding financial advisor. You can head to a local H&R Block office if you’re a brick-and-mortar kind of customer, but the pricing is different from their software. TurboTax has no in-person option, so H&R Block is a clear winner for those who’d rather have their taxes prepared face-to-face.
Here’s a look at the various ways you can find answers and get guidance when filing your return with TurboTax. Embedded links throughout the process offer tips, explainers and other resources. And help buttons can connect you to the searchable knowledge base, on-screen help and more.
Turbotax Live And Full Service
Overall a very good, concise, detailed, and with explanations of different areas of the tax code. Select all that apply to find reviewers similar to you. We can import tax data from over a million employers and financial institutions to make things faster and easier for you.
The call starts by phone, and then you can initiate one-way live video or screen sharing. On a February afternoon, I experienced a 1-hour wait for a call-back from a tax professional, not including the first step of connecting to a technical-support representative. On the plus side, TurboTax Live will now offer year-round access to tax pros for tax questions, though how that will work in practice remains to be seen. The free version handles tax situations like the earned income tax credit, the standard deduction, and basic interest and dividend income reflected on a 1099 form. For anything else, you need to opt for a different tier.
I purchased Deluxe for the last 10 years and this year they decided to remove the single state download from Deluxe. It has to be purchased separately or you need to purchase Premier version. You can unsubscribe at any time and we’ll never share your details without your permission. Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. When you reach the end, TurboTax alerts you to missing information.
We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments from advertisers. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure. While you’re thinking about your money, read our roundup of thebest personal finance software. If you run a small business, we have you covered with the best accounting software. TurboTax offers thorough explorations of tax forms and schedules and an outstanding user experience.
You can always use the toolbar at the top of the screen or the Topic List if you have to return to a faraway section you already visited, though TurboTax’s site outline is not as detailed as FreeTaxUSA’s. The main sections of TurboTax have home pages that display the tax topics contained there.When you’re finished with one income type, you click Done to go back to the income list. The Start button next to the topic you just completed changes to Edit/Add, which allows you to go back and make changes.
All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly. Tax Calculator by Chris Hutchison Estimate how much you’ll owe in federal taxes, using your income, deductions and credits — all in just a few steps. A direct deposit to a bank account is the fastest option. You can also have it loaded onto a Turbo Visa Debit Card (if you’re getting a refund on your state taxes, see if your state offers a prepaid card option as well) or sent as a paper check. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research.
We can conveniently deduct any TurboTax preparation fees from your federal tax refund and have the remaining balance deposited directly into your bank account. Finish your tax return in one visit or do a little at a time.
Chances are that you’ll come to the same conclusion that we have, that TurboTax is tops. The TurboTax Return App is available for both iOS and Android. They offer the same tax topics that are available on the browser-based version, so you can prepare and file even a complex return using them. Intuit says that its early prices are subject to change.
Turbotax Online Options
Intuit’s Tax Return App follows the same Q&A that the browser-based version does, offering help along the way.TurboTax security specialists work with the IRS and state revenue departments to prevent fraud. This dedicated staff is constantly monitoring the site and performing internal checks and external tests. Stored data is always encrypted, as is your return when it’s transmitted to the IRS and state agencies. The site supports multifactor authentication and Touch ID on its smartphone app. At this point, you’re ready to move on to the real meat of the site—entering your income, identifying your deductions and credits, and taking care of other tax-related situations.