Preparing and filing taxes can be a daunting task for many people. Fortunately, TurboTax, the popular tax software, makes the process a lot easier. With TurboTax, you can quickly and easily file your taxes, all from the comfort of your own home. But is it really worth the price? In this TurboTax review, we’ll go over the pros and cons of the software and its services, and we will answer all the questions you may have.
Pros and Cons of TurboTax
- User-friendly interface: Its software is designed to be easy to use, with a simple, step-by-step process to guide you through each part of your taxes.
- Thorough guidance: It offers guidance and explanations for every part of your taxes, including tips to help you maximize your tax deductions and credits.
- Multiple packages: It offers a range of packages to suit your specific needs, from a free option for simple returns to more expensive packages for self-employed individuals or those with rental property.
- Fast refunds: It can help you get your refund quickly and easily by filing electronically.
- Accuracy guarantee: It offers an accuracy guarantee, so if you make a mistake, they’ll pay for any penalties or interest that you incur.
- Cost: Its pricing can be expensive, especially for the more advanced packages.
- Limited customer support: Customer support is only available during limited hours and can be difficult to reach during the tax season.
- Limited import options: Importing data from other tax software can be limited, making it difficult if you’re switching from a different program.
TurboTax offers a range of services to help you with your taxes, including:
- Federal and state tax preparation: It can help you prepare and file your federal and state taxes, including support for all tax forms.
- Online filing: You can file your taxes online directly through the software, making it fast and easy to get your refund.
- Deduction and credit guidance: It offers guidance on deductions and credits to help you get the most out of your tax return.
- Audit protection: It offers audit protection in case you’re audited by the IRS, including assistance and representation.
- Mobile app: Its mobile app allows you to easily prepare and file your taxes from your smartphone or tablet.
What is TurboTax, and how does it work?
TurboTax is a tax software program that helps individuals and small businesses prepare and file their federal and state taxes online. It is designed to be user-friendly and offers step-by-step guidance to help users navigate through the tax filing process. It works by asking a series of questions about your financial situation, such as your income, deductions, and credits.
The software then uses your responses to fill out the appropriate tax forms and calculate your tax liability or refund. It offers different packages, ranging from a free option for simple tax returns to more advanced packages for self-employed individuals or those with rental properties. Once you complete your tax return, it allows you to file your taxes electronically, making it fast and easy to receive your refund. It also offers audit protection and an accuracy guarantee, giving users peace of mind when filing their taxes.
What are the different TurboTax packages, and which one should I choose?
TurboTax offers several different packages, each with its own features and pricing. Here’s a breakdown of the available packages:
- Free Edition – This package is free and suitable for those with simple tax returns, such as those who have only W-2 income, limited deductions, and credits.
- Deluxe – The Deluxe package is recommended for homeowners and those who have made charitable donations. It offers more guidance for maximizing deductions and credits and costs $60.
- Premier – The Premier package is designed for investors and those with rental properties. It includes guidance for stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and costs $90.
- Self-Employed – The Self-Employed package is ideal for freelancers, contractors, and small business owners. It offers advanced guidance for self-employment income and expenses, including tracking business expenses and mileage. This package costs $120.
- TurboTax Live – TurboTax Live is a hybrid option that combines the benefits of the software with live assistance from a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA). This package includes a review of your tax return by a CPA or EA and costs $80-$200, depending on the package.
When deciding which package to choose, consider the complexity of your tax situation, the deductions and credits you are eligible for, and your budget. The Free Edition is a good choice for those with simple tax returns, while the Deluxe package offers more guidance for those with additional deductions and credits. If you have a rental property or investment income, the Premier package is recommended. The Self-Employed package is designed for those with self-employment income or expenses. If you need additional assistance, TurboTax Live provides live support from a CPA or EA.
How much does TurboTax cost, and is it worth the price?
This software offers a range of packages with different features and pricing. The cost of TurboTax varies depending on the complexity of your tax return and the package you choose. Here’s a breakdown of the current prices:
- Free Edition – $0
- Deluxe – $60
- Premier – $90
- Self-Employed – $120
- TurboTax Live Basic – $80 (plus an additional $60 for federal and state e-filing)
- TurboTax Live Deluxe – $120 (plus an additional $60 for federal and state e-filing)
- TurboTax Live Premier – $170 (plus an additional $60 for federal and state e-filing)
- TurboTax Live Self-Employed – $200 (plus an additional $60 for federal and state e-filing)
While TurboTax can be more expensive than some other tax software programs, many users find it to be worth the cost due to its user-friendly interface, thorough guidance, and accuracy guarantee. The software is designed to minimize errors and maximize deductions, potentially resulting in a larger tax refund. It also offers free audit support and assistance in the event of an audit. Overall, whether or not it is worth the price depends on your personal tax situation and budget. If you have a complex tax situation and can benefit from the advanced guidance and features offered by this company, it may be worth the investment.
Can I file my taxes for free with TurboTax?
Yes, TurboTax offers a free option for those with simple tax returns. The Free Edition allows users to file their federal and state taxes for free if they have only W-2 income, limited deductions, and credits. It is a good option for those who don’t need advanced guidance or support and have a straightforward tax situation. However, if you have a more complex tax situation, you may need to upgrade to a paid package to access the additional guidance and features that TurboTax offers.
What types of deductions and credits does TurboTax support?
TurboTax supports a wide range of deductions and credits that taxpayers may be eligible for. Here are some examples:
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – A credit for low to moderate-income workers.
- Child Tax Credit – A credit for those who have children under the age of 17.
- Student Loan Interest Deduction – A deduction for those who paid interest on a qualified student loan.
- Charitable Contributions Deduction – A deduction for donations made to qualified charitable organizations.
- Home Office Deduction – A deduction for those who use a part of their home exclusively for business purposes.
- State and Local Taxes (SALT) Deduction – A deduction for state and local income, sales, and property taxes.
- Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver’s Credit) – A credit for those who made contributions to a retirement account.
- Medical Expenses Deduction – A deduction for qualified medical expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your income.
- Mortgage Interest Deduction – A deduction for interest paid on a qualified mortgage.
- Business Expenses Deduction – A deduction for expenses related to running a business, such as office supplies, travel expenses, and professional services.
These are just a few examples of the many deductions and credits that this tax software supports. The software is designed to guide users through the process of identifying and claiming all eligible deductions and credits, potentially resulting in a larger tax refund or lower tax liability.
How accurate is TurboTax’s software?
TurboTax has a long-standing reputation for being highly accurate in its tax preparation software. The company offers an accuracy guarantee, promising to reimburse customers for any penalties and interest charged due to a calculation error on the part of TurboTax.
The software is designed to guide users through the process of preparing their taxes, asking questions to ensure that all necessary information is included and that all eligible deductions and credits are identified. The software also includes tools to help users spot potential errors, such as the Tax Bracket Calculator, which shows users how their tax bracket is calculated.
That being said, it’s important to note that the accuracy of the software ultimately depends on the accuracy of the information provided by the user. Users must ensure that they enter all information correctly and that they have all necessary documentation before beginning the tax preparation process. Additionally, if the tax situation is particularly complex, it may be beneficial to consult with a tax professional for additional guidance and advice.
The tax software is generally considered to be highly accurate, but it’s important to take care when entering information and to double-check all calculations to ensure that the final return is correct.
What is TurboTax’s audit protection, and how does it work?
TurboTax offers audit protection in the form of a free Audit Support Center and optional Audit Defense services.
The Audit Support Center provides free guidance and advice to customers who receive an audit notice from the IRS or a state tax agency. Customers can receive personalized assistance from a tax expert and get answers to their questions about the audit process. This support is available to all TurboTax customers, regardless of the package they purchased.
In addition to the Audit Support Center, TurboTax offers optional Audit Defense services for an additional fee. This service provides full representation in the event of an audit, including correspondence and communication with the IRS or state tax agency, as well as representation at any meetings or hearings related to the audit. The cost of Audit Defense varies depending on the package purchased and the complexity of the tax return.
It’s important to note that Audit Defense is not a guarantee against an audit, and it does not cover situations where the customer intentionally provides false or misleading information on their tax return. However, for customers who want added peace of mind and support in the event of an audit, Audit Defense can be a valuable service.
TurboTax’s audit protection offerings are designed to help customers navigate the audit process with confidence and support, whether through the free Audit Support Center or the optional Audit Defense services.
Can I import data from other tax software into TurboTax?
Yes, TurboTax allows users to import data from other tax software, including H&R Block and TaxAct. This can save time and reduce the risk of errors by automatically transferring information such as personal information, income, and deductions from the previous year’s return.
To import data from another tax software, users will typically need to export their previous tax return as a PDF or tax data file and then import that file into TurboTax. The specific steps may vary depending on the software being used and the version of TurboTax, but the process is generally straightforward and can be completed within the TurboTax software.
It’s important to note that not all tax data can be imported into TurboTax, and some information may need to be entered manually. Additionally, some tax software may require an additional fee for the ability to export data in a format that can be imported into TurboTax.
Importing data from other tax software into TurboTax can be a convenient and time-saving feature for users who have used other software in previous years.
How long does it take to file my taxes with TurboTax?
The time it takes to file taxes with TurboTax can vary depending on the complexity of the tax return and the level of detail entered by the user. Generally speaking, however, filing taxes with TurboTax is designed to be a relatively quick and efficient process.
For simple tax returns with only a few forms and no major life changes, TurboTax can take as little as 30 minutes to complete. More complex tax returns, such as those with self-employment income or investment income, may take several hours or more to complete.
TurboTax allows users to save their progress and return to their return at any time, so users can complete their taxes at their own pace. Additionally, the software automatically checks for errors and flags potential issues to help users identify and correct mistakes before filing.
The time it takes to file taxes with TurboTax will depend on the complexity of the tax return and the level of detail entered by the user, but the software is designed to streamline the process and make it as quick and efficient as possible.
What is TurboTax’s mobile app, and how do I use it?
TurboTax offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, which allows users to prepare and file their taxes using their mobile devices. The app offers many of the same features as the desktop version of TurboTax, including the ability to import W-2 forms, take a photo of a tax form for automatic data entry, and access live support from TurboTax experts.
To use the TurboTax mobile app, users can download it from the App Store or Google Play Store and create an account or sign in with their existing TurboTax login credentials. From there, users can follow the step-by-step prompts to enter their personal information, income, and deductions, and the app will automatically calculate their tax refund or amount owed.
The mobile app is designed to be easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface that guides users through the tax preparation process. Users can switch between devices seamlessly, so they can start their return on their phone and finish it on their computer, or vice versa.
The TurboTax mobile app is a convenient and easy-to-use tool for preparing and filing taxes on the go, with many of the same features and benefits as the desktop version of TurboTax.
Is TurboTax easy to use?
Yes, it is designed to be easy to use, even for individuals with little or no tax preparation experience. The software guides users through the tax preparation process step-by-step, asking questions and offering helpful tips and explanations along the way. TurboTax also offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation, making it easy to find the information and forms needed to complete a tax return.
Does TurboTax offer customer support?
Yes, it offers customer support through various channels, including live chat, phone support, and email support. Users can also access the TurboTax online community for additional support and answers to common questions.
Can I file my taxes with TurboTax if I’m self-employed?
Yes, it offers support for self-employed individuals and small business owners, including access to a variety of tax forms and deductions specifically designed for self-employed individuals.
Does TurboTax offer support for rental property income?
Yes, it offers support for rental property income, including access to forms and deductions related to rental properties.
Can I file my state taxes with TurboTax?
Yes, it offers support for filing state taxes in all 50 states. Users can either file their state taxes at the same time as their federal taxes or file them separately.
How does TurboTax calculate my tax refund?
TurboTax calculates a user’s tax refund or amount owed based on the information entered into the software, including income, deductions, and tax credits. The software automatically calculates the taxes owed or refunds due based on the user’s inputs and the current tax laws.
How long does it take to receive my tax refund with TurboTax?
The time it takes to receive a tax refund with this tax software will depend on several factors, including the method of filing, the accuracy of the tax return, and the time it takes the IRS to process the return. Typically, taxpayers can expect to receive their refunds within three weeks of filing their tax return, though this may vary depending on individual circumstances.
Is TurboTax safe and secure to use?
Yes, it uses advanced security measures, including encryption and multi-factor authentication, to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, TurboTax is regularly audited and tested to ensure compliance with industry standards and best practices.
Can I use TurboTax if I have a complex tax situation?
Yes, it offers support for a wide range of tax situations, including those with complex tax returns. The software offers access to a variety of forms, deductions, and credits, as well as support for self-employed individuals, small business owners, and rental property owners.
Does TurboTax support foreign tax credits for ex-pats living abroad?
Yes, it offers support for foreign tax credits for ex-pats living abroad, as well as guidance on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and other tax-related issues for ex-pats. TurboTax also offers access to IRS publications and forms related to foreign tax credits and ex-pat tax filing.
Overall, TurboTax is a great tax software option for individuals looking for an easy and efficient way to prepare and file their taxes. While it can be expensive, the software offers a range of packages to suit different needs and budgets. TurboTax’s user-friendly interface and thorough guidance make it easy to use, and its accuracy guarantee and audit protection offer peace of mind. With a mobile app and online filing options, the tax software provides convenience and flexibility for taxpayers. So, if you’re looking for reliable and comprehensive tax software, TurboTax might just be the perfect option for you.
TurboTax is a great tax software option for individuals looking for an easy and efficient way to prepare and file their taxes. While it can be expensive, the software offers a range of packages to suit different needs and budgets. TurboTax’s user-friendly interface and thorough guidance make it easy to use, and its accuracy guarantee and audit protection offer peace of mind. With a mobile app and online filing options, TurboTax provides convenience and flexibility for taxpayers. So, if you’re looking for reliable and comprehensive tax software, TurboTax might just be the perfect option for you.