TurboTax is arguably the most popular tax preparation service in the United States. The software has been around since the mid-1980s and is heavily relied upon not only for small businesses but personal tax returns as well.
The software is often highly acknowledged for its ease. It is a great thing to get known for because it is the primary reason people need tax assistance in the first place.
- Extremely user-friendly and easy to use
- Q&A format makes tax filing easy to understand and process
- Automatic W-2 uploads with a snap of a photo
- Support is phenomenal with live chat assistance
- Provides one-on-one meeting with actual CPA with some paid plans
- Expensive. Its prices are some of the highest on the market.
- Free version only applies for a couple of credits, everything else requires a paid version.
- Full representation for an audit costs an extra $40
TurboTax is exceptionally easy to use. While all tax prep prides itself on being the “easiest to use”, TurboTax actually backs it up. Whether you are an experienced computer whiz, or relatively new to software programs – it’s interface is remarkably easy to comprehend.
The question and answer format utilized for processing your state and federal filings is straightforward. You do not need any expertise in taxes in order to prepare a filing.
The Q&A style is especially welcomed by self-employed individuals or small businesses that have to consider a number of other deductions and special tax concepts specific to owning a business.
TurboTax has taken advantage of the most modern forms of tax filing. Consequently, you can work on your taxes from across multiple platforms including your computer, tablet, and/or smartphone.
The W-2 import feature is a really nice benefit. All you need is a smartphone or tablet to snap a photo of the form, and then all of the important information is uploaded to TurboTax.
Automatic W-2 uploads are especially important for individuals with multiple W-2s during tax season.
The dashboard keeps you informed on your status and where you stand in the process. It flags areas that still need more information and allows users the ability to skip around if they do not want the step-by-step walk through.
TurboTax can also sync with QuickBooks for self-employed individuals through an expense-tracking feature. Here you can store photos of your receipts and track mileage.
The advanced packages also have an app that can quickly search for the value of donated clothes, household items, and other objects needed for reported deductions.
TurboTax does provide basic guidance for getting audited. It is free and included with every plan. If you want full fledged representation with the IRS, however, you will need to upgrade to Max Defend & Restore, which costs an extra $39.99.
It is important to realize the different between audit guidance and defense. Guidance will provide basic information and tips for how to handle an IRS audit yet no true representation.
Audit defense, meanwhile, works personally with you during the audit process and is much more beneficial. It is why many elect to spend the extra money as insurance, especially small business owners and other high earners.
Tax Return Options
The only truly exciting part of tax season is when you find out what you will get back on your return. TurboTax has a number of different ways to receive your money:
- Receive via direct deposit into a bank account (the quickest method)
- Transfer the funds to a TurboTax Prepaid Visa Card
- Receive a paper check in the mail
- Apply the refund to next year’s taxes
- Direct the IRS to invest the refund in U.S. Savings Bonds
The company will also refund up to 10 percent of the return if you load the amount on an Amazon e-gift card.
If you unfortunately owe money to the IRS it can help provide the necessary forms and instructions for submitting payments. It can also help establish a payment plan with the IRS.
There is no question that you are getting the most features and easy software to use with TurboTax. Unfortunately, that convenience does come with a steep price tag.
TurboTax is not cheap. The Deluxe version is its most popular package yet runs $39.99. Premiere is $59.99, and self-employed or small businesses will have to fork over $89.99 for its package.
TurboTax does have a free version that is basic and lets you file a new Form 1040, and allows you claim certain credits like the child tax credit and earned income tax credit.
Anyone that needs to itemize their deductions, have capital gains, own additional property, freelance, or own a small business need to pay for its services.
Regardless of the package, TurboTax allows its customers to begin preparing the tax documents and forms for free, and it only takes your money when its time to officially file.
TurboTax may charge extra for state filing in addition to the federal filing, which is unfortunate.
The support of TurboTax is terrific, like all its other features. The Q&A format basically holds your hand as it walks you through each step of the tax process.
The website also contains a number of resources, video tutorials, and online community forums for its customers. The live chat can get you assistance immediately, which is extremely important to some users.
Most tax prep services will advertise great customer support, but TurboTax is truly the best at providing the most ways to reach out and near instantaneous responses.
TurboTax Software Review – How does it help you file a return?
TurboTax is the best tax preparation software on the market. It is extraordinarily easy to use and the live support is fantastic. The ability to meet with a CPA, and all of its features geared toward self-employed users make it great for small businesses too.
You will pay more to file through TurboTax, but for many it is a small price to pay in order to make sure that you are filing your taxes correctly and maximizing on the return.
If you want the very best, TurboTax is the top tax software solution.
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