Turbotax has been my long time favorite for filing my taxes online. I set out to take a look at the new 2020-2021 version of the software in this brief review and wanted to highlight my findings.
How Does TurboTax Work?
Like most other tax software solutions, TurboTax uses an interface that takes you through a step-by-step process to prepare your return. The interface follows an interview approach and asks you to fill out all the information that it needs.
The interface has a modern and user-friendly design, and you can use it prepare and file both state and federal tax returns. The software will provide you with sufficient information throughout the process without cluttering your screen with text.
When you fill out your information to prepare your tax return, you can let the software guide you through the process in the correct order, or if you have enough confidence with tax filing, you can explore the different sections on your own.
Based on the personal and tax information that you provide, the software will assign you a filing status and may recommend that you upgrade to one of TurboTax’s upgraded plans if it is more suitable to your tax situation. After entering all your information, the software will do a walkthrough so that you can make sure that you entered your information correctly without leaving anything out.
If you’ve used TurboTax before, you can import information from the previous years’ returns, and you can import data from your W-2 or 1099 forms to save time and add detail correctly. Since the software is intuitive and straightforward, you can use it to file your returns, even if you have no prior experience with tax filing or this type of software.
Is TurboTax Free Edition really free?
Yes, we guarantee you’ll pay nothing to file your simple federal and state taxes.
Join the millions who file for $0
50 million hard-working taxpayers can file their simple federal and state taxes for free. You can file with TurboTax Free Edition if you only have the following situations:
- W-2 income
- Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
- Claim the standard deduction
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
- Child tax credits
Situations not covered in TurboTax Free Edition include:
- Itemized deductions (Schedule A)
- Business or 1099-MISC income (Schedule C)
- Stock sales (Schedule D)
- Rental property income (Schedule E)
- Credits, deductions and income reported on schedules 1-6, such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction
Should you need more than the free edition, there are various pricing tiers depending on the complexity of your personal tax situation. Here is an overview of the pricing structure.
Deluxe – $39.99
Most TurboTax clients select the Deluxe plan, as it allows for Schedule A, C, and C-EZ filing. As a result, this version supports tax filing for mortgage and property tax deductions as well as itemized deductions.
People who are self-employed and have basic income and expenses can also use the Deluxe version.
Premier – $59.99
With the Premier version, you receive all the filing support included under the Free and Deluxe versions as well as support for Schedules D and E, which allows for reporting of income from stocks, bonds, and ESPPs.
Landlords can also report rental property income and expenses with this version.
Self-Employed – $89.99
The Self-Employed version is the most expensive that TurboTax has to offer and provides self-employed tax filers with the ability to report their business’s income and expenses as well as asset depreciation.
The Student version of TurboTax comes with a focus on deductions and tax credits available to students. They even have the Sprintax team, which is focused on international students and how they file taxes.
There is no specific cost to student access. The price will be determined by which of the above versions best meets your needs.
- Easy to use software and most user friendly in the industry
- Live CPA assistance if needed
- Accuracy Guarantee
- Can get expensive if you have a complex return