TurboTax Free and Paid Options Review: File Accurate Returns Quickly

File accurate tax returns electronically with Intuit TurboTax.

Tax time is never fun, but the right software can make it a little easier. Intuit’s TurboTax software lets you prepare and file your taxes with guaranteed accuracy — Intuit will even pay any IRS penalties or interest if there’s a calculation error. Intuit TurboTax is also guaranteed to maximize your refund.

Here’s an overview of how this tax preparation software works and what you can expect with TurboTax free and paid options.

What Is the TurboTax Software Program?

TurboTax business and personal programs can streamline the process of filling out and submitting tax returns. Taxpayers can use TurboTax to file their tax returns electronically and reduce the risk of an audit. All returns filed using TurboTax, both online and via software, are backed by the Audit Support Guarantee, which gives users free one-on-one support from a trained tax professional.

How TurboTax Works

You’ll use TurboTax to prepare your tax returns instead of completing the forms manually. You can use the online version, download the software to your computer or purchase the program on a CD.

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TurboTax asks you a series of questions about your marital status, dependents, income and expenses, and it uses your answers to fill out the forms and determine the deductions to which you’re entitled. TurboTax imports your income information from W-2s and other important tax documents. The software then does the math to calculate your returns, and it allows you to e-file your tax returns directly with the IRS and state department of revenue for speedy acceptance. Once you’ve filed your returns, you can track their status with the TurboTax mobile app.

Know: These Are the Penalties for Filing Taxes Late

TurboTax Free vs. Paid Options

Users can sign up for free to complete and file simple tax returns using IRS form 1040EZ or the 1040A. The free version includes the Audit Support Guarantee, access to your credit score and an import of last year’s tax return from another tax prep company. Just upload a picture of your W-2 form to get started.

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It’s free to start a return using TurboTax Deluxe, Premier or Self-Employed or TurboTax Live, but you’ll pay a fee to file. Here’s how much each version will cost you:

  • The Deluxe version costs $39.99 and searches more than 350 deductions to help you get the biggest tax breaks.
  • The Premier edition costs $59.99 and covers investments and rental property.
  • Self-employed taxpayers pay $89.99 for their version of TurboTax, which accounts for all personal and business expenses. Purchase the Self-Employed version by April 17, 2018 to get a complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed.
  • TurboTax Live costs $149.99 and includes advice from a certified public accountant or enrolled agent, plus a professional review of your return to ensure you covered everything.

All versions except the free one charge extra for filing a state return. You can add the tax advice and professional review included in TurboTax Live to any other version for an additional fee. State tax advice is free.

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Customer reviews give TurboTax 4.7 out of 5 stars, and many users report they enjoy the ease of use, expert guidance, support features and high degree of accuracy. These benefits and the range of versions make TurboTax an attractive choice for individuals who prepare their own tax returns.

Click through to read about the three times you can skip filing taxes.

More on Taxes

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About the Author

Sabah Karimi

Sabah Karimi is an award-winning writer with more than 10 years of experience writing about personal finance, lifestyle topics, and consumer trends. Her work has appeared on U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, MSN, and other mainstream publications. She was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and CBS News about her work as a freelance writer early in her career and now works with a variety of clients.

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TurboTax Free and Paid Options Review: File Accurate Returns Quickly
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