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TurboTax

TurboTax shines when it comes to customers who have more complex tax returns. The Deluxe option helps maximize tax deductions and credits, while Premium covers investments—including cryptocurrency and and stock activity—and rental properties. Plus, you can easily import your investment income automatically with TurboTax.

Tax Filing Solutions for All Situations

Finding the right tax preparation service can be difficult. As you consider your options, TurboTax® may be at or close to the top of your list to research. The service, owned by Intuit®, is one of the most popular tax preparation softwares available. But biggest isn’t always the best, so take time to examine your options to determine the right fit for you.

Pros

  • A product for every tax situation, both simple and more complex
  • TurboTax Premium includes investments and rental properties
  • A comprehensive review of your return, ensuring nothing gets missed

Cons

  • Some products are more expensive than competitors
  • Pricing for specific packages can be hard to find at a glance

TurboTax at a Glance

Price

  • TurboTax Free Edition: $0 for federal (~37% of taxpayers qualify for TurboTax Free Edition. Form 1040 + limited credits only)
  • TurboTax Free Edition State: $0 for state (~37% of taxpayers qualify for TurboTax Free Edition. Form 1040 + limited credits only)
  • Deluxe: $69 federal + $64 per state
  • Premium: $129 federal + $64 per state

Guarantees

  • Accuracy guarantee
  • Maximum refund guarantee
  • Audit support guarantee
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Expert approved guarantee options

W-2 + Prior Year Import

  • Yes

Audit Support

  • Free audit support
  • More extensive support for a fee

Access to Tax Experts

  • Yes, for a fee

Types of Returns and Pricing

TurboTax offers several pricing tiers, each one offering a different set of services, forms and features that can help you file your tax return with complete accuracy. Pricing varies for each tier and is subject to change.

TurboTax Products & Pricing

Tier SUMMARY FEDERAL STATE

TurboTax Free Edition

  • W-2 income
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child tax credits
  • ~37% of taxpayers qualify for TurboTax Free Edition. Form 1040 + limited credits only

$0

$0

TurboTax Deluxe

  • Includes everything in the above tier
  • Search for 350+ tax deductions and credits

$69

$64

TurboTax Premium

  • All the features in the above tiers
  • Plus investments, rental property income + deductions
  • Self-employment

$129

$64

Turbo Tax Free Edition: $0 Federal, $0 State*

TurboTax Free Edition (*disclaimer: ~37% of taxpayers qualify for TurboTax Free Edition. Form 1040 + limited credits only) is available to taxpayers who only need to file Form 1040 with no additional forms or schedules. It includes the following, assuming there's no added complexity:

  • W-2 income
  • Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
  • Hobby, personal property rental, or personal item sales income reported on Form 1099-K
  • IRS standard deduction
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child tax credits
  • Student loan interest deduction

If you want to itemize your deductions, own a business, have a rental property, sold investments or have any other more complex tax issues, this option is not available to you.

If you qualify for TurboTax Free Edition, you can import your W-2 and answer a few questions about your situation to complete the process. If your employer is a TurboTax Import Partner, importing is as simple as entering their EIN. If not, you can still import easily by taking photos of your documents in the TurboTax mobile app.

Anyone who used the service last year can get a jump start with pre-populated information. If you used another service, you may be able to upload a PDF of your return to get a similar effect, depending on which service you used.

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TurboTax Deluxe: $69 Federal, $64 State

TurboTax Deluxe is designed for people who have more complex tax situations that aren't covered under TurboTax's free tier. In addition to the features of the free tier, TurboTax Deluxe will search and maximize more than 350 tax deductions and credits related to:

  • Mortgage and property taxes
  • Charitable donations
  • Educational expenses
  • Dependent tax credits

You'll also get access to one-on-one help over the phone or online.

TurboTax Premium: $129 Federal, $64 State

TurboTax previously offered two packages beyond its Deluxe tier—the Premier package, which was aimed at investors, as well as the Self-Employed package—but it has since consolidated these into the new "Premium" package.

While this change makes TurboTax's services more affordable for freelance and self-employed workers, investors who previously used the Premier package will likely end up paying more for the Premium package, especially if they aren't able to cash in on early season discounts.

Features for Investors

While the packages' names may have changed, most of the features are the same or similar. With this tier, investors gain access to:

  • Stocks, bonds, employee stock purchase plans, cryptocurrency, and other investments
  • Rental property income and tax deductions

You can auto-import your cryptocurrency and stock activity to ensure you don't miss any information, and the service will make sure to accurately account for gains and losses with your cryptocurrency transactions, which can be challenging with crypto exchanges.

Features for Small Business Owners and Freelancers

If you're a freelancer, contractor, or small business owner, TurboTax Premium also offers features you need:

  • A search of 500 tax deductions and credits
  • Importing from Quickbooks® Self-Employed
  • Importing from Uber, Lyft, and Uber Eats
  • Uploading and auto-filling of 1099-K and 1099-NEC forms
  • Calculations for asset depreciation
  • Guidance on industry-specific deductions
  • Home office expenses help
  • Unlimited W-2 and 1099 forms for employees and contractors
  • A personalized audit risk assessment

You can also get a year-over-year picture of your self-employed income and expenses, so you can compare past years with the current one and make better business decisions.

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TurboTax Live Full Service**

full service tax expert with TurboTax

TurboTax

TurboTax provides a simple approach to filling out your tax return, but if you're concerned about making a mistake, you can opt for the company's full-service program. Available in both English and Spanish, this option connects you with a dedicated tax expert who will do your taxes for you, start to finish. You can review everything with your expert before they sign and file your return on your behalf.

This program is available for all tiers, with cost varying based on the type of services you require. Luckily, TurboTax offers several price estimates on its website based on common tax situations. If you feel your situation is unusual, you can also have a Full Service expert review your information and provide you with the price you'll pay before you commit.

**Price estimates are provided prior to a tax expert starting work on your taxes. Estimates are based on initial information you provide about your tax situation, including forms you upload to assist your expert in preparing your tax return and forms or schedules we think you’ll need to file based on what you tell us about your tax situation. Final price is determined at the time of print or electronic filing and may vary based on your actual tax situation, forms used to prepare your return, and forms or schedules included in your individual return. Prices are subject to change without notice and may impact your final price.

Features

TurboTax offers a variety of features that can make the preparation and filing process go more smoothly and give you some peace of mind. Some of the standard features available with most tiers include:

  • Access to an online community of specialists and customers
  • Import of last year's return, including from other tax preparation services
  • Tax calculators
  • The latest updates on tax law

Additionally, you'll get the following features, though the exact benefits vary based on the tier you choose:

  • Maximum refund guarantee: TurboTax commits to searching for every tax deduction and credit that you qualify for based on the tier you choose.
  • 100% accurate calculations guarantee: The company will pay your IRS penalties if the federal agency finds an error that can be attributed to TurboTax's calculations.
  • Audit support: If the IRS sends you an audit letter based on your TurboTax individual, TurboTax Live Assisted Business or TurboTax Full Service Business return, the company will offer one-on-one, question-and-answer support with one of its professionals. Note, however, that this does not include representation or legal advice.

Refund Options

If you qualify for a tax refund, you can receive the money in the form of a check or direct deposit. Let TurboTax know which one you prefer and provide your bank account information, if necessary.

TurboTax is willing to advance up to 50% of qualifying users' refunds, with a maximum of $4,000. The advance comes with no fees, interest or impact on your credit score. To take advantage of this feature, however, you'll need to open a Credit Karma Money™ Spend checking account, where TurboTax will deposit the funds, often in as little as four minutes, after the IRS accepts your return. It's also worth noting that your Federal refund must be at least $500 to qualify for this feature.

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Mobile App

TurboTax app

Intuit

You can fill out your tax information and file your return online, or you can download TurboTax's mobile app to get the job done. The app is available for iOS and Android and allows you to complete the entire process by importing information or taking pictures and uploading them to your return. 

You can also use the app's live chat function or even talk live with one of the company's tax professionals if you have any questions.

TurboTax Support

TurboTax offers a wealth of knowledge and resources via its support page. You can also join the TurboTax community and discuss taxes or get answers from experts and peers alike.

If you need assistance with TurboTax, you can call 1-800-446-8848 to leave a message for the TurboTax support team.

Is TurboTax Secure?

TurboTax uses two-factor authentication and Touch ID® to ensure that only you can access your tax information. The company also uses SSL data encryption practices that exceed the minimum requirements set by the IRS when storing your information and transmitting it to the IRS and state agencies. Finally, you can view a history of logins and get notifications when changes are made to your account.

TurboTax and Audits

If your tax return gets audited, TurboTax can provide some basic support to answer your questions, but that doesn't include representation or legal advice.

However, you can sign up for a premium service called TurboTax MAX for an additional cost for full audit representation and identity protection. Note, however, that this is a preventative service, so this pricing isn't available if you've already received an audit notice. If that happens, though, you can still request representation and will receive a flat-fee quote based on your situation.

The Bottom Line

TurboTax offers services and features for most taxpayers, and compared to other online tax preparation services, its benefits are competitive. If you've used TurboTax in the past, it might be easy to stick with the service again.

At the same time, some TurboTax tiers are notably more expensive than several of its top competitors' services. Don't be afraid to shop around and compare options, including online tax preparation services and tax professionals, to determine the best fit for you.

BL

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.