Turbotax is a tax filing software for American income tax returns, designed and owned by Intuit. TurboTax was created by Michael Chipman from Chipsoft in 1984 and came under the name Intuit in 1993. Intuit Consumer Tax Group is located in San Diego, California, while Intuit Corporation is based in Mountain View, California.
Intuit, the owner of TurboTax, has campaigned broadly against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), making its internet-based arrangement of tax filing like those in other countries. The organization has been debated over its political impact and misleading strategic policies.
As a component of concurrence with the IRS Free File program, TurboTax offers people making under $39,000 every year to use a free form of TurboTax. If you are in military service earning under $72000 every year or qualified for Earned Income credit, you can use the free filing program on the software. There are various packages, including TurboTax Deluxe, TurboTax Premier, and so on. TurboTax is accessible for both government and state annual assessment forms. The product is intended to direct clients through their expense forms bit by bit. The TurboTax programming gives citizens extra help to their self-prepared returns by offering Audit Defense from TaxResources, Inc.
TurboTax also offers a fantastic user interface that is easy to use and navigate. It allows you to go through each section of filing in detail and choose from all the varieties. It also offers various alternatives, such as DIY the tax filings with experts or handing them over to someone from start to finish. The software prices vary.
Based on the features and tax sections or deductions you are interested in. you can choose your package and start filing your taxes from the comfort of your home. It is priced based on its offering, which seems fair at times, and offers some free filing services for state and federal filing.
While reviewing the software, we must give enough attention to its features and offering before mapping it against the pricing at which it is being offered. So, here is an illustrative list of several features that stand out in the software.
Turbo tax comes with features that are easy to use and make it easier for the user to DIY the tax returns filing. Here, we will look at some of the prominent features of the product.
Turbotax has one of the most user-friendly designs when it comes to interface. It’s easy to understand and easy to navigate. One thing to focus on at a time and the easy indication process makes it smooth and workable even for beginners. If you plan to do your taxes yourself, this one is your go-to. Plus, if you are filing the primary return or child tax, it also has a free filing program.
#2 All-inclusive tax filing
The tax filing process with Turbotax is exhaustive. It includes all the sections that you might be availing in detail. When you get started with the process, you have an option to choose from various areas that you need to file. It also has an elaborate list of tax deductions, and you can select whichever tax deductions or rebates apply to you for filling in at a later stage.
Once you choose the sessions, you need to fill them in one after another, thereby making the process easy to understand one thing at a time.
#3 Different pricing packages
Based on your requirements, you can choose from various plans available on Turbotax. The product differentiates the pricing by offering multiple tax sections, deductions, and your financial and employment situation. If you are filing the primary return, there are no extras in there; you can quickly get it done with the help of a free filing option. You can also upgrade to Turbotax deluxe, Turbotax premier, or self-employed package, allowing you to add service features over and above the applicable tax sections.
#4 Simple Process
The Turbotax tax filing system is relatively simple and allows even a beginner to file your taxes on your own without much confusion. Moreover, if you need, you can get your questions answered by the experts or even seek advice on the matters as and when required.
The process starts with a simple but in-depth question and answers session. This interview is handy to personalize the products per your need, and then you can select from the tax sections that are relevant to you. Once that’s done, you can add details to those sections and complete the filing. This filing can then be reviewed with the audit assistance feature, and you are all set. It is as simple as that. For any beginner or otherwise, it makes filing easy and less cumbersome.
#5 Integration of other applications
As per the earlier discussed details, we know that the software has various pricing plans, and different add-on services are available with those plans. One of those services allows you to integrate your books and documents with the products. While filing your taxes, you can upload your documents in the software, saving you a ton of time. Now, for instance, if you have the self-employed package and use quick books, which is also a product by Intuit, you can sync the products, and it is readily available on the TurboTax software, again saving you a lot of time in the process.
#6 Expert guidance
This is one of the best features available on the TurboTax platform. You can get audit assistance once you file your tax return with this. Moreover, you can also get an add-on service for live expert advice with your plan and get your questions answered in no time from the experts.
Alternatively, you can also get help resolving your queries from the TurboTax support via the community or chat option.
Pro & Cons for TurboTax
Now that we have gone through the product’s significant features, it’s time to weigh in the product based on its merits and demerits. Let’s take a look at important points that may impact your decision regarding the TurboTax software.
- Smooth User experience
The user interface for TurboTax is smooth and easy to understand. It has one of the most user-friendly interface designs compared to its competitors in the market. It is not made unnecessarily complicated, and there is only one thing to do at a time, making the process easy to follow and thorough.
- Free filing option
Turbotax offers a free filing option for simple tax filings. You can avail of the free version if you qualify for the same, which means if you come under any of the below mentioned three categories:
- If you make $39000 or less
- If you are in military service and make $72000 or less
- If you qualify for Earned Income Credit
- Exhaustive Q&A interview
Turbotax has a detailed questions and answers section before starting the filing process. It helps you personalize the options for tax filing. Then you can go bout selecting the areas that apply to you and file the information in detail with the tax sections.
- Expert help
Turbotax expert support is one of its more prominent features. You can get your tax return evaluated with audit assistance and resolve any questions or queries you might have with this feature. You can go ahead to the TurboTax support page and feed your question in the support community to get your questions answered or opt-in to get the add-on expert assistance service available for live support. This way, you can get your queries resolved in no time.
- In-depth coverage of tax sections
The TurboTax filing process elaborately covers all the tax filing sections and deductions. You can avail of the deductions by selecting the relevant areas and filling in the required details.
- Personalized explanation of tax calculations
Based on your filing, TurboTax software calculates your tax for you. It makes your job easy and quick. The TurboTax software guarantees a maximum refund with thorough tax deductions sections and an in-depth tax filing system built with the software.
- Guaranteed maximum refund
Turbotax plans cover an extensive list of tax deductions that a taxpayer can avail of in the filing process. This allows the users to apply for all the deductions they might be eligible for.
- Concrete user data security
Turbotax deals with users’ data every day, so it only makes sense for the product to have sound measures to ensure that said data remains safe and secure, which the software does without a shred of doubt. The TurboTax security measures make a compelling point in justifying the product’s pricing in the market.
When compared to the available competitive products in the market, TurboTax is a little expensive with similar pricing plans. While some may agree that the features are in justification of the pricing model at which the product is available. It is still pricey and offers the same amount of benefits as any other product.
However, you can avail of a discount on the price depending upon when you are purchasing the product. Usually, the discounts are higher at the beginning of the year and go on decreasing as and when we approach the tax filing deadline.
- Misguiding answers in online communities by outsiders
The TurboTax support page has an option to communicate in the community section and get your queries resolved there. But, there have been a few instances when the queries were not answered by n authorized person and might have been misguiding to the person that raised it in the first place. This seriously affects the product’s support quality and the customer’s filing process.
- The mobile app needs work
While the TurboTax website interface and platform have left the users with nothing to complain about regarding ease of use, the mobile app hasn’t been able to get the same done here. It definitely requires a little work to be done before it can mtch the user expectation, which comes with the pricing plan at which they are offering the service.
Price & Specifications
Model 1: Free version
Turbotax offers users a free version for simple tax filing returns. You can avail of the said version if you are eligible and fit in any of the below said categories:
- If you make $39000 or less in a year
- If you are in the military service and earn less than $72000
- If you are qualified for Earned Income Credit
Model 2: TurboTax Deluxe
This plan includes all the tax sections and deductions you might need while filing your tax returns. The plan costs $119 for the basic filing under this plan. In addition to the base filing, each state tax return costs an additional $49. This is the least expensive amongst the paid upgrades of TurboTax.
It offers a deductible service that helps you organize your donations and correctly value the same in your filing process. In addition to simple expenses, it goes through more than 350 sources to cover all tax deductions and credits.
Model 3: TurboTax Premier
This premier plan of TurboTax software is useful only if you have investments. It accounts for rental income and related tax implications. TurboTax searches 400 sources to vail deductions and credits with the premier plan. Additionally, you can automatically import your investment data from the institutions recognized on the platform.
This plan costs you $169 for basic filing and an additional $49 for each additional state tax return filed. It offers cryptocurrency transaction reporting which you can also directly upload into a CSV file from your service provider. Finally, it also provides expert guidance determining the type of investor category you fall into and also properly reviewing your return ahead of filing.
Model 4: Self-employed package
This is the most expensive amongst the TurboTax pricing plans. This plan is specifically for small business owners and sole proprietors. The cost of this plan is $199, with an additional $49 for each state tax return. This version allows you to import files from quick books to simplify your filing and save a lot of time.
This version searches through more than 500 sources for deductions and credits. Moreover, it also suggests other benefits that can be availed for your business to make sure you get the maximum benefit for the business.
- H&R Block Tax Software
H&R Block Tax Software is a tax prep service software that competes with TurboTax. They are pretty similar in offering packages and pricing techniques based on the complexity of filing. Both the software offer a free filing option for the simple filings and the need for an upgrade if there is a need or anything more than that.
The business package for both of them is the most expensive one out of all of their boxes, but TurboTax is more pricey than its competitor.
H&R Block Tax Software offers CD/download option as well as an in-person filing option. Whereas TurboTax is entirely online and doesn’t have any in-person filing option. However, lately, it has introduced a feature wherein you can meet n expert one-on-one via live video call and file your tax return entirely with the help of the said expert.
TaxAct is another alternative available in the market in place of TurboTax. The significant difference between the products is that TaxAct offers tax prep services at a more affordable rate than TurboTax. Both the players have the pricing plan broken up similarly, but Taxact doesn’t have any offline filing feature.
While comparing both the products against each other, it is essential to point out that user experience with TurboTax has been rated higher than its opponent. It is known for providing a superior expert assistance service.
- Jackson Hewitt
Jackson Hewitt is also a comparable alternative for tx prep. It’s known for the simplicity of pricing with the one-size-fits-all approach. It has a single pricing plan applicable for each taxpayer. Hence, if you need a simple tax filing, you might benefit from TurboTax free filing instead of Jackson Hewitt. Whereas, with the upgrades, you need to do a cost-benefit analysis based on your requirements and the package that s applicable to you.
Jackson Hewitt has a CD/download as well as an in-person filing option available while TurboTax the most you can get is one-on-one expert assistance via video call to file your tax return entirely.
Is there any discount on TurboTax?
Based on what time you are availing of the software services, you can also be eligible for discounts on the purchase. If you decide to buy the software early in the year, you might qualify for higher discounts. As and when we ner the tax filing deadline, the discounts on the product goes down considerably.
If you plan to file your taxes on your own, you can avail Turbotax support option whenever the need be. The product offers audit assistance, but in addition to that, you can also get expert assistance by calling us at 1-800-4-INTUIT (1-800-446-8848). Alternatively, you can also navigate to the Turbotax support page and ask questions in the community to get those resolved.
Concerning the covid-19 pandemic situation, the American government had introduced an American rescue plan with a third stimulus check. Under the American Resue Plan, each eligible tax-paying citizen is suitable for a stimulus payment of $1400 and an additional $1400 for each dependent filed on their return.
The Turbotax stimulus makes it easier to check payments that you are eligible to receive in seconds. You navigate to the Turbotax stimulus page and answer a few simple questions. Once you submit the answers, the software calculates the eligible amount. It’s pretty easy and quick.
Finally, we have already looked into the software and listed its benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions bout the software to get you started researching whether or not you should opt for the same.
1: Is TurboTax completely free?
No. TurboTax has a free filing version for state and federal filing. Those filing the primary returns can use this version and file their returns free of cost. Also, if you are someone making $39000 or less in a year or if you qualify for Earned Income credit, you can use the free filing version of the product. Anyone who requires added features and services can upgrade to the paid versions—namely TurboTax deluxe, TurboTax premiere, and self-employed packages.
2: Is it worth paying for Turbo Tax?
TurboTax comes with many handy features that make it easy to file your tax returns, even for beginners. An excellent user interface, specific interview questions, in-depth exploration of each topic of income tax, and other add-on services, not to forget the expert help that they offer, are all charged accordingly. You get what you are charged for with TurboTax. Hence, it is safe to say that TurboTax provides your money’s worth if you decide to go for any of the paid versions.
3: How can I get Turbo Tax for free?
If you are filing for tax as a primary taxpayer with no additional requirements. You can easily avail of TurboTax for free with $0 for state and federal filing. You can take benefit of the said free version in three basic conditions:
- If you make $39000 or less in a year
- If you serve in the military and earn $72000 or less per year
- If you qualify for the Earned Income credit
4: Is Turbo Tax owned by the IRS?
No. TurboTax is designed and owned by Intuit. But, Intuit has been under debate for some time regarding the extensive lobbying against IRS.
5: What is a TurboTax card?
TurboTax card is used for direct deposits before and gets your pa up to 2 days before your pay day and 4 days before the benefits day. You can reload the cash limits to the card as and when required and use them. It’s ready to use within minutes but reload charges may apply. You can get started by applying on the website or mobile app. In case of any questions or queries, you can TurboTax direct deposit hotline at (800) 619-0901.
6: Is TurboTax-free for seniors?
No. TurboTax does not have any specific offering for senior citizens. However, if you satisfy any of the requirements mentioned for the free version of TurboTax, you can avail of the free filing version to file taxes for free.