TurboTax Advantage Cost

Extra savings up to $15 with TurboTax discount

TurboTax offers a simple way to do your taxes. All you have to do is answer a few quick questions about your life and sit back and relax, and TurboTax will do the math for you. TurboTax’s calculations are guaranteed to be 100% accurate, and they’re up-to-date with the latest tax laws, so you can be confident that your taxes will be done right.
Price reduction Total savings up to $15
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A Familiar Format

Many personal tax preparation services still use a format similar to the one Intuit introduced for its desktop software products in 1993, and with good reason. It works beautifully, saving time, easing frustration, and dramatically reducing errors. Instead of shifting your attention between the Form 1040, related forms and schedules, IRS instructions, and third-party reference books, you go through the tax preparation screens one at a time in a logical order.

Though TurboTax originated this trend of using a wizard-based approach to tax preparation, the practice has evolved substantially over the years. The service alternates between stepping you through a Q&A and displaying a list of available tax topics. You provide an answer, click a button to advance to the next screen, and keep answering and clicking until the service says you’re done. Next, it combs through your return, lets you fix any problems, and helps you file or print the finished product after you pay for your federal (and state, if needed) returns.

You never have to look at an IRS form or schedule, because TurboTax and its competitors complete them for you in the background. What you do see is expert help in the form of simply worded explanations of tax concepts throughout the process.

TurboTax is right for you if: 

  • You want access to a tax professional on-demand.
  • You prefer to work with a tax preparation company you're familiar with.
  • You're eligible to use the free version of the software.

A Clean, Lean Look

TurboTax has pared down its user interface considerably over the years. It has an appealing look and provides access to the tools you need. A vertical navigation bar on the left divides the site into My Info, Federal, State, Review, and File. It also has links to other tax tools, including an outline of the site’s content and a searchable alphabetical list of tax forms and schedules. Here you can flag a page if you want to remember it for later. You can access this same information from the main screen. This is similar to the bookmarks in TaxAct. 

I expected to see these links featured more prominently, since they’re important. As it is, you have to click the Tax Tools link at the bottom of the left vertical pane and then click the barely visible Tools button beneath it. I recommend you familiarize yourself with these areas, as they’re likely to come in handy.

The bulk of the screen is reserved for the site’s actual data-gathering questions and answers. Two icons (Search and Help) in the upper right open a pane that slides over from the right side and thankfully does not obstruct your view of the current page. More on Search and Help later. Another link opens a screen containing information about upgrading to TurboTax Deluxe Live. 

August 2022 offer: $15 off Live Basic with TurboTax coupon

Coupon will expire on 7/31/2022. Let the experts take care of your simple tax reports with the Live Basic plan that you can get with $15 discount using this TurboTax coupon.
Price reduction $15 coupon
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TurboTax software pricing

The cost of software is based on the complexity of the return. If you don’t have a simple tax return, you’ll need an upgraded version.

Here's a rundown of TurboTax's software

Here's a rundown of TurboTax's software costs:

Why is TurboTax charging me to file?

That is the service charge of the third party processor who receives the federal tax refund from the IRS, deducts the TurboTax account fees and their service charge.

How much does TurboTax take out of your refund?

Were you charged refund processing or refund transfer fees (typically $39.99)? If you pay for TurboTax out of your refund rather than a credit card, you’ll typically be charged a fee of $39.99.

TurboTax FAQs

Let’s review some of the most common questions that you might be asking.

Does TurboTax have a free edition?

For very simple tax situations, TurboTax’s Free Edition will let you file federal and state taxes for free. In many other situations, however, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to file your returns.

Since you’re reading my blog, I hope that you already have some solid financial investments in place. If that’s the case, you probably won’t be able to use TurboTax Free Edition (for the reasons I explained above).

Which TurboTax should I use?

It depends on your personal tax situation. If you have one employer, limited investment income, and don’t have a need to itemize deductions, the Free Edition is probably going to be sufficient.

If you’d like to capitalize on itemized deductions, you may want to upgrade to the Deluxe edition. If you traded cryptocurrency within the last year or own a rental property you collect income from, you might want to upgrade to the Premier plan.

If you’re self-employed or are a member of a multi-member LLC, you may be interested in ponying up for the Self-Employed plan or the Business plan. And if you want to communicate with a certified tax expert, you’ll probably want to consider one of the TurboTax Live plans.

Do you have to purchase TurboTax every year?

Yes. You have to pay to file your taxes with TurboTax each year—unless you have a simple tax situation and can use the free edition. Further, if you qualify for the Free File program (more on that in a bit), you won’t have to pay.

What is the income limit for free TurboTax?

If you earn under $34,000 per year, you might qualify for the TurboTax Free File program. If you served as active duty military, are filing your taxes with a military-issued W-2 and earned under $66,000, you’ll most likely qualify for the free file program, too.

Finally, if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, you might qualify for TurboTax Free File.

Comparing The Online “Premium” Tax Filing Software

The Premium pricing tier is the tier that supports “investors”. All three software packages support stock and crypto trading, and they have built-in calculators for landlords.

What do you get with TurboTax?

  • Guidance for important tax forms. TurboTax tells you what you need to enter to do your taxes based on your unique circumstances. Get step-by-step guidance and directions for most tax forms.
  • Mobile version. Work on your taxes on the mobile or web versions, or switch back and forth. This isn’t available for the desktop version.
  • Easy tax form import and upload. Import many tax forms directly from banks and investment companies. With the mobile app, you can take a photo and upload supported forms. You can also upload your tax return from last year.
  • Detailed help resources. Help and support resources that answer most questions about your taxes with simple and easy-to-follow advice.
  • Option to upgrade for live support. Pay extra and you can talk to an expert at any time in just a few clicks, or hand off your documents to a professional who can do everything for you.
  • Multiple ways to get your refund. You can get your federal refund deposited into your bank account, sent as a check, or loaded onto a prepaid debit card. TurboTax also offers refund advance loans at the beginning of tax season.
  • Tax return storage. TurboTax will store your finished tax returns in your account for up to seven years.
  • Accuracy guarantee. TurboTax will pay IRS penalties and fees related to calculation errors. If it’s determined that you entered information improperly, the guarantee does not apply.
  • Access to Credit Karma’s new checking account. The Credit Karma Money Spend account is fee-free and has no minimum deposit.

TurboTax Live

If you’d like the added peace of mind of working with a real tax expert—but without having to leave your home or office—you might want to look into TurboTax Live.

There are two versions of TurboTax Live, which we’ll explore next.

TurboTax Live – Assist & Review

With the TurboTax Live Assist & Review plan, you’ll have unlimited on-screen access to a certified tax expert. That individual can answer any questions you might have and give your return a final review before it’s submitted.

TurboTax Live – Assist & Review pricing is as follows:

  • Basic returns: $79.99
  • Deluxe returns: $119.99
  • Premier returns: $169.99
  • Self-Employed returns: $199.99

TurboTax Live – Full Service

As the name suggests, with the TurboTax Live – Full-Service plan, a certified tax expert will prepare and file your taxes for you. Phew!

TurboTax Live – Full-Service pricing plans are as follows:

  • Basic returns: $129.99
  • Deluxe returns: $199.99
  • Premier returns: $259.99
  • Self-Employed returns: $289.99

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