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Published: Mar 27, 2023 14 min read
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Intuit TurboTax, also referred to simply as TurboTax, may be the most well-known option for preparing and filing taxes online, via mobile app or through its downloadable software.

With an excellent user interface and comprehensive tax assistance, TurboTax is great for first-time taxpayers and experts alike. This review breaks down the pros and cons of the online version of TurboTax and will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

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Best for Investors

TurboTax offers multiple tax filing services to help individual filers, including serious investors with all tax situations. Whether you’ve got stock or cryptocurrency transactions to report, TurboTax allows you to import either or both types for maximum accuracy.

TurboTax has also partnered with cryptocurrency accounting software and exchanges such as CoinLedger and Cointoken for easier filing.

TurboTax Tax Software Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Reporting for investment earnings
  • Simplified tax document importing
  • Automatically import W-2 information
Cons
  • One of the more expensive tax preparation services
  • Tax expert assistance costs extra
  • Final cost to file may be an unwelcome surprise

Pros explained

Many view TurboTax as the best tax software and online filing platform available. Some of the biggest pros to filing with TurboTax include its easy-to-use interface, reporting for investment earnings, simplified tax document importation and automatic importing of W-2 information.

Easy-to-use interface

TurboTax is one of the most user-friendly tax filing options on the market. The desktop software, mobile app and online version provide straightforward instructions for adding your information and uploading necessary tax documents. With TurboTax Online, you can continue any tax filing started on your mobile device on your desktop or vice versa.

TurboTax’s easy-to-use interface makes filing your taxes more streamlined. TurboTax helps you fill out your tax returns by asking simple questions that guide you through the filing process. When you need help understanding definitions or procedures, TurboTax offers clear guides, examples, informative pop-ups and a quick search function.

Reporting for investment earnings

TurboTax provides efficient tools and support for investors who need help with complicated tax matters. With the TurboTax Premier version, investors can follow a relatively straightforward filing process, even if they have large amounts of investment income or rental properties that could contribute to complex tax scenarios.

TurboTax covers all levels of investments, including:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Bitcoin
  • Other cryptocurrencies
  • Employee stock plans
  • Other assets

Tailored to fit investors’ needs, TurboTax provides automatic import options for investment data from thousands of financial institutions — including banks, brokerage accounts and cryptocurrency accounts — minimizing the time it would take to manually input individual data as well as the potential for human error.

Simplified tax document importing

You can import your tax data easily. Once you log in to the software, select File and then New Tax Return. Choosing Import will allow you to select a financial institution and import your tax documents directly.

Importing tax documents is a quick way for TurboTax to gather information from your W-2, 1099 or 1098 forms. It also relieves the stress of worrying about what you need to file taxes.

Automatically import W-2 information

Importing information from your W-2 is easy with TurboTax’s W-2 Snap and Autofill features. You can take a picture of your W-2 form with a phone or tablet and upload the photo to the tax software. TurboTax will automatically scan the document and complete all the necessary information on your tax return.

Cons explained

TurboTax has many benefits, but not everything about the service is perfect. Downsides include higher costs compared to competitor pricing and the potential additional cost of utilizing a tax expert.

One of the more expensive tax preparation services

TurboTax software and online tax filing is one of the more costly options for do-it-yourself tax filing. With TurboTax’s free version, you can file federal and state taxes for free. However, if you need more features than the free version offers, you’ll need to opt for one of its paid levels, which can be more expensive than what’s offered by competitors.

For example, to file state taxes with any service except the TurboTax free file version, you’ll pay an additional $59 per state. This is higher than the $37 fee at H&R Block. Additionally, if you’re looking to use the TurboTax Basic software download, the price is $50, while the comparable option at H&R Block is priced at $44.95.

If you need more than the free option, the next level up for filing a federal return starts at $59, plus the $59 for state filing. That’s more than $50 higher than the rate at TaxAct, where the TurboTax Deluxe version costs $24.95 plus $39.95 per state return.

However, the earlier in the year you file, the more likely you can find a discount at TurboTax through a limited-time offer. These special discounts tend to disappear as the April tax deadline nears.

Tax expert assistance costs extra

TurboTax offers many free resources with tax questions and answers to help filers. They also have a paid service to help with more complicated matters.

TurboTax Live provides consultations with a tax professional who will review your return before you submit it. You may want to pay an extra fee to use TurboTax Live if you have more complicated questions like how to file back taxes.

TurboTax also offers TurboTax Full Service for filers who want a hands-off approach. With Full Service, you won’t need to use TurboTax tax software yourself. Instead, TurboTax finds a qualified tax professional to prepare your taxes. Although this option is helpful in complex tax situations, you may be able to find a local tax expert for a lesser price.

Final cost to file may be an unwelcome surprise

Knowing which tier you fall into from the onset can be difficult. Some users who need to file complicated tax returns may find the cost of TurboTax worth it. Others with more straightforward situations may become frustrated after filling out their tax returns with the free version only to discover they need to pay and upgrade to continue.

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TurboTax Tax Software Offerings

You can choose from four versions of TurboTax when filing your taxes yourself without one-on-one help from a tax expert. The products vary in price and services: Free, Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed.

Free Edition

If you're trying to find out how to file taxes for free, TurboTax can help. TurboTax Free Edition is for filers who have simple tax returns.

According to the TurboTax website, a simple tax return covers the following:

  • W-2 income
  • IRS standard deduction
  • Earned Income Tax
  • Limited interest and dividend income
  • Child tax credits
  • Student loan interest deduction

The free version does not cover itemized deductions, stock sales, income made from rental properties, business or 1099-NEC income, unemployment income (on a 1099-G) or credits, deductions or income from other forms or schedules. If you're interested in filing your taxes for free, review the TurboTax Free Edition features first to ensure you won't need to upgrade later.

TurboTax Deluxe

TurboTax Deluxe includes all the free edition's features and offers filers more support. Deluxe scans over 350 possible tax deductions and credits to see if you qualify and help maximize your refund.

You can also use Deluxe if you have unemployment income, made charitable donations, paid child care expenses or have a health savings account.

TurboTax Premier

TurboTax Premier is mainly for investors who need to report investment income and income from rental properties. If you're an active investor in the stock market or cryptocurrency, this option will help maximize your tax refund.

Premier allows you to upload or import up to 4,000 crypto and 10,000 stock transactions, which is much easier and likely more accurate than manually entering all those transactions.

TurboTax Self-Employed

Intuit TurboTax Self-Employed is ideal for freelancers, small business owners and contractors. Self-Employed is the most expensive option, but you can use it to report personal and business income and expenses, investment income and income made on property rentals.

If you have done freelance work during the prior tax year, you can pay for this edition to maximize any deductions and receive your best tax refund.

Intuit TurboTax Tax Online Filing Pricing

Online tax filing at TurboTax varies in cost from free to $119, depending on the level of service you need.

  • TurboTax Free Edition: $0 to file both federal and state returns
  • TurboTax Deluxe: $59, plus $59 per state filing
  • TurboTax Premier: $89, plus $59 per state filing
  • TurboTax Self-Employed: $119, plus $59 per state filing

Intuit TurboTax Tax Software Pricing

TurboTax offers software downloads that include the same benefits as its online packages, plus extra e-Files. For example, with TurboTax Basic, you can file up to five federal taxes.

Below you’ll find pricing and product details for TurboTax software.

Intuit TurboTax Basic

  • $50 for download or CD
  • Up to five federal e-files
  • State download at additional cost, e-file at $45 per state

Intuit TurboTax Deluxe

  • $80 for download or CD
  • Up to five federal e-files
  • One state download free, state e-file at $45 per state
  • Maximizes your deductions

Intuit TurboTax Premier

  • $115 for download or CD
  • Up to five federal e-files
  • One state download free, state e-file at $45 per state
  • Ideal for users with investments and rental properties

Intuit TurboTax Home & Business

  • $130 for download or CD
  • Up to five federal e-files
  • One state download free, state e-file at $45 per state
  • Ideal for bundling personal and self-employed

Intuit TurboTax Business

  • $190 for download or CD
  • Up to five federal e-files
  • State additional at $55 per state

Intuit TurboTax Tax Financial Stability

The software company Intuit owns TurboTax tax software, in addition to other brands including Mint, Credit Karma and Mailchimp — a major 2022 acquisition. Intuit’s annual report indicates strong revenue growth in 2022.

In May 2022, Intuit agreed to pay $141 million to settle a suit regarding TurboTax deception claims. TurboTax expected only minimal business impact.

Still, Moody’s reports a stable outlook for Intuit, with a long-term rating of A3, while S&P affirms its A- rating. Both indicate expected continuing financial stability.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information, we don’t claim this information is complete or fully up to date. As always, we recommend you do your own research as well.

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Intuit TurboTax Tax Software Accessibility

TurboTax is accessible through desktop software, a mobile app and an online version.

Availability

TurboTax is available for all tax situations and can be used to file in all 50 states. The free edition is open to all and covers a small range of simple tax situations. Investors, business owners and self-employed filers will need to pay more to access a higher tier of tax support.

Contact Information

TurboTax provides a Help section for software-related technical issues or basic questions like how to track your tax refund.

You can use the TurboTax Assistant feature to find articles that answer your tax questions. For more specific problems, you can chat online or call the TurboTax customer service team at 1-800-446-8848.

For complex tax issues, TurboTax Live provides advice from professional tax agents or accountants at a higher cost. TurboTax also offers a Full Service option where tax professionals handle your taxes for a fee.

User experience

TurboTax provides a clear-cut system of questions to guide you through inputting your tax data. Tools such as a tax calculator and charitable donations tracker can help visualize some insights.

TurboTax Tax Software Customer Satisfaction

Customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website give TurboTax a low rating of 1 out of 5 stars for customer satisfaction. TurboTax product reviews on its website rate the service 4.6 out of 5 stars. The TurboTax app also received 4.8 out of 5 on the Apple App Store and 4.4 out of 5 on Google Play.

TurboTax Tax Software FAQ

What TurboTax features cost extra?

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Outside of the TurboTax Free Edition, you will need to pay for any additional features. The Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed editions all come at an extra cost.

Using help options beyond the basic support features, such as TurboTax Live and TurboTax Full Service, also costs extra.

What's the difference between TurboTax online and TurboTax software?

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TurboTax online is available without downloading and installing any software. You can access your tax return from any device that connects to the internet. Your tax data is saved on secure servers so you can complete your tax return on multiple devices without worrying about losing progress. Each edition of TurboTax Online — both the free and paid versions — includes the ability to e-file one federal tax return and one state return.

If you purchase TurboTax desktop software, you will download and install it on your personal computer. You don't need to connect to the internet to use TurboTax desktop software because it stores your tax data on your hard drive. With the software option, you can prepare and print unlimited federal tax returns and one state return.

The software allows e-filing for up to five federal tax returns. TurboTax desktop products include Basic for $40, Deluxe for $70, Premier for $105, Home & Business for $120, and Business for $180. State returns require a $20 fee per state.

Who is TurboTax tax software best for?

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All tax filers can use TurboTax tax software to receive their maximum tax refund. TurboTax is perfect for people with complicated tax situations who need top-level assistance, including investors and traders dealing with stocks, rentals and cryptocurrency.

If you need to file multiple state returns, you must pay $49 per state with the online software.

Can I access previous years' tax returns on TurboTax?

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TurboTax allows you to access the past seven years of your tax returns stored on its platform. To access previous tax returns, log in with the TurboTax ID you filed with previously.

How We Evaluated TurboTax Tax Software

To evaluate TurboTax’s tax preparation and filing software offerings, we considered the following factors:

  • Software offerings
  • Cost
  • User interface and ease of use
  • Document importing features
  • Customer reviews
  • Available assistance options

Summary of Money’s TurboTax Tax Software Review

TurboTax is an excellent option for investors and anyone with a complex tax situation willing to pay for peace of mind. All editions of TurboTax are easy to use and understand, with plenty of help options available.

Tax filers who’ve used TurboTax before may appreciate being able to easily access and carry over relevant information from previous years’ filings and the ease of the TurboTax ID login. Still, its relatively high pricing compared to similar tax prep software means you might find a better price shopping around.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, we don’t claim this information is complete or fully up to date. Prices are subject to change. As always, we recommend you do your own research as well.

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