Turbo Tax – Comprehensive 2021 Review
TurboTax went from a complete obscurity to a gigantic business – all in about a 10 year timespan. While there is a disclaimer to warn you that TurboTax won’t be held liable if you make tax mistakes, this software allows you to file your federal taxes (as well as state taxes) – all from the comfort of your own couch.
The TurboTax free edition even allows you to do all of this for free. However, it should be noted that if you have more complex tax needs, you will have to pay for one of the upgraded versions of the software.
TurboTax’s Price – How Does It Compare?
TurboTax is not the cheapest tax software on the market – not by a long shot. This is especially true once you factor it the cost of the state return.
While you won’t get the cheapest software by buying TurboTax – you will get the best quality. However, we still recommend utilizing a qualified tax professional to do your taxes, as they will be able to find many more deductions and legal loopholes you can utilize.
TurboTax – The Interface
While TurboTax may be one of the most expensive options out there, it also has one of the easiest-to-use interfaces. If you can read, you can easily file your taxes with TurboTax – it’s that simple.
Even complex concepts are explained easily, and it’s pretty much impossible to get lost when filing. We highly recommend TurboTax for beginners (as well as experts) – though we still think it is always best to have a qualified tax expert aid you in preparing your income taxes.
TurboTax is the ultimate choice, however, if you don’t know what you’re doing. The interface is so easy to use, that the only comparison is what it was like when Apple introduced the mouse – suddenly, everyone could use a computer.
With TurboTax, their biggest breakthrough was making the process of filing taxes palatable to absolutely anyone. The ItsDeductible feature even makes deductions easy – a true feat.
You have time to do a final review before you submit your documents to the IRS, and you can even use their mobile app, as well as important all of your relevant data from last year’s return.
What Platforms Does TurboTax Work On?
In addition to being easy to use, TurboTax lets you access your filing anywhere. You can start it on your phone, and then finish it on your tablet, if you so desire.
TurboTax – Features
The best feature of TurboTax is simply the main feature – an easy-to-use filing interface. Another cool option is the ‘show my refund so far’ feature.
If you pay for any of the upgrades, you also get cool features like an automatic deduction finder. You can also easily import W-2s, as well as 1099s – and even take pictures of them and have the data automatically transferred to your return.
TurboTax – If You’re Being Audited
Being audited is not fun, but TurboTax even provides help for dreaded tax situations like these. By default, TurboTax will provide advice on what to do to prepare for an audit.
But if you want someone from TurboTax to interface directly with the IRS for you, that requires upgrading to another paid tier. Having a qualified tax preparer deal with the IRS is well worth it (in our opinion) – so this is an easy $50 that you’ll definitely want to spend.
TurboTax – If You’re Getting A Refund
This is the best case scenario. When it comes to tax refunds, this can be issued numerous ways via TurboTax.
Most people choose the direct deposit into a bank account option, but you can get savings bonds, put your total towards next year’s refund, or even load it onto a TurboTax Visa card. We recommend putting it towards next year’s account, as this is one less headache to worry about when it comes to next year’s IRS filing.
TurboTax – Technical Support And Filing Help
If you are doing your tax filing with TurboTax, you will be happy to know that there is lots of help and support available. This is crucial if you are on a tight tax deadline – and is doubly important if you’re foregone hiring a real tax expert to help you file.
QuickBooks is also integrated with TurboTax – so you can send all of your information right into this tax software. Of course, this costs extra, so be prepared to pay for the convenience.
TurboTax vs. The Competition
While TurboTax is undoubtedly the market leader when it comes to home tax software, there is also lots of competition. H&R Block is a main competitor, and their pricing is better than TurboTax’s.
e-File is another good option, but it doesn’t have as many features (or as much help and support) as TurboTax. Tax prep is never easy, and it’s pretty important to have good support if you need it.
TurboTax costs more than the competition, but even the free version offers more than most other competitors. We still recommend getting your tax advice from a qualified professional, but TurboTax offers a good online alternative – especially for filers with simple tax needs.
Other Factors To Consider
Online tax preparation can be appealing – at least initially. And a free file program sounds like a good deal.
However, we still recommend utilizing a qualified tax professional for all of your income tax preparation. This is because taxpayers can save a lot more money by allowing a qualified professional to complete their tax forms.
While sometimes this may only amount to $50 – often by answering some simple questions, a qualified accountant may be able to help you save thousands. TurboTax products are not bad, per se, but we just think handling your own tax forms results in poorer results – at least generally speaking.
The Bottom Line On Turbo Tax
If you are a United States taxpayer – Turbo Tax may be a good option. We still recommend utilizing a qualified professional – but if your taxes are very simple, TurboTax is a quick and easy way to file them.
A CPA will usually be able to find more deductions than TurboTax, however – and they will also be far more experienced in filing a tax return and in dealing with the IRS. For these reasons, we recommend you opt to go with a qualified tax pro – instead of software.
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