TurboTax Tax Software
TurboTax headlines our list of the best online tax software. It offers a great user experience and a mobile app is as good as the online version. The customer support and learning features are the best in the tax return software industry.
Although it is a little more costly than some of its competitors, Turbo Tax offers simplicity, which is something that most people are keen to benefit from when it comes to filing tax returns. Even those who have little knowledge of tax laws or little experience of filing taxes should have no problem using this software.
The TurboTax interface delivers a rewarding user experience, allowing you to prepare you taxes online in a smooth and logical manner. Even if you are intimidated by the prospect of working on your taxes, you'll feel relaxed and confident with TurboTax as it guides you through the preparation and filing process. Even newbies to online tax software will be comfortable with this great online tax software product.
Free Filing for Simple Taxes
If you have a very simple tax return that can be filed with 1040EZ/A, you can file both federal and state taxes free with the TurboTax free edition called AbsoluteZero. If you made less than $100,000 for the tax year, did not sell investments, do not own a home or rental property and don't own a business, you can use this free version. Most tax software products offer a free version for simple tax returns, figuring that at some point your finances become more complex and you will need a paid version of their tax preparation software. The difference with TurboTax is that you can file state taxes for free as well as federal, a perk offered by very few online tax software products.
Superior Learning Resources
TurboTax backs up their products with the industry's best tax return learning resources. Users have access to a knowledge base, forum, glossary and video tutorials. There are thousands of questions and answers from the TurboTax community at your fingertips to help with the stickiest of tax return questions and problems.
TurboTax offers three versions of its paid tax preparation software, The Deluxe, Premier and Home & Business editions. Each is targeted at taxpayers with specific financial and tax scenarios to best help them prepare and e-file their taxes.
The Deluxe Edition is intended to help maximize tax deductions for people who have a relatively straightforward tax situation. The deduction finder tool searches for more than 350 tax deductions and credits to get you the biggest possible tax refund. It helps homeowners figure their mortgage interest and property tax deductions. The life changes tool allows you to garner deductions related to life changes like the birth of a child or selling a home. The ItsDeductible tool tracks your charitable donations. You can contact live on-screen help with this version of TaxTurbo. The Deluxe edition costs $34.99 for federal filing, and an additional $36.99 for state filing. The CD/Download version costs $59.99
TurboTax Premier edition is best for those with investments and rental property. It automatically imports investment information from thousands of participating financial institutions. It includes a tool for accurate reporting of sales of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investments along with financial gains or losses. Premier guides you through maximizing deductions from refinancing your home for such items as points and appraisal fees. There is also a step-by-step tool for using the schedule E to report gains or losses on any rental properties you might own. Premier also includes all the functionality of the Deluxe version. Premier from TurboTax costs $54.99 for federal filing, and an additional $36.99 for state filing. The CD/download version costs $89.99.
The Home & Business edition of TurboTax is aimed at the self-employed and small business owners. It guides you through the Schedule C (profit or loss from business or profession), allowing the full range of business deductions. The vehicle tax deduction is covered, with help determining whether to base your deduction on mileage or actual expenses. There is also a tool guiding you through asset depreciation. You can also prepare and print employee W-2 forms and contractor 1099 forms from this edition. The TurboTax Home&Office edition costs $79.99 for federal e-filing, and an additional $36.99 for state e-filing. The CD/download version is available for $99.99.
Outstanding Mobile App
Do you taxes on your favorite Android or iOS mobile device with the feature-rich mobile app from TurboTax. It offers all the functionality of the online version, and can handle simple and very complex tax returns. The app guides you through the tax return process with a series of queries and steers you through the deduction discovery process. If you run into problems you can speak with an agent via on-screen video help.
Additional Perks with TurboTax
As you work through your return, TurboTax provides visual warnings via their audit-risk meter if you are working on an item likely to trigger and audit. Tips are available to correct these errors, steering you away from audit risk.
TurboTax provides industry-leading deduction discovery tools that you can use manually or with the help of their EasyGuides that walk you through applicable deductions. You take deductions reducing your tax bill based on your home, family, running a business, owning rental property, education, charitable contributions and the like.
For those in the armed services, TurboTax provides a specialized military edition to help guide you through your tax return. Discounts are available and deductions specific to the military are included.
Items TurboTax Lacks
The company has no network of retail tax stores where you can talk face-to-face to a tax professional. Some companies such as H&R Block offer this option. Also, TurboTax products are priced on the high end of the scale for this industry.
Turbo Tax also offers excellent support levels, so if you run into any issues you will be able to contact representatives by phone or chat. In addition to support staff able to handle general tax questions, the help staff available via phone includes licensed enrolled agents, tax attorneys and certified public accountants.
The website and software itself also contains plenty of advice and information to provide assistance. Consumer reviews are very good on a number of review sites, which includes Top Consumer Reviews, Knoji.com, Yelp, and Viewpoints amongst others.
Verdict - Superb
Most people are keen to benefit from ease and convenience when it comes to filing their tax returns, and with this software these are just a couple of the key benefits that you will be able to enjoy. Yes it costs a bit more, but it's simply the best.