In this article, we will try to present an honest review of 1 of the great online software the TurboTax.
Since its inception more than 25 years ago, Intuit’s TurboTax family of personal tax preparation software and services has established a reputation for excellence.
This year’s product line follows in the footsteps of previous years. TurboTax is well-known for providing an excellent user experience, but it also has a lot of substance as well as style.
This product provides comprehensive coverage of tax topics in an easy-to-follow interview format, and its customer service is excellent as well. While it is the most expensive option among our eight contenders, it is also the best, and it receives our Editor’s Choice award for the 2020 tax year, despite its higher price.
• TurboTax is constantly being improved by Intuit in order to make it as fast, friendly, and comprehensive as possible for its users.
These new versions now include proactive COVID guidance to assist you with related issues such as unemployment and stimulus payments, as well as other improvements. In addition, they have increased the number of tax deductions and credits that the online solutions search for to more than 400 from the previous 300.
TurboTax Live Full Service is another new offering from the company. A dedicated tax expert will be assigned to you, and he or she will prepare your return based on the tax documents you upload. H&R Block offers a service that is similar. It can also help you in your tax benefits purposes.
What is the procedure for using TurboTax?
It guides you through the tax filing process step by step and makes the process simple by focusing on your lifestyle rather than your taxes. TurboTax is available for both Mac and Windows taxes.
Instead of asking you about your tax bracket, TurboTax asks you about your income, which includes:
• Dependents, such as children
• Donations to charitable organizations
TurboTax uses this information to determine which tax bracket you fall into and which forms you will need to complete in order to file your taxes. TurboTax ensures that you receive your refund as quickly as possible by filing your returns electronically.
TurboTax takes care of all of the math involved in preparing your tax returns, and it guarantees 100 percent accuracy.
Before transmitting your returns, the company employs its CompleteCheck software to conduct a thorough review to ensure that nothing has been overlooked.
As soon as you have completed and submitted your taxes, TurboTax will send you an email confirmation, and you can track the progress of your filing and tax return on the TurboTax app.
Features that are convenient
You have the option of switching from another service provider: TurboTax accepts tax returns from H&R Block, Credit Karma, Liberty Tax, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer in the form of electronic PDFs (rather than hard copies) that have been scanned into the software.
Certain tax documents can be imported automatically: Depending on whether your employer has partnered with TurboTax, you may be able to automatically import W-2 information from your employer; however, you can also take a picture of your W-2 and upload it in order to transfer the information to your return.
You can import certain 1099s, and the Self-Employed version also allows you to upload 1099-NECs from clients via photo, as well as import income and expenses from Square, Uber, and Lyft.
Calculator for charitable contributions: Several packages, including the Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed, include ItsDeductible.
This feature — as well as a standalone mobile app — is helpful for quickly determining the tax deduction value of donated clothing, household goods, and other items.
Platform mobility is defined as follows: The TurboTax website and app, like many other providers, allow you to access and work on your tax return from any device: on your computer via the website, or on your phone or tablet via the app.
How much does TurboTax set you back?
TurboTax offers four different plans, each with its own set of benefits and services:
In the event that you have a straightforward tax return, TurboTax does not charge you a fee to use its services. Income from W-2s, the earned income tax credit, and the child tax credit are all covered under this plan.
• Deluxe plan ($60*): If you choose the Deluxe plan, TurboTax will search for more than 350 possible tax deductions and credits. This will assist you in maximizing your deductions for your mortgage or real estate taxes.
• Premier plan ($90*): The Premium plan includes investment income reporting services for taxpayers who own stocks, bonds, employee stock purchase plans, and other types of investments. Customers can also benefit from one-on-one time with a TurboTax specialist under this plan.
• Self-Employed plan ($120*): TurboTax created the Self-Employed plan to help you track your personal and business income and expenses on a single spreadsheet. You will have access to a TurboTax specialist who will search for available deductions specific to your industry.
A Spectacular Personality
Every tax preparation service has its own distinct personality, which is comprised of a combination of its tone, user interface, and ability to guide you through its wizard without causing you to become disoriented or frustrated.
It’s easy to see TurboTax’s personality from the get-go, even before you start entering dollar amounts. It’s written in a conversational and friendly tone of voice.
This friendliness may appeal to you, especially if you’re nervous about filing your taxes or if this is your first time using a tax preparation website.
Other users may simply want to get on with their business. In any case, the extra chumminess isn’t overdone, and it won’t cause you to lose your balance (usually).
Providing Specifics and Specifications
If you were to work your way through the IRS Form 1040, TurboTax Deluxe would take a path that is very similar to yours. It asks first about income, then about deductions and credits, and finally about other tax situations.
As you move through the income section, TurboTax asks you a series of questions about any income you may have–some of which will force you to upgrade to a more expensive version of the software.
You simply need to respond affirmatively or negatively to the queries on this page. The programme then displays a list of all of the income topics that may be relevant to you.
It is possible to request a copy of the entire list if you believe something is missing, which includes Wages and Salaries, Unemployment, as well as Interest, and Dividends (if applicable).
The questions posed by TurboTax are answered by entering data into blank fields or selecting options from drop-down lists of options.
Beginning Your Tax Preparation with TurboTax
TurboTax assists you in selecting the most appropriate version for your 2021 taxes once you have created an account or signed in with an existing one.
It displays your various scenarios in which taxes may be affected (such as owning a home, having children, selling stock, or paying off student loans) and then recommends the best solution for you based on your circumstances.
The site asks you how you filed your taxes the previous year and provides instructions on how to import your data from TurboTax or another personal tax preparation website.
Then it asks you to indicate which life situations are applicable to you once more, and so on.
The questions posed by TurboTax are answered by entering data into blank fields or selecting options from drop-down lists of options.
To begin, you must answer several questions about your personal background on the TurboTax website, including your home address, Social Security number, and occupation, among several other questions.
If you are using TurboTax for the first time, you will be asked to provide answers to questions about your personal background on the TurboTax website, including your home address, Social Security number, and occupation.
You can also simply scan the bar code on the back of your driver’s license to have that information entered. If you have previously used TurboTax, this information will be entered for you automatically.
You’re now ready to move on to the meat of the site, which includes entering your income, identifying your deductions and credits, and dealing with any other tax-related issues that may arise.
If your employer allows it, you can import your W-2 form, or you can take a picture of your ID to have your information transferred to the site. Sometimes you have to click through a series of questions, and other times you have to fill out blank fields on a form.
A Sleek and Uncluttered Look
Over the years, TurboTax has made significant improvements to the usability of its user interface. It has a beautiful design while still providing access to the tools you require.
The site is divided into sections by a vertical toolbar on the left side of the screen, which includes My Info, Federal, State, Review, and File. You can also use this link to mark a page that needs to be addressed later on in the process.
This link is also available on the main screen, in a similar fashion to the bookmarks in TaxAct Deluxe. Because these are important tools, and because the site’s primary navigation tools are minimal, I had expected to see them featured more prominently on the page.
The site’s actual data-gathering questions and answers take up the majority of the screen’s space.
Two icons (Search & Help) in the upper-right corner open a pane that slides over from the right side of the screen and does not obstruct your view of the current page.
More on those in a moment. Another link takes you to another screen with information on how to upgrade to TurboTax Deluxe Live, which is a paid upgrade option. In comparison to Jackson Hewitt, TurboTax Deluxe makes much better use of available screen space.
Intuit Provides Assistance
When you prepared your taxes in the olden days, there was one advantage to following the official IRS instructions: it was more accurate. They were comprehensive in their coverage.
Although they may have been difficult to understand if you weren’t a tax preparer, the answer to your question was somewhere in there.
We couldn’t have anticipated that personal tax preparation websites would be so comprehensive. They’d crumble under the weight of the tax code, which is extremely heavy.
However, because the explanatory content on these sites has been rewritten and expanded numerous times over the years, it is usually simple to understand. TurboTax does a particularly good job in this area, particularly in terms of clarity, accessibility, and liveliness of presentation.
As it asks its questions, it frequently provides brief, simple explanations of tax-related topics. A large number of words and phrases are hyperlinks that lead to additional information-containing windows. Frequently, a question mark or a Learn More link will appear, which will open context-sensitive help in the right vertical pane of the screen.
TurboTax even makes educated guesses about what question you might have and directs you to related FAQs. Competing sites operate in a similar manner, but TurboTax and H&R Block Deluxe excel in this area.
Because H&R Block alters the content of the right vertical pane with each screen refresh, the information displayed there is always up to date and relevant to your current situation. In order for it to change, you must first click on a link in TurboTax.
Whenever you click on the question mark link at the top of a page, the TurboTax Assistant is launched in the corresponding window.
There are links to corresponding FAQs and other site-related information when you enter a question into this interactive tool, which is unique in its approach.
It communicates with you in a friendly manner and guides you through your query until you are completely satisfied. A tool similar to this is available from H&R Block Deluxe.
You can also get in touch with phone support (Spanish-speaking representatives are available).
Despite the fact that the TurboTax Assistant is effective, I found it to be both faster and more helpful to simply click on the Search link and enter a phrase or question. The vertical pane that appears, in addition to providing a link to the relevant data-entry page in TurboTax, contains articles and FAQs that may be of assistance in answering your question.
A large portion of this content comes directly from Intuit, but some of the responses come from members of TurboTax’s online community as well.
This means that you may receive an answer from Intuit employees, or you may receive a response from a non-professional who was visiting the community.
While in some cases, this can cause the list of search results to become cluttered, this is not the case with H&R Block Deluxe. The fact that these Q&As are now contained within TurboTax itself rather than on a linked website was something I was pleased to see.
TurboTax offers a variety of support options.
Listed below are the various ways by which you can obtain answers and guidance when filing your tax return with TurboTax.
Ways of obtaining assistance
• General guidance: A searchable knowledge base, forums, and video tutorials are all helpful resources for on-the-fly information gathering.
TurboTax Assistant, a chatbot, and a contact form are available to all users for technical access. • Users who pay for TurboTax have access to a TurboTax specialist.
• Human tax assistance on a one-to-one basis: If you purchase the TurboTax Live version, you can get live, on-screen tax advice from a tax professional, as well as a review of your entire tax return. A tax professional will answer written questions submitted by users within 24 hours of receiving the question and answering the question.
TurboTax Live is one of the most impressive customer support options available with TurboTax.
In addition to providing unlimited live tax advice throughout the year, it provides a one-on-one review with a tax professional before you file.
You can schedule an appointment with a tax professional or communicate with them on the fly using one-way video (you see them, but they see your screen only).
If you’re being audited,
Being audited is a terrifying experience, so it’s critical to understand what kind of support you’ll receive from your tax software. First and foremost, ensure that you understand the distinction between “support” and “defence.” Most providers’ audit support (also known as “assistance”) is typically limited to providing guidance on what to expect and how to prepare — that’s all.
Tax professionals will provide you with full representation before the Internal Revenue Service if you choose audit defence over compliance.
The free audit support provided by TurboTax will help you in understanding what is going on if you receive a dreaded letter regarding your 2021, 2020, or 2019 tax return; if TurboTax is not able to connect you with audit support professional, you will understand a refund.
MAX is the audit defence product offered by TurboTax, and it is required if you wish to have someone represent you in front of the IRS.
It is possible that you will receive a refund.
No matter how you file, you have the option of receiving your refund in one of several different ways.
The quickest option is to make a direct deposit into a bank account. You can also have it loaded onto a Turbo Visa Debit Card (if you’re getting a refund on your state taxes, check to see if your state offers a prepaid card option as well), or have it sent to you as a paper check.
Other options include applying your refund to next year’s taxes or instructing the IRS to use your refund to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds with the money.
The Best Overall Online Tax Preparation Service
If you’ve been using a different service to prepare your taxes in the past, there’s something to be said for sticking with what you’re comfortable with.
Learning how to use a new tax solution can take up valuable time that you may not have available. However, if your tax situation has become more complex, or if you simply want to see if another site could save you money because it might dig a little deeper and make your tax preparation more pleasant, we recommend that you try Turbo Tax—whichever version best suits your needs.
It will not cost you anything to create an account and run your return through its paces. You are likely to come to the same conclusion as we have, which is that TurboTax is the best option available.
TurboTax Deluxe earns the Editors’ Choice award for the second year in a row, despite its higher price. It provides an outstanding user experience that continues to improve with each passing year.
In the context of its entire family of products, its tax topic coverage is comprehensive enough to satisfy the vast majority of taxpayers, and its onsite help rarely fails to provide an answer to a question. If this occurs, TurboTax Live and TurboTax Live Full Service can assist you by bringing in professional help.
Even though you can’t walk into a store and sit face to face with a preparer like you can with H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, or Liberty Tax, Intuit’s virtual support options eliminate the need for this for the vast majority of filers who use Intuit’s products.
In the event that you are undecided about how to prepare your 2021 taxes, TurboTax is the first option you should look into. It’s without a doubt the most straightforward service to use this year, and it might even help you get a larger refund.
If you’re having trouble deciding between our top two choices, you can read our storey, TurboTax vs. H&R Block: A Point-by-Point Comparison, for a more in-depth point-by-point comparison. Which Tax Software Is the Most Efficient for Filing Your Taxes on the Internet?
While you’re thinking about money, take a look at our roundup of the best personal finance software available. If you own a small business, we have the best accounting software to meet your needs.
• Exceptional user experience Interview and final evaluation in a thorough and friendly manner
Personalized tax calculations and explanations are provided.
• Experts are available to provide live video support throughout the year.
• Effective security measures
• Extensive online assistance is available.
• High-quality mobile applications
• Some answers in the online community were provided by people who were not employed by Intuit.