TurboTax is a leader in the tax prep industry. It is secured with bank-level encryption, multi-factor authentication, TLS technology, Dedicated Security tax, risk assessment/audits, and limited access to data. This ensures the utmost security for customers. 

TurboTax's software comes with audit defense, and the company offers 100 percent accurate calculations guaranteed with the service. Customers can file taxes with TurboTax on tablets, mobile devices (apps for Android and iOS), online, or through CD-software.

TurboTax is part of the larger Intuit company. This is a software firm that emphasizes financial, accounting, small business, and tax-related programs. It is built around small business and individual software needs and is currently one of the S&P 500.

TurboTax began in the 1980s when two software designers in the Silicon Valley area of California began to look at ways of creating computer software that could eliminate the drudgery of "pen and paper" accounting practices. This led to the birth of "Quicken" bookkeeping software and a rapid expansion of other small business and tax-related products. 

By the late 1990s, the company was a major force in software and was able to offer QuickBooks, TurboTax, and web-based components. Today, the company is worth more than $4 billion and is considered one of the finest software producers in the world.

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The Good

  • Guarantees
  • Easy to Fill Out
  • Automatic Suggested Deductions
  • Automatic Information Retrieval
  • Mobile App
  • Supported Forms

Guarantees

Essentially, the premise behind any version of TurboTax (whether for the individual, small business, etc.) is that it is going to walk the user through the process of completing their IRS and state tax documents. 

The software also finds all the potential deductions and credits that a taxpayer may qualify for. This means that there is very little risk of overlooking deductions or failing to report everything with accuracy. 

TurboTax provides a Maximum Refund Guarantee, an Audit Support Guarantee, a 100% Accuracy Guarantee, and a Satisfaction Guarantee. 

TurboTax offers free filing for simple tax forms. However, if you taxes are more complicated, you may have to pay a fee for using TurboTax's filling process. 

Customers who use the software don't have to pay until they receive their tax return. If a customer did not file with TurboTax, even if they started with the software, then there is no charge.

Taxpayers can elect to receive their tax refund via a direct deposit to their bank account.

TurboTax also promises people a maximum refund, as well as error checking all tax work before it is submitted to the IRS. 

If the company does make a mistake with the IRS, it will pay for any state penalties and interest. TurboTax's guarantees are helpful and are made to best help consumers.

Easy to Fill Out

The "step-by-step" filing process is done like an interview and offers explanations for each item as it appears. The questions are made to be very clear. The built-in "EasyGuides" offer detailed explanations for all major issues. 

There are also community forums that can direct someone to even further answers and information. 

Additionally, some of the advanced versions of the software will also provide professional tax advice from a tax expert around issues such as investments or business related questions. It even walks the user through such traditionally complex issues as depreciation, donations, cost basis in stocks, and special 401k tools.

Automatic Suggested Deductions

TurboTax automatically suggests deductions and credits to users. In fact, members have the ability to enter charity donations on-the-go with the TurboTax ItsDeductible app.

Automatic Information Retrieval

Because the software is able to automatically retrieve information from previous year's filings (when done using previous versions of the software), it can streamline the entire taxation process dramatically. It also pulls all necessary data from any linked versions of QuickBooks, and this means that individuals and businesses can speed up the entire tax return process while also eliminating risks of error.

Mobile App

TurboTax has a mobile app which makes doing taxes convenient. You can login and start where you left off anytime and anywhere. It doesn't matter if you're using your phone, tablet, or desktop; all your information will be saved.

Supported Forms

Free:

  • 1040A
  • 1040EX
  • Schedule B
  • Schedule EIC and More

Deluxe:

  • All Free Forms
  • 1040
  • Schedule A
  • Schedule C
  • Schedule CE

Premier/Home & Business:

  • All Deluxe Forms
  • Schedule D
  • Schedule E

The Bad

  • Limited Information
  • Federal and State Prices
  • Customer Support

Limited Information

While TurboTax does readily give information on how to input charity locations on the main homepage, the website does not upfront offer information on other types of deductibles. However, these pop-up as customers go through the questionaire.

Federal and State Prices

TurboTax is not "cheap" software, and it does have additional fees for filing state returns online.

Federal Price:

  • Federal Free Edition - This product is ideal for simple tax returns and costs $0.
  • Deluxe - The Deluxe costs $34.99 and is meant to maximize one's tax deductions
  • Premier - For rental property and investments, this is the way to go. It costs $54.99.
  • Home and Business - This option is best for small business owners, and it costs $89.99.

State Price

  • Federal Free Edition - This product is ideal for simple tax returns and costs $0.
  • Deluxe - The Deluxe costs $36.99 per state and is meant to maximize one's tax deductions.
  • Premier - For rental property and investments, it costs $36.99 per state.
  • Home and Business - This option is best for small business owners, and it costs $36.99 per state.

Customer Support

TurboTax offers a couple of ways to get in touch with them:

  • Twitter: @TeamTurboTax
  • Live Chat: Live support is offered in programs to paying customers.

However, they do not offer support over the phone and through email. These are both popular forms of customer support and can be a big problem if customers are not familiar with social media or live chat options.

The Bottom Line

In the end, many people choose TurboTax because of how well the software works.

The intuitive nature of the software, the use of the interview format, and the access to previous returns tend to keep people coming back year after year. 

There are also many other features that are built into the different packages that make this software a truly ideal solution, such as access to W-2 forms or 1099 forms that have been filed online. 

This sort of comprehensive access ensures one of the simplest methods for doing one of the most dreaded chores. 

While taxes can seem confusing at times. TurboTax provides access to answers given by tax professionals as well as a community forum. On these forums users can ask questions and have them answered by a TurboTax representative or tax professional. The library of resources is really effective and useful across the board. 

TurboTax is a well-recommended tax preparing company.

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Kristen

September 11th, 2014 Pleasant Grove, UT

I have been very impressed for the 2 years that I have used TurboTax. I love how easy it is to do my own taxes as well as ability to read tips from TurboTax. The estimator calculator is a great tool to get an idea on how much I will get back.