TurboTax Free Edition

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Although you probably do not look forward to doing your taxes, there are fortunately many software programs that you can use to greatly facilitate the process of completing your returns. TurboTax is one such tool and is generally considered to be the premier tax preparation software for non-professionals.

But why exactly should you use TurboTax instead of going to a tax preparation service such as H&R Block? There are two main reasons:

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TurboTax Online Free Editions:
TurboTax Online Federal FREE Edition
TurboTax Online FREE Trial (Any Version)
How the Free Versions Work

Regardless of which version of TurboTax online you choose, the software uses a “try before you buy” model. This means that in the beginning, you can work on your return for free. Payment is not required unless you are happy with the results and decide to file your return using the software. As mentioned earlier, if you have a simple return that uses the Federal Free Edition, you will not have to pay anything even when you file your return.

Which TurboTax Free Edition Should You Choose?
  • TurboTax Federal Free Edition – If you typically file a 1040EZ form or have a very straightforward return with no itemized deductions, then this edition will allow you to both prepare and file your return without a charge.
  • TurboTax Deluxe – This is the edition most users will get. It covers personal returns that are a bit more complex and is well-suited for people who own homes or itemize their deductions each year.
  • TurboTax Premier – You can think of this as the edition for active investors. Anyone who owns rental property or trades stocks, bonds or other instruments should use this edition.
  • TurboTax Business – This edition is for business owners and includes returns for sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships and LLCs.
Other Options for Filing Taxes

Sometimes, your taxes will be too complex for you to handle on your own regardless of which software program you select. In these cases, you will need to get a professional accountant to assist you. Here are our recommendations for the best tax preparation services:

  • H&R Block – H&R Block’s tax preparation service is reasonably priced, and they do a very good job of ensuring that you get the maximum refund possible.
  • Local CPAs not affiliated with large firms – We have found that smaller, local CPA firms tend to provide more personalized service than large accounting firms. Ask friends or associates for recommendations, then select a small firm or an independent CPA.
Helpful Resources:
  • IRS income tax withholding calculator This handy online tool makes it possible to get a highly accurate estimate of how much income tax you will owe in a given year. Knowing this information can be particularly helpful if you are self-employed or plan to have your employer change the amount that is withheld from your paycheck.
  • Video tutorials for TurboTax – For those who are not too computer savvy, free video tutorials such as the series below should help you get started. The video below is the first in a series that is available on YouTube.

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