Pros / This program thoroughly explains tax terms and requirements.
Cons / Phone support is only available to customers using paid versions of the software.
Verdict / TurboTax's online tax software is easy to use, making it a stellar choice for taxpayers wanting a guided, easy-to-navigate platform.
TurboTax is a popular choice for online tax software. It's equipped to handle all major state and federal tax forms, and it offers various tools to help you understand the tax preparation and filing process. It has robust program options so you can file in whichever way is most comfortable for you. You can also specify how you'd like to receive your tax refund. These features, along with its easy-to-use platform and several other features discussed later in this review, make TurboTax our favorite tax preparation software.
Ease of Use & Support
TurboTax is well known for being user friendly and easy to understand. We tested this software's reputation by preparing three different tax-filing scenarios and running each one through TurboTax's online tax software program. We found that TurboTax's reputation is well founded.
This program offers easy-to-access guidance and definitions to help you understand what tax credits and deductions you're eligible for. TurboTax was one of the easiest tax programs to navigate, and, in our experience, it was simple to go back and review information we entered to ensure we hadn't inadvertently introduced mistakes.
This online tax preparation software helps you enter required information by asking you interview questions. This can be especially helpful if you don't fully understand tax forms, plus it helps ensure you input the correct information in the right place. If you prefer to enter information in yourself without guidance, TurboTax might not be the best choice for you as it doesn't offer a way to accomplish this. However, TurboTax does give you some options, such as allowing you to choose between standard deductions or itemized deductions.
If at any point you're confused or unsure of something while preparing your tax return, you can reach out to a TurboTax representative via email or post your question on the AnswerXchange community forum. If you're using a paid version of the software, you can access phone support or connect via live, one-way video to TurboTax agents, which include credentialed CPAs.
TurboTax also offers support in the event you're audited. This support, which might include things like explaining forms to you or reviewing the software's calculations on your tax return, is included with the service. If you want to be represented before the IRS, however, you have to pay an additional fee. You can also opt to have your records kept on file in the TurboTax system if you use a paid program or for an extra charge if you're using the free version of the software.
Tax Preparation Options
All of the products in our lineup offer online software, and TurboTax is no exception. Unlike some of the other tax prep software, TurboTax offers other options for preparing and filing your taxes. You can download the TurboTax software application to your personal computer. This gives you access to your tax documents even when you're offline. If you're away from your desk, you can take advantage of TurboTax's mobile app, which you can use on phones or tablets to upload your W-2 forms, ask questions and search FAQs.
This tax company also offers assistance from tax preparers. Using tax professionals to prepare and file your taxes for you is a good option if you're confused by tax laws or have trouble navigating tax software. Hiring tax professionals might also be a smart choice if you have a complicated tax situation; for example, you might own a business, or have lived in several states over the tax year, or may have more deductions or credits than you're used to claiming. TurboTax professionals can help you navigate complicated tax statutes and laws, which can help you feel more confident about filing an accurate tax return.
This online tax service lets you choose the option that is most convenient for you in regards to receiving your tax return. You can enter your bank information into the software, and your return can be automatically deposited into your checking or savings account. You can also receive your refund via a prepaid Visa card or paper check.
If you have a more complicated return, you might not be able to use the free version of TurboTax. If this is the case, you have a couple of options of how to pay the company. You can either pay with a credit or debit card when you e-file your taxes, with Apple Pay through the mobile app or you can opt to pay TurboTax with proceeds from your refund. If you choose to pay with your refund, TurboTax removes its fee (plus an additional refund processing fee) before sending the rest of your refund to you using the disbursement option you choose.
Time & Money Savers
TurboTax supports all state forms, which means you can use this program to file your taxes regardless of the state in which you reside. This software also supports many tax deductions; it searches more than 350 different options to see if you qualify for any additional tax credits or deductions that can increase your refund. Before you file, you can use the refund calculator available on the TurboTax website, which offers an estimate of what your tax refund might be.
In addition to helping you save as much money as possible, TurboTax can also help you save time. If you filed with TurboTax last year, you can access your previous return. If you used a different tax preparation service, you can import your previous tax return via a PDF file or you may be able to transfer your return from some competitors' databases. A feature unique to TurboTax is that it partners with more than 1.3 million companies in the United States and can automatically import your W-2 from the company itself, which means that you don't have to enter any of your W-2 information into the program manually.
TurboTax is the best online tax software available on the market. In our testing experience, it's the easiest to use and navigate, and does a thorough job explaining tax terms and forms. This software has a robust selection of tax preparation and refund disbursement options, so you can choose what's most convenient for you. Unlike H&R Block, TurboTax lacks telephone support for the free edition of its software but is nonetheless an excellent choice for tax software if you need an easy-to-use program that guides you through the tax filing process.
Contributing Reviewer: Jill Bowers