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Intuit TurboTax
Federal starting price
$129
State returns starting price
$64

Our verdict

Do your own taxes with guided online software, but it’s not the best choice for complicated filings.

If you're looking for a DIY way to do your taxes, Intuit TurboTax could be an ideal solution. TurboTax is a tax software that uses a self-guided interview process to help you file your taxes. The software collects and evaluates your answers to various questions to determine exactly how you should file your return. It’s a fast and easy way to get your taxes done and is known to produce accurate and quick results. Plus, enlisted active duty and reserve military members can file federal and state returns for free. But watch out for product upgrades as you go through the filing process — you may not know you've been bumped up to a higher plan until you're ready to pay and submit your return.

Best for: Those with simple tax returns.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Military discount
  • Tax Return Lifetime Guarantee

Cons

  • Not everyone gets free filings
  • DIY plan not suited for complicated filings

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is TurboTax best for?

TurboTax is best for those with simple tax returns, such as someone filing as single with no dependents or those with few deductions. If you have a complicated filing, you may be better off with a tax specialist or using TurboTax’s Live Assisted or Full Service plan — but those plans cost more than the DIY options.

TurboTax plans and cost

Choose between three options: DIY, Live Assisted, or Live Full Service.

TurboTax PlanFederal pricingState pricing
DIY Free Edition
~37% of taxpayers qualify for TurboTax Free Edition. Form 1040 + limited credits only.
$0 to $129$0 or $64
Live Assisted$89 to $219$59 or $69
Live Full Service$129$69

What we like about TurboTax

TurboTax’s simplicity is what makes it stand out. For those with simple 1040 filings and few deductions, you can have your taxes done in a matter of hours — and possibly for free. You can file your taxes right from your desktop or mobile without having to go anywhere. TurboTax can only take 21 days or less to send you a return if you’re owed one, so it’s a fast and simple tax filing option for many.

With the DIY Edition, it’s a much cheaper way to file taxes on average. The National Society of Accountants (NSA)(1) reports that the average cost for a Form 1040 tax filing without itemized deductions costs $176, and an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return is $273.

Simple filings may be free

TurboTax offers a free DIY Free Edition, which allows qualified filers to file federal and state tax returns for free. You’ll need to be a 1040 form filer with limited deductions, and TurboTax states that around 37% of filers get free federal and/or state filings.

If you don’t qualify for a free return filing, you may be bumped up to the higher-priced plans, such as Live Assisted or Full Service. However, that state price is still cheaper than many competitors, such as H&R Block, where state returns are $70 each.

Upload your documents easily

Unlike going to a physical tax specialist who may require physical documents, TurboTax lets you upload your documents — and you can even upload a photo of each doc on the mobile app.

With a TurboTax account, you’ll get the service My Docs, which lets you upload tax forms. Simply select the year you’re filing for and upload the document you want.

Military discounts

Active duty and reservists of an enlisted rank (E-1 through E-9) with a W2 from DFAS can get their federal and state taxes filed for free. However, this excludes National Guard members and also excludes TurboTax Live products.

Lifetime guarantee

TurboTax guarantees to provide 100% accurate calculations, audit support and a maximum refund for the seven-year life of your tax return.

This means that if you have to pay the IRS, a state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax error, it will pay the penalty and interest. Also, if you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from a different tax preparation method, TurboTax will refund the federal and/or state purchase price you paid (Free Edition filers are limited to a payment of up to $30).

Where it falls short

TurboTax has various strengths, but one of the biggest downsides with the software, noted by Redditors and multiple reviews, is how you may be upgraded to a new plan without knowing it. Or that if you choose to upgrade but later decide you don’t want it, it’s a pain to revoke that choice.

According to multiple customers, if you either accidentally upgrade your plan or try to cancel the upgrade, you have to restart your entire return. A few customers also stated they had to call TurboTax to start their returns over to get out of paying for the more expensive plan.

If you’re not sure TurboTax is the right option for you, compare these other top tax filing softwares.

How to sign up

TurboTax is pretty user-friendly and offers a simple way to sign up, file your taxes from home and receive your refund if you’re owed one.

  1. Visit TurboTax's website or download the mobile app for your iOS or Android device.
  2. Select Start for free on the site, and the questionnaire will start.
  3. Tell TurboTax where you filed your taxes last year if you did. If you’ve never used TurboTax, it will prompt you to create an account. If you’ve already used TurboTax before, it’ll ask you to sign in.
  4. Follow the steps and answer the questions provided, upload your documents and file your taxes.
  5. Choose to pay TurboTax upfront if you owe for filing or deduct the filing cost from your expected return. TurboTax accepts credit, debit and prepaid cards.
  6. Tell TurboTax how you want to receive your return if you’re expecting one.

Compare tax filing services

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Federal starting price State returns starting price Maximum return guaranteed? Free options available? Photo import of W2? Live chat?
FreeTaxUSA
$0
$14.99
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
File federal returns for free and pay $14.99 for state returns with this online tax preparation software.
Keeper
$20
Included
Yes
No
No
Yes
Keeper Tax helps people with 1099 income automatically find tax write-offs among their purchases. At tax time, file federal and state directly for $89 or export to file elsewhere for $39.
Jackson Hewitt
$25
$25
Yes
No
No
Yes
File taxes online or in-person for a no-fee refund advance loan. But watch out for high filing fees
Intuit TurboTax
$129
$64
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
File returns electronically and get taken step by step through the tax-filing process, so that you can receive the fastest refund possible for yourself, and/or your business.
Liberty Tax
$45.95
$36.95
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Choose from EZ, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium packages to support the simplest or the most complicated of returns; including business and investments.
TaxSlayer
TaxSlayer
$22.95
$39.95
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
TaxSlayer offers free federal and state filing for simple returns and $0 federal return to service members filing with a military EIN.
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Customer experience

TurboTax has a mixed bag of customer reviews — but when you make a mistake with people’s money, they’re not likely to stay quiet. TurboTax has a poor 1.2-star rating on Trustpilot and over 3,500 Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints in the last three years, as of January 2024. It’s also not accredited by the BBB and has a poor customer rating of 1.09 stars out of a few hundred reviews. However, it’s worth noting that many of the reviews are directed at Inuit’s other products.

Most of the commentary around TurboTax online is negative, with many customers stating they’ve had repeated issues recovering accounts or old returns. Many more reviews express disappointment over no longer qualifying for the free returns and the annoyance of the constant recommendations of upgrading to a pricier plan. On Reddit, many users state they’ve found cheaper ways to file their taxes and have since moved on to H&R Block or FreeTaxUSA, or they directly go to the IRS’ site to file taxes.

Reviews for TurboTax’s mobile apps are a completely different story. On the Apple Store, it has a stellar 4.8 stars out of over 900,000 reviews and ratings. Users praise the easy-to-use app and are happy to file their taxes on their phones. It’s a similar story on Google Play, with TurboTax holding a strong 4.6-star rating out of thousands of ratings.

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Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

Hi there, looking for more information? Ask us a question.

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anne

November 27, 2018

I am getting ready for next year tax returns. Can i talk to someone on which software would be best for my returns?


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nikkiangco

November 27, 2018

Hi Anne,


Thanks for getting in touch! Great to know that you are gearing up for next years tax returns. Turbo Tax doesn’t have a direct line to contact them but the best way to get in touch with them is to go to their contact page. When you scroll down on the website, you’ll find HELP AND SUPPORT. You may choose TurboTax Support to read about their FAQS or choose CONTACT US to send them an email. You may also view their ABOUT tab to know how the software works in general. I hope this helps and let me know if you have questions.


Best,

Nikki


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