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Review of Intuit TurboTax software for tax return preparation

A filing software for everyone — but only simple tax returns qualify for the Free Edition.

Intuit TurboTax is a convenient software solution that makes filing federal and state taxes easier and less expensive than traditional tax agencies. The company is known for having a user-friendly interface that is simple to use, and provides helpful tax guidelines. But its basic plan is bare bones and doesn’t cover most tax situations.

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Federal starting price


State returns starting price


Federal starting price$59
State returns starting price$49
Maximum return guaranteed?Yes
Payment optionsCredit, Debit, Pay with your tax refund

Review by

Alexa Serrano is an editor at Finder specializing in banking and kid’s debit cards. A certified anti-money laundering specialist, Alexa helps guide readers to the best savings and checking accounts for their financial goals. Her expertise has been featured on top publications including Best Company, U.S. News & World Report, MSN and Yahoo. And she’s frequently interviewed by broadcast news publications across the country, including Fox News and NBC News. Alexa earned a BA in English from Wesleyan College and enjoys reading memoirs in her spare time.

Expert review

If you’re looking for a DIY way to do your taxes, Intuit TurboTax could be an ideal solution for you. While it may not be the cheapest DIY tax program on the market, it’s a high quality software option that generally produces accurate and quick results. Plus, enlisted active duty and reserve military members can file their 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.

How much does Intuit TurboTax cost?

Intuit TurboTax is a tax software that uses an interview-style process to help you file your taxes. The software collects your answers to various questions, and evaluates them to determine exactly which forms to include in your return. Intuit TurboTax offers a variety of products, including the Free Edition, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed package.

Plan and packages


Best forFeatures
Free Edition (for simple returns only)
  • $0 for federal
  • $0 for state
Simple returns
  • Access to prior year returns
  • Covers W2 income
  • Earned income tax credit (EIC) and child tax credits
  • $59 for federal
  • $49 for state
Families and those with itemized deductions
  • Covers W2 and 1099-MISC income without expenses
  • Mortgage & property tax donations
  • Charitable donations
  • Student loan interest and education expenses
  • Health saving accounts
  • Retirement savings contributions
  • $89 for federal
  • $49 for state
Investors and those with rental properties
  • Auto import investment tax data
  • Covers stocks, bonds, robo-investing, cryptocurrency, rental property income and more
  • $119 for federal
  • $49 for state
Small business owners
  • Covers 1099-MISC income and expenses
  • Maximizes work-related deductions
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription to track expenses and mileage

When you first visit the Intuit TurboTax website, you’ll fill out a few simple questions to determine which package is best for your situation.

How do I pay?

You have three options for paying your Intuit TurboTax fees:

  • Debit or credit card
  • Prepaid card
  • Deducted from your federal refund

How do I get my tax refund?

There are three ways to get your tax refund:

  • Paper check
  • Direct deposit
  • Refund Advance on a Turbo Visa Debit Card

Free File Program discontinuing in October 2021

The Free File Program, a service delivered by TurboTax through the IRS Free File Alliance (FFA), will be discontinued in October 2021. This program allows Americans to file federal and state taxes for free, regardless of how complex their tax return is. But it has strict eligibility requirements, such as having a household adjusted gross income (AGI) of $39,000 or less.

The TurboTax Free Edition is not the same as the Free File Program and will continue to be available to all filers with simple returns. If you need to file additional schedules or have a more complex situation, you’ll be able to upgrade from the free edition to a paid version.

How do I open a Intuit TurboTax account?

Signing up for Intuit TurboTax online takes just a few minutes:

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. From the official website, click Get Started.
  3. Select which tax situations apply to you and select your plan. You can either choose the one Intuit TurboTax recommends or your own.
  4. Select how you filed taxes last year and click Continue.
  5. Create your account using your email address, User ID, phone number and password and click Create Account.

Once you create your account, Intuit TurboTax will ask you a few simple questions to determine which tax forms you need. As you move through the filing process, you can go back and edit or delete forms you have already completed.


Those who file taxes with Intuit TurboTax will enjoy perks like:

  • Easy to use. Simply answer simple questions and Intuit TurboTax generates the correct tax forms you need.
  • Mobile friendly. The mobile app is available on both IOS and Android devices, and offers almost all the features you can take advantage of on the computer. It even lets you submit some forms by taking a picture of them by phone.
  • Military discount. If you are a service member, you can file your federal and state taxes for free using any Intuit TurboTax package.
  • Helpful resources. In addition to the vast amount of online written resources, you can also take advantage of tax experts who are happy to help via phone call.


If you plan on filing with Intuit TurboTax, watch out for these potential drawbacks:

  • Limited. Intuit TurboTax can handle most individual tax situations for small business owners, but it may not be comprehensive enough for those with large companies.
  • Cost. You typically don’t know the final cost of Intuit TurboTax until you finish your return. If your situation is more complicated than your plan allows, Intuit TurboTax automatically upgrades you to a higher plan.
  • Free Edition doesn’t offer everything. The Free Edition is only for simple tax returns and it doesn’t include Schedules A, C, D, E, H or K. If you are planning on itemizing deductions, or if you have to pay self-employment taxes, you may want to look into the other plans.

If you want a filing service that offers straightforward pricing, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when considering a tax filing service.

Intuit TurboTax reviews and complaints

Intuit TurboTax earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on such internal criteria as years in business and financial security. As of July 2021, it has a 1.12 out of 5-star customer rating based on 301 reviews.

Of those reviews, many customers claim Intuit TurboTax is easy to follow, and is laid out clearly. Others complain about being tricked into upgrading to pricier plans than needed. Once you upgrade, there’s no way to undo it. You either pay the higher price or start the entire process over with a different filing service.

Compare services to file taxes online

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File federal returns for free and pay $14.99 for state returns with this online tax preparation software.
Keeper Tax
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
File taxes online or in-person for a no-fee refund advance loan. But watch out for high filing fees
Intuit TurboTax
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
Choose from EZ, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium packages to support the simplest or the most complicated of returns; including business and investments.
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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Intuit TurboTax customer support

There are three ways to contact Intuit TurboTax customer support:

  • Call 1-800-446-8848
  • Use the chatbot on its website
  • Post your question in the online community on its website

Frequently asked questions

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  1. Default Gravatar
    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?

    • Default Gravatar
      November 28, 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.


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