Do you dread when Tax Day draws near? This only means hours of calculating and computing confusing numbers and figures just to get your income tax return filed right. TurboTax is one of the leading names in tax preparation software, which allows first time tax filers and even veteran business owners a simple way of filing their taxes and make accurate computations without the complex hassle of calculating state taxes.
True to the slogan of its mother company, Intuit, it simplifies the business of life and provides an easy solution to life’s important problems. But, let us get down to what TurboTax is all about and see how well it can fit your life in making obligations fulfillment a whole lot easier for you.
How TurboTax Can Work For You?
The IRS has always been a strong advocate for e-filing taxes. This is because it makes filing taxes easier, it reduces errors and mistakes and it makes faster transaction for tax refunds, if any. So from this very premise, TurboTax is on the right track in providing you the right service that the government is requiring from the people.
Also, you are probably one of those who, whenever numbers and figures are mentioned, seem to be baffled and daunted by the mere mention of it. This means grueling hours of searching and compiling every single detail of your income, statutory obligations and expenses. To top that off, you have to worry about making the right computation of the state tax where you are located. This is even more difficult to those who have just moved in to a new state, have no idea about the right state tax computation or have several income from different states.
While business owners can afford hiring an external accountant or bookkeeper, the accuracy and assurance can be something that comes into question. You still need to check and recheck what your hired accountant has prepared to ensure that everything is right, avoiding penalties in case your accountant has made errors in the calculations. And this can certainly be hassle. Might as well compute it yourself in the first place, right?
TurboTax offers that very solution of making tax return preparation and filing rather easy. All you need is to answer a few simple questions and they do all the computation and filing for you. One very significant feature that makes TurboTax a great service is that you do not need to make the calculations by yourself manually, all you need is to select which state you belong and they will automatically compute your tax returns based on the location’s tax requirement.
TurboTax Free Edition – Getting Started
Getting started with using TurboTax Federal Free Edition service in computing for your tax filing is very simple and easy. First off, you will be asked how you did your tax filing the previous year, whether you did it with TurboTax, another tax preparation site, with an accountant or whether you did it on your own. After that, you will be required to create an account using your email address. And that is it!
You will then be directed to your dashboard where you will begin your tax computation by answering very simple questions about your lifestyle that may affect your tax situation. You start off by providing your personal information. This will include your name, occupation, civil status, zip code and whether you lived in another state within the year among others.
Federal Taxes Information
Once this is done, you can start in computing your federal taxes. You will experience the same ease of guidance as when you answered your personal information. The questions are very simple with choices that are easily understood. What is good about TurboTax is that it will consolidate all of your income information to your state return. So, this means that you will get the most accurate computation and even get the most tax refund with the right calculations.
But, I think what is crucial is that you provide accurate information also in the questions that they will ask. While they will source from over 400,000 participating employers and financial institutions, accuracy of detail will still be highly dependent on the information that you will provide. This will give TurboTax a better idea of every tax break where you will be qualified to get your maximum refund.
I have read of several customer complaints about paying more than they should have because of wrong computations and inaccuracies. That is why it is important that you take extra diligence in providing the right information to get the most accurate computations. However, it is good to point out that TurboTax will refund you of any penalties that you have incurred with the IRS in cases where inaccuracies happen. This is because TurboTax assures you 100% accuracy and guarantee.
Clear Information and Guides on Tax Laws
And in case you may not understand any of the questions, there are help links that are readily available within the page. So, you do not need to scour through the site or open a new window just to get the answers or clarifications that you need.
I think this one of the greater advantages of TurboTax because it makes the entire experience much easier that you will never get lost and confused with what you are filling in the questions. And to top that off, TurboTax clearly explains all tax laws and guidelines without the confusing technical jargons.
Once this has been done, you can easily make a review of all the entries before finalizing everything and e-filing it with the IRS. What I find most beneficial of TurboTax is that you do not need to make any computations; they will do it for you.
Once you have completed your federal taxes information, TurboTax will automatically transfer your information and give you the option of completing your state taxes. However, this is where the Free Edition ends and where you need to pay.
You can make an upgrade based on the pricing packages that TurboTax is offering. This will depend on your needs and your tax situation. TurboTax makes it even easier for you in choosing which package is best suited for you with the help of very simple tool. So, that is a bonus feature of TurboTax because you will be guided on what type of package you should take advantage of.
Pricing starts at $14.99 for every state tax with the Free Federal Edition, which is very beneficial for first-time filers. Other pricing packages include Deluxe for $29.99, Premier for $49.99 and Home & Business for $74.99.
You can continue with completing your state taxes information and pay the amount once you will e-file your tax returns. Once you have completed all the necessary information for your tax returns, on the side bar of your dashboard, you will conveniently see the 100% accurate calculations of each of your tax refunds – from federal taxes and in every state where you have gained an income.
Convenient and Simple E-filing
TurboTax also offers easy and quick e-filing of your tax returns with the IRS. You will receive an immediate email confirmation from the IRS once your tax return has been accepted. You can also easily monitor it online or through your smartphone, using the TurboTax mobile app. They also assure the fastest tax refund possible.
Also, you have the option to deduct the TurboTax pricing fee from your total tax refunds (federal and state taxes). This means that you literally do not have to dip in to your pocket to pay for any of the services offered by TurboTax.
Higher Cost, But Less Complex Experience
I have checked with other tax preparation sites and found out that TurboTax pricing is higher compared to its closest competitors, like TaxACT and H&R Block. But, what I found that makes TurboTax stand out from the competitors is that the features are well categorized, well defined and most importantly the interface of the site and the dashboard are very simple to understand and navigate. It really makes the entire tax filing experience a whole lot easier and less complex.
Other Relevant Features
TurboTax has a help and support feature by certified experts to provide you with assistance should you have any clarifications. But in my opinion, there really is not much need to call for a customer care support considering that the interface of your account is very user-friendly and all the information that you may need are presented in a very simplified manner.
Also, the site in itself is filled with useful information to help you learn what you need to know about your taxes. TurboTax has different types of calculators that you can use, depending on the need. There are also mobile apps so that you can monitor your tax refunds from your mobile devices and get updated with their social media network accounts.
However, it is also important to take note that apart from the free federal taxes computation, you will need to pay extra for every other services that will offer.
All in all, TurboTax is an excellent tax preparation software for practically any person who is intimidated about filing their taxes. It is very simple to navigate and much easier to use. Plus the step-by-step guidance makes it even less daunting. However, it can be pricey compared to other tax preparation sites. You can get started using the TurboTax Free Federal Edition and will no longer have to dread everytime Tax Day comes around. I recommend that you take advantage of their services.