How Does TurboTax Work?


TurboTax is one of the premier products for individuals, businesses, and other organizations who want a simple, effective way to do their taxes while improving their ability to uncover the best deductions for their needs and also reducing their risk of an audit.  

The TurboTax questions are what easily and seamlessly guide you through the experience of preparing your return. You answer very simple, straightforward questions, and then TurboTax online tools will do the math for you.

One of the distinctive features of this tax filing online solution that people really enjoy is that calculations are 100% accurate, which is guaranteed. It’s also a program that’s always up-to-date with the latest tax laws as well as health care regulations.

For example, TurboTax 2016 includes pertinent questions and information to help you tackle issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act to avoid confusion, particularly regarding potential new regulations that may be unclear or evolving.

TurboTax products have been in existence for more than 25 years, and it’s continuously ranked as one of the best-selling tax software products in the country.



Some of the general features of TurboTax include:

  • Auto-importing of tax information made fast and easy. You can import your W-2 tax form directly into your TurboTax online return from more than a million employers and financial institutions. This ensures information is accurate and filled out completely. Information is also securely saved as you go, so you can stop and revisit your return at any time.
  • Part of the TurboTax platform is the double-checking of users’ returns to ensure they’re done right and that everyone gets their maximum refund. This is a guarantee made by the company.
  • When you file your return electronically, you’re guaranteed to receive the fastest possible refund if you’re entitled to one.
  • If you don’t want to use a credit card to pay the preparation fees, you can have them deducted automatically from your federal tax refund.

Continue reading this review to understand more about the features and product offerings as well as more information about issues such as how to buy TurboTax and the TurboTax price.



TurboTax 2016 Additions

When using TurboTax to prepare your federal or state taxes, one of the biggest advantages is that you never have to worry about human uncertainty due to you or a tax specialist not being aware of new laws or changes that could impact you.

In 2016, some of the changes made to TurboTax have included the creation of the TurboTax app, which features expert advice and customer support; the utmost in security; and the ability to take a photo of your W-2 with your phone and import all of your information.

The Affordable Care Act is extensively covered within TurboTax, so, regardless of your health insurance situation, your information will be entered in the correct way. If you don’t have insurance, TurboTax will see if you qualify to have the penalty waived and will handle the application process, which can save users hundreds of dollars.

With TurboTax Benefit Assist, you can keep more of your money, as the program will automatically check if you qualify for official government benefits. Your information is then imported directly from your tax return to online applications.



TurboTax Online Products

The online product offerings available from TurboTax include a TurboTax online free version called the “Federal Free Edition.” This basic tax preparation product allows you to prepare and file simple tax returns, which include the 1040EZ and the 1040A.

Features include easy preparation, printing, and e-filing with 100% accurate calculations. You can also automatically import your W-2 tax forms using this option.

The most popular online product is Deluxe. TurboTax Deluxe differs from the free TurboTax version in quite a few ways and is ideal if you want to maximize your deductions. Along with doing everything the free online version does, Deluxe includes features like searching through more than 350 deductions and credits, maximizing mortgage and property tax deductions, coverage of freelance and independent contractor income, and analytics and advice to help you maximize your refund for the next year.

turbotax reviewsImage Source: BigStock

TurboTax Premier is ideal for those filers with investments and rental properties, and, in addition to the offerings available with Deluxe, this option also features the ability to cover stocks, bonds, ESPPs, and other investment income. TurboTax Premier automatically imports investment income, including cost basis, and integrates income from rental properties and tax deductions.

TurboTax Home and Business is one of the most comprehensive TurboTax products, with additional aspects of filing, including self-employment and small business income and expense reporting. TurboTax Home and Business is also designed to maximize business tax deductions and asset depreciation.



TurboTax Free Federal Edition

One of the most well-known versions of this tax preparation solution is the TurboTax Federal Free Edition, also called AbsoluteZero. It’s designed to assist with the simple filing of 1040EZ/A tax returns.

TurboTax reviews rank this product highly, citing the ease of use as the number one benefit.

In-depth features of this TurboTax free solution include:

  • Questions, which are tailored to you, are used to effectively guide you through the process so that you can find all applicable tax breaks
  • The ability to snap a picture of your W-2 to automatically populate information fields, or you can directly import it
  • TurboTax free options, including live on-screen help from experts with just a click
  • Thousands of error checks, creating the highest possible level of accuracy
  • Always staying up to date


TurboTax Small Business Solutions

If you’re searching for a solution aimed at TurboTax for Business, the option you’ll likely select is TurboTax Home and Business.

This product is tailored to the needs of small business owners, as well as sole proprietors, and the TurboTax price includes free federal e-filing.

Features include:

  • Small business deductions pertaining to supplies, home offices, and more
  • Vehicle tax deduction options
  • Employee W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Simplified expense categories and tax-deduction suggestions
  • Easy asset depreciation methodology

TurboTax reviews of this particular product say some of the perks and benefits include its ease of use, the helpful tips, and the comprehensive guides that give you a better understanding of your taxes. Errors are corrected before submission, which can be valuable if you’re prone to typos as well as making other types of mistakes.



TurboTax Business for Corporations

In addition to TurboTax small business solutions, the company also offers options for larger enterprises, including S Corp, C Corp, and partnerships as well as estates, trusts, and multi-member LLCs.

Using this particular TurboTax business solution, you’ll maximize your industry-specific tax reductions, have access to guidance and support, and have the comprehensive tools you need to cover reporting income and expenses.

Many of the available TurboTax review highlights include how easy it is to use as well as how helpful the up-to-date rules and forms are. Additionally, many reviews cite the advantages of the on-screen prompts and the thorough proofing process as reasons they enjoy using this product for their business taxes.



TurboTax State Filings

In addition to federal filing products, the company also offers TurboTax state tax filing options. Once you finish your federal tax return, your information is automatically transferred, and you’re given the option to complete your state taxes using TurboTax.

You may be required to answer a few additional questions depending on your state of residence, but that’s it, and then you’ll be able to seamlessly complete both your federal and state filings.

TurboTax Online State includes:

  • Free e-filing
  • Automatic transfers of your federal information
  • The guaranteed largest possible state refund
  • Guaranteed accurate calculations
  • Tax guidance on-demand
  • A refund monitor


TurboTax Guarantees

Perhaps one of the reasons TurboTax remains such a widely-used product is because of its signature guarantees, which include:

  • The Maximum Refund Guarantee: If you get a larger refund or a lesser tax amount using another preparation method, TurboTax will refund the applicable TurboTax cost that you paid for the product. If you’re an online Federal Free Edition customer, you’ll receive a payment of $14.00 and a refund of your state purchase price made.
  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of an error from TurboTax, the company will pay the penalty and interest.
  • Audit Support Guarantee: With this guarantee, you’ll be provided with free year-round audit support guidance from a tax expert who will answer all your questions and help you understand why the IRS contacted you. You’ll receive free one-on-one audit guidance, free answers to your audit questions throughout the year, and free assistance regarding what to expect and how to prepare.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee: If you use TurboTax Online or Mobile, your satisfaction is guaranteed or you don’t pay. You can use TurboTax Online free of charge until the point you decide to print or e-file your tax return. If you bought or downloaded it from a retailer, you can return it within 60 days of purchase for a full refund.
  • If you buy TurboTax software directly from the company and aren’t satisfied, you can return it within 60 days of shipment for a full refund.

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TurboTax Mobile Apps

TurboTax offers mobile apps which let you seamlessly move between your phone, tablet or computer.

TaxCaster lets you enter basic information and quickly estimate your tax return while the MyTaxRefund app is designed to track your e-file status and let you know exactly when you can expect your refund to arrive. You can follow any e-filed return using this app, even if it wasn’t filed using TurboTax.

It’s Deductible is an app that lets you track and manage your charitable deductions from anywhere.

turbotax online

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The TurboTax Cost and Where to Buy TurboTax Software

If you want to purchase TurboTax 2016, you have quite a few options. You can utilize the online products, which offer complete updates and robust functionalities, or you can file your taxes directly on your browser. It requires no other purchases beyond the cost of the product itself, and all you have to do is login to the site to do your taxes.

The TurboTax cost for online products varies depending on the product you choose. The cost ranges from $0 for the Federal Free Edition up to $79.99 for the Home and Business version.

In addition to online products, all of the same options are offered in a CD/download option, with prices ranging from $29.99 for the basic product up to $99.99 for the Home and Business CD/Download version.

Both online and CD/download products can be purchased directly from the TurboTax website, and many large-scale retailers also offer the downloadable and CD versions of the product.


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Is TurboTax Right for You?

It was our goal to provide you with enough information about the products and solutions available from TurboTax to determine whether or not the product is right for you.

According to TurboTax reviews from real customers, this is a product that’s flexible and scalable to almost any tax preparation and filing need, from individuals and contractors to larger business enterprises.

The extensive number of options, the range of pricing, and the customized solutions offered by TurboTax make it a valuable product for almost any set of needs.



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