Regardless of whether you buy your taxes from the government or a software company, all will need to follow the same tax rules. Sadly, the process of filling out your taxes can be a headache—especially if you’re not computer-savvy enough to figure it out by yourself. So, what are the best tax software options? Both TurboTax and FreeTaxUSA provide you with a comprehensive set of tools designed to make your tax filing easy. FreeTaxUSA is free, while TurboTax charges a $30 fee for its online products, but it comes with a number of features that only its premium paid services include.
If you’re making the decision between FreeTaxUSA or TurboTax for tax season, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll show you which software is the better choice for helping you get everything done—and avoid the headaches of getting a refund.
In this comparison blog post, we will show you how FreeTaxUSA and TurboTax compare to each other in the following categories: ease of use, tax savings, customer service, and the customer experience. We will compare the four main products—FreeTaxUSA, TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct—in seven key areas of tax preparation.
Tax season is here! If you are still in the process of filling out your tax return, take it easy. There are several excellent tax preparation tools available, some of which will not charge you a fee to complete your federal tax return if you meet certain requirements. FreeTaxUSA and TurboTax are probably the best known of these services. You’ve probably already seen their ads on TV, in banner ads and on social media, competing with Credit Karma Tax and other free telefile providers. But which one is the best? Read our comparison between FreeTaxUSA and TurboTax to find out!
Expensive but rich in services, TurboTax can be a good value for your money. However, it is important to know the fee structure before taking advantage of it. Not all tax returns qualify for TurboTax’s free service.
Who offers TurboTax?
TurboTax is a service of Intuit. You may already know them from the Quickbooks and Mint services that are part of them. We’ll talk about Mint and its competitor, Personal Capital, in another article. However, it is important to note that Intuit is heavily involved in individual financial management. TurboTax is aimed at the same people who use Mint or Quickbooks: the average taxpayer. Pixabay Image
When is it free?
First, it’s important to understand that not everyone can file their federal and state returns for free through TurboTax. You are only entitled to a free tax return if you meet the following conditions:
- You mean the standard deduction…
- Your tax file contains a W-2
- You enjoy a credit on your earned income
- Little or no interest on Form 1099
- You benefit from tax deductions for children
Usually we warn you about things that seem too good to be true. Situations where it seems like you are getting something of value for free, especially online, are usually a form of scam. TurboTax is not a scam, however. People with more complex tax situations, such as those who are self-employed or have rental income, use TurboTax Deluxe, TurboTax Premier, or TurboTax Self-Employed. TurboTax also sells software that includes these three advanced services. The revenue Intuit derives from these products more than offsets the cost of free e-filing.
Cost of value added services
The TurboTax Deluxe version costs $59.99, plus the $44.99 per state filing fee, and covers maximum deductions and credits. TurboTax Premier is designed for people with investments and rental properties. Filing your federal tax return this way will cost you $79.99 plus the cost of filing your federal tax return. Image from Pixabay If your taxes are simple, but you still want extra help, you can also purchase TurboTax Live. This is a basic module of TurboTax with the addition of on-demand video assistance from a TurboTax accountant. Federal tax returns cost $79.99 and state tax returns cost $34.99. You can also add value to your premium services with Live, which greatly increases their value. Finally, TurboTax Self-Employed costs $119.99. Remember, this is only the cost of your annual federal tax return. Regardless of your gross self-employment income, you still have to pay quarterly Social Security taxes and other federal benefits, the value of which is usually deducted from your paycheck by your employer. These payments are called self-employment taxes. You’re on 15. April 15. July 15th. October and 15. January underway. If you are unsure whether you are considered self-employed, you can check the IRS website on the subject. Then for our advice, check out our article on the sources of income you should declare to avoid getting into trouble with the tax authorities.
Government refunds cost more
Also, keep in mind that filing your state tax return with one of TurboTax’s paid services costs $44.99, regardless of which service you use. If you can file for free, you will not be charged for this part of the filing. Image from Pixabay Please note that these are the prices for 2019. Prices for TurboTax services change regularly. So remember that this is just a snapshot of the typical costs for their services, and visit their website regularly for more information. Also, don’t forget that military members and reservists get $5 off premium services. Some lower rank members can even apply for free.
TurboTax Service Fee, 2019
|Service||Federal expenditure||Government value||Cost of living||Minimum cost||Maximum cost|
Benefits of each TurboTax service
When you file your income taxes for free with TurboTax, you get a basic package of services.
- Control manual
- Access to the online community
- Free tax return
As they say in business, you get what you pay for. Each deluxe version of TurboTax extends these benefits significantly. For example, if you purchase TurboTax Deluxe, you will have access to the homeowner tax deduction form, Schedule A. You will also be able to do the following.
- Declaration of charitable donations
- Get personalized help from a TurboTax specialist.
- Find out your credit history
Pixabay Image If your tax situation is investment-related, you can use Premier and benefit from the support for gains and losses on cryptocurrencies, as well as the comprehensive investor support. TurboTax for the Self-Employed offers online support for taxi drivers and the self-employed, as well as advice on reporting expenses.
Although TurboTax is not cheap, it has many important advantages, not the least of which is that you can access it from your phone. It’s not just a convenience: This service allows you to take pictures of your W2s and upload them this way. In other words: If your employer(s) give you these papers, you do not have to fill in all the information. Instead, you can take a picture of the document with your phone, upload it to your TurboTax account, then log into the same account on your computer and proceed to fill out your tax return.
People love how easy TurboTax is to use. There is no jargon: if you need to know something, you will see it in plain language, often in the form of a link, right on the page. TurboTax also answers frequently asked questions such as. B. What if my employer sends me an additional W-2, and has a full help section. If you’re not an accountant, there aren’t many ways to do your taxes with confidence. This is one of them. Pixabay image
This is where TurboTax really excelled. The website itself has many expert video tutorials that are available even if you don’t pay for the live feed. However, live can be worth it if you’re really stuck. The CPA will review and possibly sign and file your tax return if you use Live. You can also apply it at night if you wish. Live agents are available from 8am to midnight, seven days a week. This service seems to be available all year round. Keep in mind that you are unlikely to contact the same accountant each time you use the service – TurboTax will match you with someone who is available. Nevertheless, you can be sure that you will be able to speak with an expert. The reviews are generally positive about TurboTax’s online services and software. NerdWallet, SmartAsset and PC Magazine give good reviews of the company’s products. This may be due in part to the fact that TurboTax provides a verification guide to all of its customers. This means that if you are audited, you will receive advice from an accountant who will help you understand what is going on. TurboTax will even look after your interests for the IRA – for a fee, of course. Max Defend & Restore, TurboTax’s audit protection product, costs $39.99.
Receipt of tax refund
If you want your refund deposited directly into your bank account, TurboTax may be for you. But if you prefer a pre-loaded credit card, that’s also possible. You can also receive a check, pay next year’s taxes, put the refund on an Amazon gift card or use the refund to buy U.S. Savings Bonds. If you choose the Amazon option, you will receive a 10% surcharge. The best part is that you can pay for TurboTax services from your tax return. However, there is an additional charge of $39.99. The big winner among these options is to get a refund in the form of an Amazon gift card and use it for supplies. This is not a good time to shop! Invest wisely in groceries and household items, especially if you get free shipping with Prime.
FreeTaxUSA may be the best option for frugal taxpayers. However, it also does not offer the same level of support and protection as TurboTax.
Who offers FreeTaxUSA?
FreeTaxUSA is a product of Tax Hawk Inc, which owns a number of tax preparation websites. The small company, founded by a CPA and a team of software engineers, opened its doors in 2001. The idea was to offer free and low-cost preparation of tax documents via the Internet. Since then, it has become a fixture in the landscape of free tax preparation.
When is it free?
As with your federal tax return, always, unless you need extra help. It doesn’t matter what your income, deductions, earned income tax credit or adjusted gross income is. FreeTaxUSA allows you to file your federal tax return for free. The tax return is not really free, but it is very cheap. Therefore, the cost of the refund is $14.99. Pixabay image
The $14.99 fee for filing state taxes is not very high compared to TurboTax’s prices of around $100. Even if customers purchase the FreeTaxUSA Deluxe, the total cost is $21.98. It’s a good deal, given the situation. Again, these are the 2019 prices. In 2017, FreeTaxUSA apparently charged $12.99 for state reporting. However, this is not a particularly difficult pricing structure. If you are sure you want to avoid an audit, there is no doubt which service is most suitable.
FreeTaxUSA Service fee, 2019
|Service||Federal expenditure||Government value||Total costs|
Unlike TurboTax, FreeTaxUSA only allows you to file tax returns online. There is no software and no need to download anything. But just like TurboTax, you can create an account that allows you to log in and continue where you left off. You can even switch from one device to another depending on your current situation. The website works well on mobile devices, including smartphones. However, unlike TurboTax, you must manually enter the W-2 information. This device does not have a scan function. Pixabay Image However, many users see FreeTaxUSA’s simplicity as an advantage. Bells and whistles often confuse people. The stress of choosing the right luxury plan exacerbates an already stressful time of year. FreeTaxUSA offers a service that TurboTax cannot: Simplicity.
The interface of FreeTaxUSA is extremely simple and effortless. It also has a convenient navigation bar on the left side of the page, but the help function is much more limited than in TurboTax. When you try to use the Help function, you can usually see either the most frequently used topics or the topics related to the page you are on. If you z. B. Enter information about W-2, the available help topics will be about W-2. However, if you want to download PDFs of your previous annual taxes, you can do so with FreeTaxUSA. Despite its simplicity, the interface of FreeTaxUSA is user-friendly and easy to understand. Like Turbo Tax, it is an electronic file approved by the IRS. While it doesn’t offer the same level of support as TurboTax, it is just as functional when it comes to paying your taxes. However, this may be the best option for people who are already good with their taxes. This service offers much less help, and while it may be more beneficial initially, it is more important to avoid an audit.
FreeTaxUSA does not offer revision protection for basic users. To do this, you must purchase the deluxe package for $6.99. That said, it doesn’t look like FreeTaxUSA is representing you to the IRS. It provides advice and assistance, but is not involved in the tax audit process. Unlike TurboTax, which operates in several niches, FreeTaxUSA deals exclusively with tax preparation. It is the Bidder’s responsibility to protect itself in the event of an audit. Pixabay image Deluxe users will also get live chat support for their tax returns, which will likely cost $6.99. The good news is that FreeTaxUSA makes it easy to buy Deluxe at any stage of the process. If you decide halfway through that you need help filling out tax forms or for a tax deduction, you can get it for less than $10.
Receipt of tax refund
Like TurboTax, FreeTaxUSA offers direct deposit and refunds on paper. You can also buy a prepaid debit card. The Amazon gift card offered by TurboTax does not work here, nor does the option to pay FreeTaxUSA for a refund. That said, FreeTaxUSA is also pretty cheap. If you use this service, most of the refund ends up in your pocket anyway.
TurboTax vs FreeTaxUSA : What is better?
Advantages and disadvantages
It is difficult to choose the best service between these two tax advisors. Although TurboTax offers a very comprehensive service, the cost is extremely high. Even if these amounts are deductible on your tax return, you will have less than the maximum refund at the end of the tax season. TurboTax’s control protection is tempting, but unless you buy an additional package that costs about $40, it’s no more useful than FreeTaxUSA. Why pay more for the same price? Pixabay Image TurboTax is probably the best solution for people who are worried about their taxes, but don’t want to pay an accountant, whose prices can add up quickly if your tax situation is complicated. FreeTaxUSA assumes that the person filing the tax return has some knowledge – or at least convenience. If you can tell the difference between Form A and Form 1099, there’s no good reason to use TurboTax. FreeTaxUSA offers almost the same services for less money.
Avoid TurboTax unless you are Warren Buffett, your taxes are really complicated, or your fear is absolutely crippling. Most people will be able to do their taxes perfectly with FreeTaxUSA. They have all the forms you need, and for $7 you can get a CPA consultation. And if you decide you need extra security for your tax return, you can always stop that return midway and opt for a brighter, more proactive service. Neither FreeTaxUSA nor TurboTax will charge you until you reach the final stage of the transaction. Ultimately, FreeTaxUSA is the best deal, but TurboTax is a good backup plan. If your taxes are simple, chances are you’ll never have to use TurboTax. By taking advantage of this free service, you can save hundreds of dollars during tax season. Image by Pixabay TurboTax vs H&R Block Many people are stressed when they have to file their taxes. Fortunately, there are several ways to file your tax return….. TurboTax vs H&R Block Many people are stressed when they have to file their taxes. Fortunately, there are several ways to file your tax return…..The tax season is upon us, and that means it’s time to go through the inevitable tax preparation process of filling out tax forms, downloading software, and, if you’re lucky, getting a refund. This is where the decisions start to become more important—to use a tax preparation software or to use one of the many tax preparation companies that offer online services. If you’re like most Americans, you probably have an opinion of which one is better for your needs.. Read more about freetaxusa vs taxact and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better TurboTax or FreeTaxUSA?
Let’s face it, the IRS is not the friendliest of organizations, and they have a lot of power. They want to get you to pay more money to them, and they use all sorts of tricks to get you to do so. They make their job even easier by providing a free tax software solution, and there are two good ones: TurboTax and FreeTaxUSA. As we’re getting ready to file our taxes for the year, many of us have questions about the best way to complete our tax returns.
Which free tax filing service is best?
The biggest decision you’ll make this tax season is whether to use a free or paid tax filing service. Free file services have advantages over paid services, but there are also a number of scenarios in which you should consider the extra expense and effort required to use a paid service. However, the primary differences between free and paid services aren’t always clear, and there aren’t always clear answers to the question of which service is better. If you’re tired of waiting for the IRS to send you your tax return, then free tax filing services are your best bet. For those who aren’t afraid to take the plunge, these services are a great way to file your taxes over the internet. According to the IRS, using these services is a great way for those who have a limited income to file their taxes without incurring a fee.
Which tax software gives the most refund?
With the help of a tax professional, you can get your refund within 10 days of filing your federal tax return. You can also get a free copy of your federal tax return to make sure you got every credit you were entitled to. Then you can use your refund to pay down your credit cards, get a new cell phone, or even a home theater system. Whether you’re trying to earn a good return on investment or a tax refund, it’s important to know which tax software gives the most refund. The best tax software can offer you a refund and have your taxes prepared for free, which can give you a substantial saving over paying for a more expensive program.
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