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Turbo Tax Software Review

written by: Jennifer Wingard•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/29/2011
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Turbo Tax, one of the most popular tax preparation software applications on the market, delivers what you need to calculate your return without the expense of hiring an accountant. With guaranteed accurate calculations and maximized deductions, Turbo Tax delivers a powerful product you can trust.

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    Turbo Tax Overview

    Turbo Tax is one of the most simple to use tax software solutions available on the market today. Powered by Intuit, the makers of the popular Quicken finance programs, Turbo Tax offers powerful tax solutions that will not leave any stones unturned when it comes to getting the deductions you deserve.

    With both desktop applications as well as browser-based solutions, you are sure to find a good fit with one of the many editions of the software. The Turbo Tax catchphrase sums up their software in two words: “Choose Easy” and they deliver on the ease of use promise.

    Although the online version of the software seems to have more options and value for the price, both the online and desktop versions are excellent applications and the stress involved with filing your taxes is nearly eliminated thanks to these tax preparation solutions.

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    Turbo Tax Online

    Rating Average

    Turbo Tax Online provides an excellent solution for users with broadband or cable internet. Although users with dial-up internet may still be able to use the software, opting for the desktop version would likely be a better choice.

    Pros

    • Secure login from any computer with internet service
    • Guarantees maximum deduction/return
    • Possible to complete taxes in under 45 minutes
    • Free audit support
    • Information import for next year’s taxes
    • Free e-file for speedy return
    • Five editions to choose from ranging from simple to Home and Business
    • Free online help
    • Offers a free version for simple returns
    • Less expense involved compared to accountant fees
    • Running tally of expected refund
    • Pick up where you left off in the event of internet disconnection
    • Print and view for free after creating account
    • Can start return without creating account
    • All editions other than free import your Quicken financial data

    Cons

    • Not optimal for dial-up customers
    • State filing fees additional
    • Must be connected to internet
    • Does not import from Quicken Medical Expense Manager
    • Does not offer Business Version

    Price

    Prices for Turbo Tax Online vary based on the edition you choose. The prices range from free to $79.95 for the Home and Business edition. State filing fees vary according to the edition you choose. All editions allow you to start for free and payment is not made until you finalize your return.

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    Turbo Tax CD/Download

    Rating Average

    The Turbo Tax CD/Download option for the desktop provides the same ease of use as the online version without the requirement for an active internet connection. This would be the optimal choice for those with dial-up internet connections or those who prefer desktop applications to their browser-based counterparts.

    Pros

    • Five federal e-files free per license
    • Can prepare an unlimited number of federal returns
    • Import information from Microsoft Money, Quicken, QuickBooks, and Turbo Tax
    • Prepare state returns free (not available with Basic Edition)
    • File state returns for less than Turbo Tax Online’s fees
    • Guaranteed maximum deductions
    • No internet connection required during preparation
    • Five editions to choose from ranging from Basic to Business
    • Save your information and start where you left off

    Cons

    • No free version available
    • No free audit support
    • Higher cost than Turbo Tax Online for federal preparation
    • Free online help not available
    • Internet connection required to e-file, otherwise print and mail which increases wait for refund
    • Additional fees for filing state returns
    • Upfront payment required for software purchase or download

    Price

    Turbo Tax CD/Download offers five editions to suit your needs for personal or business tax preparation. Prices range from $29.95 for the Basic Edition to $109.95 for Business. State filing fees are additional for each edition and vary slightly in price depending upon the edition you choose.