- Editor's Rating
- Generally easy to use
- Can handle complex returns
- Different editions available for taxpayers with different needs
- Costlier than competitors (except for online Free Edition)
- Some explanations will be over the heads of most taxpayers
Quick TakeNewcomers are encouraged to check it out, and if you used TurboTax last year, and were you pleased with it, you should probably stick with it again this year, too.
There is a reason TurboTax by Intuit is the most widely-used tax prep software for consumers, and even the SMB set. It’s available both in disk form and online, and TurboTax offers a free version for basic tax prep, as well as Deluxe for $29.99, Premier for $49.99, and Home & Business for $74.99.
For this evaluation, NotebookReview tested out the Premier edition, which is targeted at tax payers with investment or real estate income, with the major differences between the editions being the level of assistance offered by the program.
The cost for both Premier and Home & Business includes up to five federal returns and one state, though extra state returns run $37.95 each (for those that live and work in different states, for example). There are also fees for efiling depending on the state, though federal efiled returns are free.
For the most part, TurboTax proves why it is the most popular option. As NBR notes “Intuit has earned its chops in both the consumer and professional tax software markets, and the company invests a lot of money every year into making sure it provides a quality product.” Turbo Tax is easy to use and scalable, it’s perfect for simple returns, and can handle even complex ones. It’s also very good at incorporating a user’s previous returns for reference, and offers a “Community” option for discussions with other users, which is extremely helpful in regards to clearing up any user confusion.
On the downside, outside of the free online edition, TurboTax is a bit more expense than some of its competitors, like H&R Block’s capable online offering, and even the best software can’t make the nation’s extremely complex tax code easy for everyone to understand. But for those looking to ditch the family accountant and actually try to file their own taxes, they’ll likely find TurboTax makes it a relatively pain-free process.