What You Get From Turbotax’s Free Version
TurboTax offers a free version for simple tax returns only it lets you file a Form 1040 and this year can handle unemployment income reported on a 1099-G.
But it cant itemize deductions or handle schedules 1, 2 or 3 of Form 1040, which means it probably wont work for you if you plan to deduct mortgage interest, report business or freelance income, report stock sales or income from a rental property, or deduct student loan interest.
How To Ask For A Refund
If you made less than $34,000 last year and paid to file your taxes on TurboTax, you may be able to get a refund.
A reader who reported that TurboTax agreed to refund his money said he called the TurboTax customer service line at 888-777-3066.
Spokespeople for Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, didnt immediately respond to a request for comment on its refund policy.
If you made less than $66,000 last year, you should have been able to prepare and file your taxes for free with one of the companies participating in the IRS Free File program. But each company has its own distinct eligibility requirements. Its not clear if the other companies would offer refunds.
Qualifying To Free File
Tip: If you’re active duty military, you can use the TurboTax Free File Program if you have a family income of up to $66,000 for the year.
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How Do I Get Help Filing My Taxes Online
If at any point you have a question about your taxes or the software, you can browse answers on our online help forum 24/7, or post a question for our online community of users and experts. While youre filing you may realize that youre looking for more guidance or help with your taxes. In that case you can upgrade to a different TurboTax Online product at any time without losing any of the data youre already entered.
Need more help? TurboTax Live Assist & Review gives you unlimited tax advice from one of our tax experts as you do your taxes, plus a final review before you file to make sure you didnt miss anything. Or if you want to hand off your taxes to one of our experts, TurboTax Live Full Service allows you to simply upload your documents and our experts will complete and file your return for you.
What Is Free File
Yet a simple way to cut down on costs which many people oddly don’t tap into remains using the IRS Free File system, if you qualify. Why pay $40 or $50 or more for online software if you don’t have to do so?
The Free File program at IRS.gov gives eligible taxpayers free access to brand name software programs offered by rival tax-prep companies. Those who qualify can use online software that prompts filers with key tax questions, does the math and allows you to file returns electronically for free. E-filing helps the IRS process returns and issue refunds more quickly than a return filed by paper.
TurboTax was but one partner in Free File. Those who selected TurboTax last year are able to opt for another online tax preparation service in the Free File program. Last year, there were nine tax software products available via Free File in English and two in Spanish.
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How Do I File 2019 Taxes On Turbo Tax
You cannot file 2019 taxes Online. You must purchase and download the TurboTax software for PC or Mac as TurboTax Online and the mobile app are only available for the current tax year.
After installing the software, open it and follow the onscreen instructions.
Prior year returns must be paper-filed, as e-filing is no longer available. We’ll walk you through that process when you get to the File section in the software.
How To File For Free With Turbotax
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD. Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow’s legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 4,220 times.
Under an agreement with the IRS, TurboTax and other tax software companies offer a Free File Program that allows you to use their software to file your federal taxes for free. However, the free file program may be difficult for you to find on your own. If you file your taxes on the regular TurboTax page, you may end up being charged a fee to use the service. Make sure you qualify, then go directly to the website for the TurboTax Free File Program. That way, you can be certain that you won’t be charged by TurboTax to file your federal taxes.XResearch source
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Filing Taxes For Free With Other Services
TurboTax isn’t the only service to drop out of IRS Free File recently. H& R Block left the project in 2020.
Even so, IRS Free File is still plugging along. If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you’re eligible for free guided tax prep from options like Tax Slayer, FileYourTaxes.com and TaxAct. If your income exceeds that, you qualify for free fillable forms .
Experts generally recommend starting your taxes early so as to avoid software snafus, refund delays and identity thieves. If you’re not opting for IRS Free File, there’s also a financial reason to avoid procrastinating: Tax prep fees tend to rise the closer Tax Day gets.
File A Simple Return With Turbotax Live Basic By March 31
TurboTax is also offering its TurboTax Live Basic product at no cost for qualifying federal and state returns for a limited time. You’ll need to file your return by March 31, 2022, and you’ll need to have a simple return to be eligible to use this service.
With this option, you can prepare your taxes while getting some assistance. As you prepare your return, you can chat with a tax expert. You can also set up a time to video chat. A tax expert will also review your tax return before filing it.
If you qualify for a simple return and file before March 31, 2022, this service will cost you $0.
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Available Versions And List Prices
Federal: $0 State: $0
For simple tax returns only it allows you to file a 1040 and a state return for free, but you cant itemize or file schedules 1-3 of the 1040. Generally, it works only for people who dont plan to claim any deductions or credits other than the standard deduction, the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit.
Federal: $80 State: $45
This is essentially the free version but with on-demand video access to a tax pro for help, advice and a final review.
Federal: $60 State: $50
This version lets you itemize and claim several other tax deductions and tax credits. And if you have business income but no expenses, this might work for you, too.
You cant report capital gains or rental income .
Federal: $90 State: $50
This is the Deluxe version with added capability for reporting investments and rental income .
Federal: $120 State: $50
Gets you everything in the Premier version, plus it can handle both business income and expenses on a Schedule C. It also works for the home office deduction, and offers extra deduction help and special Square, Uber and Lyft features for freelancers, independent contractors and side-hustlers.
Free For Ride Share Drivers :
If you are a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft, you probably qualify for Free TurboTax Self-Employed. You can also get a 50% discount on TurboTax Live through your driver dashboard. Learn more here: Uber | Lyft
A psychic recently contacted the ghost of Charlotte Bronte and asked her whether TurboTax was really free. She answered, I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with a free and independent will. If I were an American citizen in 2022 I would file my Federal and State taxes free with TurboTax.
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Why Isnt Turbotax Part Of Irs Free File Anymore
TurboTax announced in a blog post last July that it was not renewing its role with IRS Free File due to its limitations and conflicting demands from those outside the program that leave it unable to continue participating while still delivering all of the benefits that can help consumers make more money, save more, and invest for the future.
However, the company vowed not to give up on free tax filing options. TurboTax said it processed 17 million free tax filings last season of that, only 3 million came through the Free File program.
Moving forward, Intuit is committed to continuing to offer free tax preparation while accelerating innovation to address all of consumers financial problems, it added.
Its worth noting that TurboTax came under fire a few years ago for using code that hid its Free File page from Google results, as reported by ProPublica. It later changed the code.
How Can I File For Free
As you likely know, most tax software charges you a fee to file your state and federal returns. But there are a couple of free options out there.
If your adjusted gross income, or AGI which is your income less some deductions, like 401 or IRA contributions is less than $73,000, you qualify for IRS Free File, a partnership between the government and several tax prep companies.
One thing to note: TurboTax and H& R Block, two of the most popular tax prep services, are no longer part of the Free File program. But there are eight other services available, including TaxAct and TaxSlayer. Just make sure you access Free File through the IRS website so it’s truly free. In the past, people have reported finding a service advertised as free via a Google search, only to owe money once they actually used it.
If you earn more than the income threshold, or have more complicated taxes, it can be difficult to find a free service. In the past, I’ve used Credit Karma Tax, now Cash App Taxes, to file for free and found it easy to use . You can also fill out the IRS’ Free File Fillable Forms on your own.
That said, it is easy to get upsold with these products, so watch out. If you had income from freelancing , rental properties or investments like stocks, you’ll have to upgrade at a cost.
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If You’re Getting A Refund
No matter how you file, you can choose to receive your refund several ways.
A direct deposit to a bank account is the fastest option. You can also have it loaded onto a Turbo Visa Debit Card or sent as a paper check.
Other options include applying the refund to next years taxes and directing the IRS to buy U.S. Savings Bonds with your refund.
You have the option of paying for the software out of your refund. But theres a $40 charge to do that.
File A Simple Return For Free With Turbotax Free Edition
TurboTax offers its TurboTax Free Edition to taxpayers who qualify for a simple return. If your tax situation is simple and you don’t require more complex tax forms to file your return, you likely qualify for this free filing service. When using TurboTax Free Edition, eligible taxpayers will pay $0 to file their state and federal tax returns.
Are you wondering if your tax situation qualifies for a simple return? If you only require a 1040 form, you might qualify. The following tax situations are covered in the TurboTax Free Edition:
- W-2 income
TurboTax Free Edition is available the entire tax season.
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Will We See Simpler Solutions Ahead
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took a shot in July on Twitter at Intuit for exiting the Free File program and said the “IRS can, and should, create its own free tax preparation and filing system.”
Back in early 2020, before the pandemic hit, the IRS said it was no longer promising not to enter the tax return software and e-file services marketplace. The pledge no longer exists for not creating a government-run system.
Then, it seemed there could be a flicker of hope.
The pandemic, though, hit the IRS hard. Shutdowns to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 triggered delays in processing income tax returns and issuing refunds. The IRS also picked up extra work for rolling out Economic Impact Payments and later the advance Child Tax Credit to shore up the economy. It wasn’t pretty.
Going forward, it only makes sense for the IRS to work harder to give taxpayers even more access to no-cost software options for those willing to do their own tax returns. Getting Congress to really simplify the tax code wouldn’t hurt, either.
Follow Susan Tompor on Twittertompor.
Pay Social Security Taxes To Qualify For Benefits
Self-employed individuals have to pay Social Security taxes through their estimated tax payments and individual income tax returns. By filing a return and paying the associated taxes, you report your income so that you may qualify for Social Security retirement and disability benefits when you need them.
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What Was The Big Criticism
Big names, like Intuit’s TurboTax and H& R Block, faced much criticism back in 2019 after a ProPublica investigation detailed how the companies limited the program’s reach by making free options more difficult to find online and instead figuring out a way to steer eligible taxpayers into products that weren’t free.
ProPublica’s reporting included pointing out that Intuit added code to the Free File landing page of TurboTax that hid it from search engines like Google, making it hard to find.
In January 2020, the IRS announced some changes designed to offer more consumer protections.
One such change: Tax preparation firms agreed that they would not exclude “Free File” landing pages from an organic internet search.
The IRS suggested that taxpayers search for standard labeling: “IRS Free File program delivered by .”
As part of IRS Free File, taxpayers cannot be offered bank products that often carry fees, such as high-cost refund anticipation loans.
If you used IRS Free File last year, the company you used is required to send you an email welcoming you back to their official IRS Free File services.
The email must include a link to the companys IRS Free File site and explain how to file with it. If you choose this email link and qualify, you will not be charged for preparation and e-filing of a federal tax return.
Request Tax Documents From The Irs
Finding documents from previous years may be challenging for some. Thankfully, the IRS has a form you can fill out to request any tax information they have on file for you for a given year. Form 4506-T allows you to request a transcript of your tax return information, even if you haven’t filed a tax return. You can request information from the last 10 tax years.
The IRS will send the information it has on record, including information found on forms such as W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s. It won’t have information about deductions and credits you may qualify for, though, so you’ll still need to do some work on your own.
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Free Canadian Tax Software
TurboTax Free costs $0. File your simple Canadian tax return for free with no hidden fees.
Follow a simple step-by-step process to fill out your return and our software will do the math.
Save time by importing your tax slips into your return from the CRA with Auto-fill my return.
TurboTax Free protects all your personal tax info so you can file your taxes confidently.
Browse our TurboTax Community forum 24/7 or post a tax question for our users and experts.
TurboTax Free is ideal for simple tax situations:
Employment and unemployment income
Why customers love TurboTax Free