Free TurboTax – Free Returns, Free eFile, and Free Tax Help

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TurboTax – limited free offers

As I mentioned the other day, I have been using TurboTax Online to file my taxes for years and have always been very happy with it.  I gave you my opinion of the software so you could use the info to move forward with your own taxes… I hope it helps out.

Today I wanted to offer DFA readers more tax help by addressing three specific areas of interest:

  1. TurboTax – Free returns

  2. TurboTax – Free efile

  3. TurboTax – Free tax help

Regardless of your situation you will be able to take advantage of some of the free offers from TurboTax this year so make sure you know what you can get and what you cannot.

Does TurboTax offer free returns?

Yes – as long as you use TurboTax Online and only require a 1040EZ form then you can file your federal return for free.  The state is not free.  If your return is too complex for the 1040EZ then you will have to pay according to the following levels (filing a state return is always optional):

Free EditionDeluxe EditionPremier EditionHome & Biz Edition
Federal = FreeFederal = $29.95Federal = $49.95Federal = $74.95
State = $27.95 (optional)State = $36.95 (optional)State = $36.95 (optional)State = $36.95 (optional)

Does TurboTax offer free efile?

Yes – as long as you use TurboTax Online you can file both your state and federal returns free of charge.

Here are the details of what you can efile for free and what you have to pay for when using TurboTax:

TurboTax OnlineTurboTax CD/Download
Free federal efile includedFree federal efile included
Free state efile included$19.95 per state efile

Does TurboTax offer free tax help?

Yes. Actually they offer quite a well of free tax knowledge… a lot of which I refer to quite often to answer questions of my own.  🙂

Here are a few great topics I have found helpful in the past that I’m sure many others will be able to use:

  • Tax Preparation Checklist – Before you prepare your 2009 income tax return, go through the following checklist. Not every category will apply to you, so just pick those that do, and make sure you have that information available. When you’re ready to prepare your tax return using TurboTax software, you’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll save by organizing your information beforehand.
  • 2009 Stimulus Package: What’s In It For You — and When – There’s good news ahead for most taxpayers. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law — an economic stimulus bill that gives tax breaks to a large portion of Americans of all ages and income levels, as well as to businesses.
  • A Stimulus Boost for Some Earned Income Tax Filers – Two recent changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) may put more money in your pocket in 2009 and in 2010 if you are married, or if you have three or more qualifying children.
  • The 11 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions – Don’t overpay taxes by overlooking tax deductions. See the most common errors taxpayers make on their tax returns, so you don’t make the same mistakes.
  • Top 10 Oddball Tax Deductions – TurboTax helps you find every deduction and credit you deserve to help you get your maximum tax refund. But just for fun, we’ve uncovered what we think are the weirdest deductions allowed, from pet food to free beer to (we’re not kidding) a girlfriend.

Quick returns quick refunds

If you have an income tax refund due you this year be sure to get your return filed as soon as possible.  The sooner you get your return filed the sooner you will get your refund.

Make sure you use the refund wisely.  Here are a few ideas:  debt reduction, emergency fund savings, other liquid savings, retirement savings, or if you have already funded each of those… go on vacation with your return.  Whatever you do, just make sure you are responsible so you can continue to set yourself up to win financially!

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1 Brian

I just wanted to mention that you can get all of these way cheaper at or even Walmart, Staples, Target, etc. Buying direct from the TurboTax website is the most expensive way to go. even sells a download for less than the hard CD copy. I use TurboTax every year and I never buy from the TurboTax website.

People might also want to check with their banks and brokerage houses as some have a deal/reduced rate for TurboTax thru their websites (e.g. Vanguard, State Farm, etc).

2 Matt Jabs

Thanks for the info Brian… everyone should always seek out the best deals for purchases – I know I do! 🙂

3 Mchelle Traudt

Great post Matt! We are doing our taxes right now and getting together all of our deductions. Thanks for all of the good info! And we love Turbo Tax!

4 lrgche

Is the State free or not?

In the section:Does TurboTax offer free returns?
you say that the state is not free and that it costs $27.95.

Then in the section: Does TurboTax offer free efile?
is says that they offer free efile

5 Matt Jabs

The eFiling service is free, but the use of the State software is not… that is the delineation.

6 lrgche

Then the statement “Free state efile included” seems weird.

My brother is looking for a free state option, after completing the federal for free already with TaxACT.

7 Matt Jabs

Tell your bother to visit this link – he’ll love me for it. 🙂

8 lrgche

Unfortunately, the Non-resident state form is not available for online iFile from VA. Looks like we’re stuck doing to a paper state return the old fashioned way. Just can’t bring myself to pay for something I can do myself for free.

9 lrgche

Absolutely! Thanks Matt!

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