TurboTax Online [Prepare Taxes Online with Free eFile]

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TurboTax Online is How I file my taxes

Note: find out exactly what you can get for free with TurboTax.

This is just a quick post to let DFA readers know how I file my taxes and which software I trust for my own returns.  Here is a brief history of how I have filed my taxes over the years.

  • Manual filing – Back in 1990 my dad helped me file my very first 1040EZ by hand.  I continued to file manually for years then switched to TurboTax.
  • TurboTax Desktop - Once released I could not turn down a computer program that filled out my tax forms for me, so I started using TurboTax desktop edition and it saved me a lot of time and manual form entry.
  • TurboTax Online – A few years back TurboTax made their software available in a browser, without having to download and install any software.  I quickly fell in love and have been using the Online version of TurboTax ever since!

I currently use TurboTax Online

This is the 5th year we have used TurboTax Online to file our tax returns.  My experience has been very positive and I have nothing but good things to say about filing online.

In fact, my biggest complaints are not with TurboTax at all but with our employers and financial institutions not getting our tax documents out sooner.  Since TurboTax is released before our documents I am always waiting anxiously to get the documents and start filing.

Once I get started, the entire process usually only takes me about 4 – 6 hours for our married filing jointly return.  I almost always have the return completed by the first week of February and the funds direct deposited just a few days later.  Are you just starting yours now?  ;)

Tax help and tips for first time online software users

  1. You can try the software for free. There is no obligation to buy until you are ready to file the return.  Why not try it?  This is how the online software won me over… I tried it out, saw how easy it was, and never looked back.
  2. Free efile for federal return included. TurboTax Online throws in the federal efile free of charge.  How cool is that?
  3. You do not have to download anything. TurboTax Online runs entirely in your browser as any other website would.  All you have to do is create an account, login, and start filing.
  4. Import data year to year. Every year my tax information from the prior year automatically pulls into my current years return which saves me a lot of time and headache.
  5. You can import data from other programs. TurboTax Online supports the importing of data from other programs thus minimizing data entry when switching.
  6. Tax help ensuring max deductions. After using TurboTax for several years I can skip a lot of the walkthroughs, but in the first year I went through every one just to make sure I was getting every deduction possible.  As far as  I know I have never missed a deduction.
  7. Audit likeliness review. TurboTax Online includes an audit review of your return where they evaluate your data entry to see if anything you claim throws up “red audit flags” to the IRS.   Personally I love this option… it gives me that extra piece of mind I’m looking for as a tax layman.
  8. Checks for errors before filing. Right before submitting your return TurboTax Online does an error check on all your forms to ensure there are no errors that will be rejected by the IRS.  This is cool because it lets you know your return was done right the first time.

Try TurboTax for free and efile for free

To me using TurboTax feels similar to having a tax professional sit through my return with me.  Once it is complete I always feel confident that my data is entered correctly without missing any deductions.  Speaking of deductions, make sure not to overlook any of the 11 most commonly missed deductions!  Otherwise, try TurboTax Online now.

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