This post is sponsored by TurboTax. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Now that it’s tax season, I wanted to share some information with you guys, because I’ve found, by far, the best way to do taxes.
It combines the precision and simplicity of using a tax professional with the inexpensiveness of doing it yourself.
TurboTax is the perfect compromise between the traditional two options for filing taxes. It makes doing taxes yourself way easier, but has a lot of the same perks as filing them through a tax professional (at a much more affordable price.)
TurboTax is easier because it breaks down the process of filing taxes step-by-step. It asks you one question at a time, and helps guide you through the process bit by bit so it feels a lot less overwhelming. This way of filling out the forms also prevents you from accidentally missing questions altogether.
I can’t tell you how much I prefer being asked one question at a time, rather than having the whole shebang looming in front of me. I can almost pretend I’m filling out a fun survey, not a boring tax form.
These simple questions give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. Talk about fun 😉
Also, unlike filing your taxes completely on your own, there’s lots of hand-holding available if you need it. With each question they ask, they have a link you can click if you need more information. And if that’s not enough, they have live (human!) help available to you – so if you need individualized help, they’re there.
Also, their support is top notch.
They don’t just communicate through a chat window: you can connect with them via one-way video and screen sharing, which allows them to view the screen you’re currently on and circle the next steps for you. You can also schedule an appointment with an online tax expert at a time and date that works best for you, so you can ask any and all questions you need to and receive advice tailored to your situation.
This is an example of what you’ll see if you get assistance this way.
They also help to eliminate how much data you have to manually enter – you can just take a picture of your W-2 and they’ll input all the information where it needs to go. And for many companies, you can enter your employee/employer ID numbers and it’ll automatically bring up your W-2 from their system. So. Much. Faster.
And like I said, their service is far cheaper than hiring a tax professional to prepare your taxes for you. Let’s look at the numbers for a minute.
There are a few situations where you can actually use the service for free through their Absolute Zero program, such as:
- If your adjusted gross income is $31,000 or less
- If you’re an active military member with an adjusted gross income of $62,000 or less
- If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
With their Absolute Zero program, you don’t have to pay a penny for tax preparation in these circumstances.
For the most complicated of situations (such as being self-employed or receiving any sort of rental income, etc), their service normally maxes out at about $115 – which is a fraction of the cost of having self-employment taxes prepared by a professional.
Plus, they guarantee you’ll get the largest refund possible.
It’s seriously a bargain.
You can check out the different versions and features of TurboTax to determine which one is right for you here.
Speaking of being self-employed, by the way, TurboTax has a specific program available for if you’re self-employed/independently contracted. So if you’re thinking this post really isn’t for you, because your tax situation is too complicated for you to manage by yourself, I’m happy to tell you: You’re wrong.
TurboTax Self-Employed is specifically for those who are self-employed or work as independent contractors and allows you to access help from industry leaders to help you maximize your deductions and pay less at tax time. And, right now, TurboTax is offering Busy Budgeter readers 10% off TurboTax Self-Employed.
One of the best things about the program is a service called Expense Finder. This allows you to scan bank account/credit card transactions for possible expenses you may have missed. It also automatically imports, separates, and categorizes expenses into business and personal, which better allows you to separate personal transactions from business.
Also, to keep track of your income and expenses year-round, TurboTax Self-Employed integrates with Quickbooks Self Employed, which allows you to scan receipts for deductions, track mileage, and overall help you to have your ducks in a row come next tax time. This is especially appealing because you can use it to file and pay estimated quarterly taxes.
Doing your own taxes helps you to feel more empowered and in control of your own finances, so no matter what your tax situation looks like this year, TurboTax is a great option.
Have you ever DIY’ed your taxes before?