Your Personal Finance Pro http://yourpfpro.com Personal Finance for Young Professionals Tue, 16 Oct 2018 23:22:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 31591919 TurboTax 2013 Review and Premier Edition Giveaway http://yourpfpro.com/turbotax-2013-review-premier-edition-giveaway/ http://yourpfpro.com/turbotax-2013-review-premier-edition-giveaway/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 13:12:33 +0000 http://yourPFpro.com/?p=3820 I’m a big proponent of do it yourself financial solutions and when it comes to taxes my feelings are no different.  CPA’s and tax professionals are expensive and they probably don’t make sense for about 90% of us.  Even though our tax system is pretty insane and convoluted, as long as you understand the basics […]

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TurboTax 2013 Review and Premier Edition GiveawayI’m a big proponent of do it yourself financial solutions and when it comes to taxes my feelings are no different.  CPA’s and tax professionals are expensive and they probably don’t make sense for about 90% of us.  Even though our tax system is pretty insane and convoluted, as long as you understand the basics online tax software can make your life a lot easier and save you some money.  If you can answer simple questions about your life and enter a few financial data points, you have the ability to do your taxes yourself.  I think half the battle is accumulating all of your documents and recording your expenses anyways and you’ll have to do that whether you use a tax professional or not.

I think it’s important to have  a basic understanding of how taxes work before you do your taxes.  A lot of people think that if they go to a CPA or tax professional, they’re completely off the hook in the event of an audit but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  As long as there was no negligence on the CPA’s part, you are completely responsible for your tax return.  If you provide wrong information that leads to an error in your tax return you are the one who will be responsible.  I know it’s not fun to figure out your taxes but you should spend some time researching the subject before handing off your tax return or just entering your info online.

TurboTax 2013 Review

Turbo Tax is the number one rated tax software for a reason.  They cater their software to every day folk like you and I.  I’ve used Turbo Tax for the past 5 years and although my taxes are very complicated, Turbo Tax does make it easy to get my returns done.  It seems like every year I struggle between going to a CPA or doing my taxes myself and I always pick the latter.

If you’ve used Turbo Tax in the past, a lot of the features are the same.  Here’s a very detailed review of their services that I did last year if you’d like more information.  They do have some new features this year though:

  • Personalized experience for returning customers: Using data from the prior year’s return, TurboTax 2013 makes tax preparation faster and easier than ever by automatically transferring your personal information and prior year tax return data, including W-2 wage and salary information from your employer, and then adapts itself based on that information to slash screens and questions that are not relevant to their specific tax situation.
  • Customized MyTurboTax home base: MyTurboTax offers a simple, unified home base where customers can access important tax tasks and information.  You can easily view a summary of last year’s tax return as well as a timeline of your entire TurboTax history.
  • Quick, easy access to answers: TurboTax provides direct access to answers and experts from every screen.
  • Get More for Your Refund: Exclusively with TurboTax, customers can choose to use part of their federal tax refund to purchase an Amazon.com Gift Card and TurboTax will add an extra 5 to 10 percent to the amount.

Turbo Tax Giveaway

This year I’ll be giving away 5 Premier Turbo Tax codes for my loyal readers.  You’ll also be able to file your state taxes for free with them.  The Premier version is currently listed at $49.99 on TurboTax’s website so this is a pretty nice deal if you’re in the market for tax software.  I’ve also made it very easy to earn multiple entries this year by sharing, following and signing up for our e-mail list.  If you’re already subscribed or already following us on social media, then you can use that option to enter.  We will be verifying all winning entries so good luck and feel free to let me know if you have any questions at all!

If you’d like to go ahead and buy a version of TurboTax, please use my affiliate link and I will receive a small commission on your sale.

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Turbo Tax 2012 Review and Premier/Deluxe Giveaway http://yourpfpro.com/turbo-tax-2012-review-and-premierdeluxe-giveaway/ http://yourpfpro.com/turbo-tax-2012-review-and-premierdeluxe-giveaway/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 00:42:18 +0000 http://yourPFpro.com/?p=1934 I’ve been using Turbo Tax to file my taxes for several years now so I thought it would be appropriate to review their product.  Last year, I debated over whether or not to hire a CPA but ultimately decided on using Turbo Tax again.  Although my taxes have gotten more complicated over the years, I’ve […]

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Turbo_Tax_2012_Review_Giveaway_Premier_DeluxeI’ve been using Turbo Tax to file my taxes for several years now so I thought it would be appropriate to review their product.  Last year, I debated over whether or not to hire a CPA but ultimately decided on using Turbo Tax again.  Although my taxes have gotten more complicated over the years, I’ve always been a big do-it-yourselfer(see: cheap) so naturally I hate the idea of paying someone to do my taxes.

My W2 income is pretty standard(even with itemized deductions) but the main reason why I considered hiring a CPA was due to the fact that I’m an independent contractor for my second job.  But since that income was less than $10,000, I didn’t think it would be worth it to hire a CPA.  I ended up consulting a friend in the tax business who helped me out with my business deductions.

Giveaway

Through another good friend at Intuit, I was able to acquire 3 free copies of Turbo Tax Premier($87 value) and 2 free copies of Turbo Tax Deluxe($67 value) for my readers.  There are several ways to enter to win a copy so please use the Rafflecopter entry form below.  On to the review:

Which Version Should You Get?

Turbo Tax offers their product in two forms: CD/Downloadable or Online Version.  Both products are similar but the online version is completely free until you file.  It’s also kind of neat being able to save all your documents online and work on your return from wherever you want.  Seeing as how everything is going on the cloud these days, I would recommend the online version.

From there, it gets a little trickier as Turbo Tax offers several different options based on your filing status and tax situation.  I think picking the correct option is probably the toughest part but here’s a rundown straight from Turbo Tax’s website:

Turbo_Tax_Options_deluxe_premier_home_business_basic

I chose the Home & Business version since I technically own my own business for my second job.  But most people should be just fine with the deluxe edition.  The premier version gives you everything the deluxe has plus a little extra help with the investments and rental properties side.

Worth The Cost(or Lack of Cost)?

The prices listed above do not reflect the cost for state e-file which is $36.99.  I think the price of Turbo Tax is relatively fair and although I know there are some cheaper options available, you often get what you pay for.  Turbo Tax basically guides you through the whole process and makes it pretty tough to make a mistake.  Even if you itemize, there are cool features like the charitable deductions wizard that allows you to enter the items you donated and it gives you the value you can deduct.

If you’re looking for more face to face interaction, then tax software is probably not for you.  Although Turbo Tax does a great job guiding you through the process, you still have to do most of the work.  I like their customer support options though, since you can get help from live online chat, by phone or on their online forums.

Best Features

  • Turbo Tax allows you to import prior year’s tax returns(even if it’s from another company) and it will show you comparisons to last year as you’re doing your taxes.
  • You can import all your tax forms from financial institutions like ADP, TD-Ameritrade, Vanguard, etc.
  • All of their online versions are free up until the point where you actually file.

If you’re on the fence about trying it out, you’re in luck since there’s no risk with the online software.  You can complete your entire tax form and you won’t have to pay a single cent until you actually file.  It might also be a good way to check up on the work of your CPA or other service that you may be using.  If you end up getting a nice return, go do whatever you want with it: spend it, save it in your bank account or use it.

I don’t have too much negative to say about Turbo Tax since I’ve been using it for so many years.  But there are certain situations in which you need to be careful about your return.  I almost made a mistake when it came to my employer stock purchase plan since my discount amount was reported as income on my W2 and my 1099 from Fidelity reported the same amount as a capital gain.  I had to go in and manually correct the amount paid on my 1099 from Fidelity otherwise I would have paid income tax plus capital gains tax.  It’s situations like these that you need to be careful of when going with tax software.

If you’d like to sign up with Turbo Tax, do so below(affiliate link) or just enter to win my giveaway!

Readers, have you ever used a tax software like Turbo Tax?  Or do you prefer face to face contact with a CPA or tax professional?  Or is there another option I’ve never even heard of?

-Harry @ PF Pro

TurboTax - Do your Taxes for Free - It's Easy

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