Oh boy, oh boy, do I love March! With the weather getting warmer, I can spend more time outside. I can’t say the same thing of my humans, though…they keep talking about “filing taxes” and how they’ll never see the light of day! (Which is also confusing because they are definitely awake during the daylight hours.)
Last year, I found a digital tax preparation program that surely made their tails wag (well, it did to mine!) with all its capabilities and features: TurboTax®! I grabbed the family tablet while my humans were busy to see what I could sniff out to help them this year; and wouldn’t you know, TurboTax is still the top dog of tax filing programs.
Advantages of Intuit TurboTax
Free & Paid Versions ($59.99-119.99), with the possibility of receiving discount pricing on paid versions for filing early
State Return Cost: $0 for Free Version, $39.99 for Paid Versions
If you want an easy and straightforward experience (and who doesn’t? That’s all my humans keep talking about in what they’re looking for to file their taxes…), then TurboTax is for you! It has an exceptional user interface and prepares your tax forms through an interview-style Q&A that’s written out in plain language so it’s easy to understand. With every answer you provide, TurboTax automatically calculates numbers and translates your responses into the information it needs to correctly place your personal and financial data on your tax forms. Its artificial intelligence system will even recommend deductions you can take based on your profession!
For the budget-conscious, there is a free version of TurboTax which supports the 1040EZ and 1040A forms. To qualify, you must meet one of the following requirements: your 2018 household AGI is $34,000 or less; you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); or, in 2018, you served as active duty military (including Reservists and National Guard) with a maximum AGI of $66,000, and you have a military-issued W-2.
However, if you think you’re going to need a little more paw-holding and support when preparing your forms, there’s a tier of paid versions with levels of helpful resources; from $59.99 for the Deluxe program to $79.99 for Premier, and $119.99 for the Self-Employed version. The good thing about the paid versions is that users get the additional feature of real-time help via SmartLook at no extra cost (free users have to pay for this service). The SmartLook one-way video conference allows the user to see and talk with an actual tax specialist, who in turn is able to view your screen to troubleshoot and answer questions! And new this year to TurboTax for both Premier and Self-Employed versions is the ability to accurately account for gains and losses from cryptocurrency transactions.
TurboTax also offers its TurboTax Live service that debuted last year to any filer. At a cost of approximately $186.98, TurboTax Live is still worth its price tag for seamlessly handling every IRS form and schedule while providing unlimited live tax advice. And with this version, you get a one-on-one meeting with a human CPA or EA (Enrolled Agent), too, so you can go over any questions or filing issues you may have before you start.
While TurboTax is one of the more costly tax preparation programs, the resources you get in return can be a great advantage, especially for those humans filing their taxes on their own. And better yet, TurboTax is available right in your own SIS Bank checking account! That means you’ll get your return a lot faster with SIS Bank’s direct deposit.
There are dozens of tax preparation programs and online software available, but TurboTax is surely one of the best because of its comprehensive and thorough coverage of all tax forms. Now I just have to show my humans what I’ve found… perhaps I’ll print off my findings and place it in front of Clawdia’s special bathroom. The humans regularly clean that thing out, so they will definitely notice my findings!
Howl at you soon,
Your pawsitively pawesome pal Cache