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TurboTax review

If you're ready to file your 2022 tax return then consider using a tax preparation service like TurboTax. Getty Images/iStockphoto

To file your returns, you can complete them manually, hire an accountant or invest in one of many tax preparation services available in the U.S. The majority of Americans file their taxes online, and the reasons for doing so are obvious. 

The most popular tax prep service is TurboTax, which accounts for about 73% of all tax prep services, according to Bloomberg Second Measure. Are you considering using TurboTax to file your tax return? You can get started with TurboTax here now.

What is TurboTax?

TurboTax is a type of tax preparation software. It's been around since 1984 and is now the most-used tax program in the U.S. At its heart, TurboTax is designed to walk you through the process of filing your taxes online. It can also help you identify deductions you might not know you were eligible for.

TurboTax comes with several different levels of tax support. The most basic version is a guided walkthrough of filing your taxes. Paid versions give you access to live tax experts. You can ask them questions along the way or have them prepare the full returns on your behalf. 

Here's how the costs of TurboTax shake out per version:

TurboTax Basic

TurboTax Live Assisted

TurboTax Live Full Service

Service level

Guided DIY tax filing

Get live advice and answers as you go, plus an expert review before submission

Have your returns handled by a tax pro from start to finish


$0 to $119

Up to $209

$139 to $399

You'll notice there's a free version of the software. According to TurboTax, this version is only for use with the simplest of tax returns — meaning one filed using only IRS Form 1040. If you need to itemize your returns or attach any forms or schedules, you'll need a higher level of service.

Explore your TurboTax options here now to determine which version is best for you.

TurboTax pros

The biggest upside of TurboTax is that it can help you identify valuable deductions and maximize your refund. In fact, there's even a maximum refund guarantee. 

It also may save you money on your tax preparation services. According to the National Society of Accountants, the average cost for filing a federal return with a CPA is anywhere from $220 to $323, depending on whether you itemize your returns or not. If you need specialty forms like Form 709 (for gift taxes) or for an S Corp you operate, it can be much more expensive (up to $903). 

TurboTax also includes free audit support at all levels, so if you find yourself in the midst of an audit, you can consult the company's tax pros for help. And there's an add-on product called MAX that includes audit representation and defense.

Finally, TurboTax allows you to do your taxes fully online. There's no in-person meeting, and you can stop and start your returns as your busy schedule requires. It's easy to get started!

TurboTax cons

On the downside, TurboTax doesn't offer expert assistance with every package, so if you opt for the free and basic version, you may find yourself in need of more guidance along the way.

There also aren't any physical locations like H&R Block and other similar services offer. If you're not well-versed in the tax process or need extra hand-holding with your returns, this might be a dealbreaker. 

Last but not least, TurboTax is not ideal for those with complicated tax situations. If you have a more complex tax scenario, you may be best served with a dedicated accountant who can get to know your financial situation personally. Online guidance may not be enough to file your returns accurately or to maximize your refund.

How should you file your tax returns?

The best tax filing option depends on the complexity of your financial situation and your budget. For the majority of taxpayers who only need basic 1040s filed, TurboTax can be a great option, offering expert guidance at a low price (or even for free, in many cases). If you need more, though, it may be worth looking into other offerings in your area or, at least, speaking to a local account about their services and fees.

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