• Online and desktop versions: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Tax review by a professional: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Auto import tax documents: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Professional representation before IRS: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Support Service: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Price: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Customer Support: ★★★★☆ 4/5

2021 TurboTax Review [Features, Pros, Pricing, Ease of Use]

  • Online and desktop versions: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Tax review by a professional: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Auto import tax documents: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Professional representation before IRS: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Support Service: ★★★★★ 5/5
  • Price: ★★★★☆ 4/5
  • Customer Support: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Best For

Filing taxes with software + human help

STRENGTHS

  • Lot of helpful features
  • Free plan
  • Mobile App
  • Tax expert

WEAKNESSES

  • Prices can be high
  • Lacks human touch

Tax season isn’t everyone’s favorite time of year—to some, preparing and filing taxes can even feel like performing brain surgery. Whether you’re still figuring out how to do taxes on your own, or are already a seasoned tax filing veteran, TurboTax provides an intuitive platform worth looking into. The TurboTax software package, developed in 1984 and is owned by Intuit Inc., has become one of the most recognized tax software in the market today.

In our Turbo Tax review, we’ll get you acquainted with its features, service packages, pros and cons, and other important information. At the end of this TurboTax software review, you should be able to get an idea if TurboTax is the best solution for your tax filing needs.

TurboTax Features

While the Turbotax free option is useful in itself, the limitations will make you want to bump up to the higher tiered service packages— these will be further explained in our TurboTax reviews.

Here are some of TurboTax’s best features:

Online and desktop versions

TurboTax lets you work on your taxes using multiple devices. If you’re using a computer, you can access your account via their web portal using your internet browser.

TurboTax app for Android and iOS devices

TurboTax’s Android and iOS apps have what you need to keep your account up to date wherever you are, which adds to the TurboTax user experience with ease of use.

Auto import tax documents

You can easily auto import tax documents and upload them directly from various financial institutions.

Donation calculator

If you’re subscribed to TurboTax Deluxe, TurboTax Premier, or Turbotax Self-Employed, you immediately have access to their Its Deductible app which allows you to determine the value of any donations you’ve made.

Professional representation before IRS

TurboTax can also provide you with an audit defense before the IRS in the event that you need one. This TurboTax audit defense comes at an additional cost.

Platform mobility

TurboTax lets you access and work on your accounts through multiple devices. If you’re working via an internet browser, it syncs with your TurboTax app on mobile, providing a seamless experience across platforms.

Connect your accounts directly to TurboTax

You can connect various accounts from different sources to TurboTax. This includes relevant tax documents from financial institutions and previous accounts from other tax preparation software.

Easy switch from one provider to another

TurboTax allows you to import electronic PDF files to their platform if you’re coming from TaxSlayer, TaxAct, H&R Block, Liberty Tax, or Credit Karma. This versatility makes any time the best time to buy TurboTax.

Interest-free refund advance loan

If you’re expecting a federal tax refund, TurboTax offers interest-free advance loans at the beginning of the current tax season.

Snap a picture

You can snap pictures of your tax documents and upload them directly to TurboTax—Just make sure that the file will be in a recognized format.

Data protection & two-factor authentication

TurboTax keeps your information secure using data encryption. They also use multi-factor authentication with each login session to ensure the authenticity and integrity of every user access.

Tax review by a professional

If you’re subscribing to paid plans, TurboTax offers assistance with actual human tax professionals. If you purchase TurboTax Live, you can access live onscreen one-on-one tax guidance provided by a tax expert.

TurboTax Audit Defense Review

As previously mentioned in this TurboTax review, those who are subjected to a tax audit can get a TurboTax professional to defend and assist them before the IRS. The optional service is called TurboTax MAX and is used for more complex situations where an expert is needed. The service can be added to paid plans for $60 and is refundable if you cannot be connected to a tax professional.

TurboTax MAX services include:

  • Identity theft monitoring;
  • Loss insurance;
  • Restoration help.

MAX offers full professional representation before the IRS, from the first notice of the audit up to its completion. Reviews on TurboTax MAX are mostly positive sentiments in quantitative ratings, achieving four out of five stars from individuals who used the service. The majority of clients have praised TurboTax consultants for their high aptitude in tax cases and ability to explain and educate clients. TurboTax MAX also benefits clients when it comes to audit defenses, delivering positive conclusions.

Ease Of Use

One of the best reasons for getting tax software is convenience, and one of the greatest indicators of convenience is the ease of use. When it comes to that area, TurboTax shines in so many ways.

User-friendly interface

Interfaces across all devices, whether you’re using desktop or mobile, are clean and intuitive. Their minimalist approach keeps the software uncluttered, while at the same time having all buttons and functions clearly laid out.

Built-in explainers

There are links embedded all throughout the software that help explain each process, so you’re always guided with how to use TurboTax at every step.

Easy imports

You can easily connect to financial institutions and import tax documents to your TurboTax account. You can also take pictures and upload them to the platform.

Built-in calculator

The system can automatically calculate any values you need. No need for manual calculations; Simply input numbers in the designated boxes and you’ll receive results in an instant.

Autofill

TurboTax’s autofill feature saves you time by automatically filling in information that has been previously provided. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch every year when preparing your taxes.

Plans And Pricing

Here’s our breakdown of TurboTax price schemes and service packages.

Doing it yourself:

Plans Free
$0.00 / return
Standard
$19.99 / return
Premier
$34.99 / return
Self-employed
$44.99 / return
Features / benefits Inclusion Inclusion Inclusion Inclusion
Use CRA’s Auto-fill my return to import your info directly Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-demand customer care using one-way video Yes Yes Yes
Covers stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and rental properties Yes Yes
Help and guidance with self-employment taxes Yes

Using an expert:

Plans Assist & Review
$79.99 / return
Assist & Review Self-Employed
$99.99 / return
Features / benefits Inclusion Inclusion
Use CRA’s Auto-fill my return to import your info directly Yes Yes
On-demand customer care using one-way video Yes Yes
Covers stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and rental properties Yes Yes
Help and guidance with self-employment taxes Yes
Get help from a tax expert and a final review of your return Yes Yes
Unlimited live help from a real tax expert, plus a review Yes

Doing it yourself + using an expert:

Plans Assist & Review
$129.99 / return
Assist & Review Self-Employed
$199.99 / return
Features / benefits Inclusion Inclusion
Your tax expert will prepare and file your return for you Yes Yes
Taxes are done right so you get every dollar you deserve Yes Yes
You’ll get a review before your expert files your return Yes Yes
Your expert will defend your return to the CRA if needed Yes Yes
Experts have experience filing self-employed returns Yes
An expert will file your GST/HST return at no additional cost Yes

In Case You’re Getting A Refund

Here’s how you can choose to get your refund as noted in our TurboTax reviews.

  • Direct bank deposit.
  • If you have one, your Turbo Visa debit card.
  • Apply to next year’s taxes.
  • Pay for the TurboTax software using your refund (charges $40 for this service)

Customer Support

Most basic questions can be answered using TurboTax’s online form, web assistant, or chatbot. Their built-in explainers are also very helpful in keeping users well versed in navigating the business tax software. If your questions are not within the templated answers and ready-made guides, you won’t have any access to an actual human representative unless you’re subscribing to a paid service. While this might sound like a deal-breaker, considering the service is free, it’s actually quite fair.

Pros And Cons

Pros Cons
  • Intuitive user interface;
  • Comes with mobile app support;
  • Access to a tax expert via one-on-one TurboTax live video chat (paid service).
  • Price can be high;
  • Does not have a physical office for doing actual work with a tax expert.

TurboTax Alternatives

There are also other top tax software pieces for income tax returns and other tax forms worth checking out. Here are some TurboTax comparisons to get you started.

TaxAct H&R Block Liberty Tax
+ Free tech support;

– Mobile help has some issues.

+ More features for free edition;

– Paid service starts at $49.99.

+ Robust mobile versions;

– Dated user interface

You can read our full H&R Block review here.

Is TurboTax Worth It?

If you’re looking for a tax filing software that’s been around for a long time and is easy to use, TurboTax is worth looking into. You’ll be enticed by their free services, but will most likely have to upgrade to a paid package later on if you have that kind of budget. Alternatively, you can find out more about doing your own taxes here.

FAQ

Is TurboTax good?

Yes. TurboTax has been around since the eighties and has become one of the most well-known and widely recognized platforms for tax filing. TurboTax ratings remain generally positive according to customer reviews.

Who reviews TurboTax filings?

Behind the TurboTax software are tax experts who review and give advice about your account and taxes. These experts can also offer one-on-one sessions and represent you against any IRS audits. This service is only available for paid subscriptions.

Is TurboTax Reliable?

For sure. As already mentioned in this TurboTax review, the software has been around for three decades and has served a multitude of clients. Overall, TurboTax feedback from actual users is positive when it comes to convenience and reliability.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I’m an entrepreneur by profession and an artist by passion. I do business to pay the bills and make music to bring the thrills. Thanks to a bachelor in Business Administration, I'm well-versed in all things business. Owning a construction company certainly helps, too, but it also brings out my love for building and home protection.