How TurboTax Makes DIY Filing Easier than Ever


Back in the day pre-blogger life I religiously used TurboTax. It was really empowering doing my own takes and they made filing so easy, that I breezed right through them.

Having not played with TurboTax in some time, I’m beyond impressed at the updates they have made and by how technologically advanced their systems are (umm you can take a picture of your tax forms now and they auto-fill them during your return!). And why wait to file when you can get a head start and crank them out now? If you have all of your forms, take control of your finances and file early to save yourself that last minute anxiety.

Their interface is so user friendly with step by step questions and visuals that makes do-it-yourself tax preparation easier then ever. And speaking of hand holding, they now offer SmartLook, a new feature that does just that. It connects customers with live TurboTax experts using one-way video technology at no extra charge so customers can get answers to their questions in real time.

File for free with TurboTax Absolute Zero
Based on your circumstances they help recommend one of four packages that cost anywhere from $0 (ahem it’s free!) to a reduced price of $79.99 for filing for both your State and Federal taxes combined.

For anyone single or has children/dependents and file a 1040A/1040EZ you should be especially paying attention! You’re the ones recommended for the Absolute Zero package. In fact nearly 5 million American’s filed their federal and state taxes for absolutely nothing with TurboTax Absolute Zero last year. For any self-employed, small business owners, like myself, there’s the Home & Business option (the$79.99 package), with two other levels in between to fit all filing needs. (All of the options are outlined HERE).

From there you start the process and go through a series of questions and picture icons that describe you like your name, birthday, if you rent, have student loans… before you get into filing. They make it like a game where dare I say it’s almost fun? Especially since they show an estimated Federal and State Refund on the screen based on what you’re inputting so you can see how your answers impact the amounts. Filing early helps you get an accurate view of your finances and if you can expect a refund or owe. I like to travel a lot and am big on financial planning so I like to stay on top of my expenses as well as get an idea on where I stand in terms of a refund. It makes decision making that much easier.

TurboTax can be used on your computer and smartphones alike
TurboTax can be used on your computer and smartphones alike
Their technology also provides a smarter, more relevant and easier filing experience with features like…

  1. W2 Snap – which gives customers the ability to take a picture of their W-2s and 1099s with their phone or tablet and the information is securely entered into the right forms without any additional input.
  2. ExplainWhy – TurboTax ExplainWhy gives customers an easy to understand bite-sized explanations on key tax topics so they can feel confident they are getting every dollar they deserve.
  3. SmartLook – I mentioned this earlier; it’s their new feature that connects customers with live TurboTax experts using one-way video technology. Which means you can see agent, but they can’t see you! Being able to have your questions answered in real time and for free is a real a game changer and extra security blanket for anyone intimidated by doing their own taxes.

You can download the app and learn more about these features: HERE. The other great thing about jump-starting your taxes with TurboTax is you can always go back and add anything you missed. Your account saves everything you’ve inputted so if you’re waiting on any information you’re not going to lose your work. Plus for any mobile uses the Turbo Tax mobile app (available for iOS/Android on both phones and tablets) offers the full line-up of TurboTax Products and with your account you can go in between your devices, computer, tablet and smart phone, without skipping a beat.

With all TurboTax products the process is free and depending on the package recommended and selected you only pay once you file.

If you’re doing your own taxes or curious about playing around with it before filing, try it out

Dreaming of Coachella 2016 to get me through tax season!
File early and just think of all that you can do with that time… like thinking up ways to spend that return. April references two things for me: Coachella and Tax Day. Frankly, I’d rather spend my time and energy to planing for Coachella (and hopefully getting a refund to finance it). There are so many moving parts to planning that trip from the flights, car rentals, where to stay, events, and outfits and April will be here before I know it. And I’d like to only have one of these occurrences on my mind when it does.

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with TurboTax. All trials and opinions are my own based on exploring, playing, and learning about the platform.