You DONT have to pay the "Refund Processing Fee" via TurboTax!

How Much Does TurboTax Charge for Filing Returns?

TurboTax fees vary depending on the plan you use. There are four TurboTax plans, and each tier of service charges as follows;

TurboTax Free$0 plus $0 for every state return ($0 for TurboTax Live)
TurboTax Deluxe$40 plus $40 for every state return ($90+$50 for every return for TurboTax Live)
TurboTax Premier$70 plus $40 for every state return ($140+ $50 for every return for TurboTax Live)
TurboTax Self-Employed$90 plus $40 for every state return ($170+ $50 for every return for TurboTax Live)

Note that these fees are only applicable if you buy the TurboTax software directly from TurboTax. If you purchase it elsewhere, the prices may vary. Additionally, TurboTax alters the charges during the single tax season. You may end up paying more or less.

Bottom Line: Should You Use TurboTax?

TurboTax’s range of filing options caters to different financial situations, whether you’re single, married, a homeowner or self-employed. There are extensive features included with each plan to maximize efficiency and transparency. It’s easy to import information and there are explanations of why and how refunds fluctuate. There are also tax calculators, a tips section and access to other services, like QuickBooks. All in all, TurboTax is very user-friendly and does a great job of simplifying tax season.

TurboTax comes at a higher price than other services but it pays for itself if it gets you additional tax savings. If you want something straightforward with fewer features, another tax planning service can likely do the job just fine. For example, someone who has been filing for years and doesn’t mind manually inputting information into a tax form may want to go with a cheaper option.

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Who Is TurboTax For?

TurboTax is one of the most popular tax planning services out there, and with good reason. Its different plans are suited for a variety of filers, whether they’re students, homeowners or self-employed. TurboTax aims at educating users throughout the process with step-by-step guidance, while still securing the maximum returns and deductions available. It’s helpful for people whether they’re first-timers or veteran filers.

Does TurboTax Have Hidden Fees?

TurboTax gives you the option of paying for their services from your federal refund. This means that you won’t need to use your credit or debit card to pay for the services. This option is convenient, but you’ll pay $39 as processing fees in addition to the payment.

E-File with Paper CheckFaster

If you e-file with TurboTax and opt to receive your refund as a paper check, you could have your refund within 28–42 days (That’s anywhere from a month to a month and a half). Just be sure your mailing address is correct or you may end up with big delays and a bigger headache.

Is That Even Fair?

I don’t know. It’s definitely sneaky.

Thomas compared the Refund Processing fee to Refund Anticipation Loans, which third-party companies used to advertise as a way for people to get their loans faster — at a high cost. (Federal regulators shut down the practice about five years ago, prompting the National Consumer Law Center to gush that “it’s not a moment too soon to stop multi-million dollar corporations from skimming off the tax refunds of hard-working families.”) Tax preparers still offer Refund Anticipation Checks, or temporary bank accounts where people can access their refunds — minus preparer fees.

These methods and others have caused Thomas to call for federal lawmakers to regulate tax preparers and software like TurboTax.

“If we’re uncomfortable and view these things as unfair, the government needs to step in,” she says.

TurboTax Features

Free Version
Import Function
Small Business Features
Investor Features
Audit Assistance Included
Refund Tracking
Accuracy GuaranteePenalty and interest reimbursement
Filing SupportOnline knowledge base

TurboTax Pricing

TurboTax offers several pricing options, starting from a free version for users with straightforward tax returns to pricier packages for people who’d rather turn their taxes over to a professional.

Those pricing options generally fall into three categories:

  • Do-it-yourself: If you feel comfortable filing on your own with step-by-step guidance
  • TurboTax Live: To get unlimited help and advice from a tax expert while you do your taxes, plus a review of your return before you file
  • Full Service: A tax expert prepares, signs and files your tax return for you

Currently, those pricing tiers are:

Package Price Includes Free Edition $0 Free filing of federal and state returns Covers W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income, the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, the standard deduction, and student loan interest deduction Do-it-yourself optionsDeluxe $59 Federal $49 Per State Allows itemized deductions Premier $89 Federal $49 Per State Allows reporting of capital gains and losses Allows reporting of income and expenses from rental properties and pass-through businesses Self-Employed $119 Federal $49 Per State Allows reporting of income from a trade or business, contract work, and freelancing Also works for the home office deduction Basic $79 Federal & State Essentially the free version but with on-demand help from a tax pro via video and a final review of your self-prepared return TurboTax LiveDeluxe $119 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in Deluxe, plus on-demand help from a tax pro via video and a final review of your self-prepared return Premier $169 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in Premier, plus on-demand help from a tax pro via video and a final review of your self-prepared return Self-Employed $199 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in Self-Employed, plus on-demand help from a tax pro via video and a final review of your self-prepared return Basic $199 Federal and State Everything included in the free version, but a tax pro prepares your return for you Full-ServiceDeluxe $249 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in the Deluxe version, but a tax pro prepares your return for you Premier $359 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in the Premier version, but a tax pro prepares your return for you Self-Employed $389 Federal $54 Per State Everything included in the Self-Employed version, but a tax pro prepares your return for you

These prices reflect the list prices advertised as of Feb. 10, 2022, without any discounts that TurboTax may offer to people who file early in the tax filing season. If you want to pay your filing fee out of your federal refund, TurboTax charges an extra $39 refund processing fee for the convenience.

Tax Refund Options

You can get access to a number of tax refund options, which is common when you use DIY tax prep software.

  • Direct deposit into your checking, savings, brokerage or IRA account
  • Paper check
  • Applying to next year’s taxes
  • Buying U.S. savings bonds

You can also pay for your tax prep with your refund, but you’ll be charged an extra fee — on top of the cost of the actual tax prep itself. The exact fee is not specified, as it depends on your specific circumstances and if you use any add-ons.

As you can see, TurboTax is among the most expensive services. Prices change regularly as well, but you don’t have to pay until you finish your return and TurboTax has determined which product you’re actually using (as opposed to the one you started with).

What Does TurboTax Have to Say About This?

A spokeswoman for Intuit, which makes TurboTax, tells Money that the service is “an added convenience offered for those customers who don’t have their credit card handy — and is completely optional.”

“A customer can change their payment method prior e-filing by revisiting the payment options screen and selecting Pay with Credit Card,” she added.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes—but only if you fit a very specific profile. Only taxpayers with the simplest returns (generally, this means W-2 income, claiming the standard deduction, and potentially the Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credit) qualify for free federal and state tax filing from TurboTax.

Yes,but only for simple filers (generally, this means W-2 income, claiming the standard deduction, and potentially the Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credit). If you have a more complex return, you will pay $49 to $54 to file each state tax return.

If your employer, payroll provider, or financial institution is a TurboTax Import Partner, you can import your W-2s and 1099s. Otherwise, you can snap a picture and upload it to have the information automatically entered on your return. You may be able to automatically import sales from a brokerage account into TurboTax rather than entering transactions manually.

If the IRS audits a return prepared in TurboTax, you can get free audit support, meaning a TurboTax expert will review correspondence from the IRS and let you know what to expect and how to prepare. However, you’ll need to upgrade to TurboTax MAX to have a TurboTax pro represent you while dealing with the audit. Although TurboTax isn’t the cheapest tax filing option for most users, it’s extremely user-friendly with a user interface and various features that make tax filing easy. If you want to make tax season even more hands-off, you can always upgrade to a full-service package.

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