Intuit TurboTax – Home and Business Online

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This was my first year filing taxes on my own. I have been pretty lucky to use a family CPA but we are always at the bottom of the list since he focuses mainly on business taxes and we have to wait a very long time to get our refund. Finally, my wife and I said let’s file using TurboTax online — the price was right and it looked very straight forward especially since we are very good with keeping all of our documents in order — well my wife handles that so she is the one to thank for keep them in order.

Setup
Creating the account on TurboTax online was really easy.  All I had to do was select the type of software I wanted to use, which I was filing personal and business for federal and state, create the account and best of all I can pay at the end!

Interface

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I entered all my information and then started to use the easy guide. Most questions were very straight forward asking to fill in amounts from sections on the various forms — which of course there was no standard formatting on some 1099’s but the box numbers were all still the same. My W-2’s were easy to do and some said they offered an import option but every time I tried with the import option it did not work. No big deal.

To file some of the forms like 1099, schedule c’s, etc. you do have to jump out of easy guided mode to advanced mode but finding the form you need is very clear and then the software still walk you step-by-step through the form to make sure it’s correct. I did have some questions and used the live help — even though wait time was a little long, which is understandable for the season, my question was answered and I was able to continue with confidence. As I was entering the different forms I would see my Federal and State calculations either increase or decrease depending on what was being entered.

Navigating the sections was easy for my business, a single LLC, and was the same for my wife who is an independent direct sales consultant for Partylite and had to file a schedule c.  Entering my expenses,  claiming my home office, travel and meal deductions, advertising, and even calculating any deprecation amounts on new purchases — which it automatically did for me was very easy — seemed almost too easy.  Once I completed the business section it took me back to the personal section where I finished entering all of my other financial information including deductions like medical bills, interest paid on school loans, charitable donations and more.

When you have all the paperwork and numbers it makes it very easy.  Although the medical bill section was a bit of a pain as I had to separate it into three categories to show the different types of bills…also keep in mind that you should figure out medical miles driven which is also a deduction. Charitable deductions were easy too, just time consuming, especially being that we donate clothes to places like Goodwill. When you complete that type of donation it wants you to select the type of clothes you donated and you need to enter qty and select from a list — it’s really just a guesstimate as I don’t really recall how many tops or jeans I put in the bag…just a rough idea…but this is probably one of the best ways to do it since you really can’t just enter a bag of clothes.

Verification
Once completed entering all of my documents into TurboTax the software then took me through a verification process to ensure everything was completed and filled out correctly. I must have missed a few things and the software caught it and had me complete it to make sure all my forms were correct before submission to the IRS.

Filing
Once verification was completed I moved onto the filing stage, transferred my information over to state. Then TurboTax asked me some extra personal questions to see if they could get me any more money before completing my taxes at the state level. Once that was done I was able to select how I wanted to be paid, I selected direct deposit, and then had to enter my e-file numbers which I generated new ones quickly and easily for this year. I clicked a few more buttons, it told me what my audit risk was, and even though TurboTax offers free audit help they also offer another service for $60 for even more Audit help. After that I completed the order and clicked send– my e-files for Federal and State were on the way.

Final Thoughts
After, I could easily either print or save my tax documents to my computer and I can always return to my saved information and see what was filled out anyway.  TurboTax keeps me updated on the progress of my filing and gives me an expected return payment date. This is pretty cool to see — otherwise you have no idea and wake up one day and just have money in your account.  For the first time filing my taxes and not being an accountant, at all, I must say that I was very pleased with TurboTax online and will be using it again next year to file.  Just make sure you have all your paperwork in order and keep in mind that it will take you a few hours to complete your taxes properly. Nevertheless using the software was very easy, straight-forward and understandable for anyone wanting to file on their own.

TurboTax Home and Business online gets one Damn Good Review

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