It depends on your tax situation as to which version of TurboTax is required for you to file your taxes.
You can file your federal (1040EZ/1040A) and state taxes for free if the following applies to you:
- Made less than $100,000
- Don't own a home or rental property
- Didn't sell investments
- Don't own a business or have 1099-MISC income
- Don't have any major medical expenses
This link will show you the forms that each program will file (scroll down and click on the Tax Forms tab): https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/free-edition.jsp
If you feel that you do not need the higher version of TurboTax, you can clear your return and start over to downgrade (as long as you haven't paid for or registered your account), instructions here: https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/4248526
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY? I WANT THE FREE EDITION
The information that you can enter in Free Edition is pretty limited now. Thanks to the new tax laws that began for 2018 returns, there are no more simple Form 1040EZ or 1040A's. Everything goes on a Form 1040 that has three extra "schedules" with it, and if you need any of those schedules, you are not able to use the Free Edition. Using the standard deduction instead of itemizing does NOT mean you will not need any of those schedules.https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4511011-what-happened-to-the-1040a-and-1040ez If you started in the Free Edition and entered any data that required any of those three schedules, you have to upgrade to a paid version and if you are watching the screens carefully you are alerted to the upgrade.
When you chose to “start” in the Free Edition —
Directly below the words “Free Edition” there is a blue link that says “For simple tax returns only” If you click that link it brings up this information:
You can file with TurboTax Free Edition if you have a simple tax return.*
*A simple tax return is Form 1040 only.
Situations covered in TurboTax Free Edition include:
- W-2 income
- Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
- Claiming the standard deduction
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
- Child tax credits
- Student Loan Interest deduction
Situations not covered in TurboTax Free Edition include:
- Itemized deductions
- Unemployment income reported on a 1099-G
- Business or 1099-NEC income
- Stock sales
- Rental property income
- Credits, deductions and income reported on schedules 1-3
How does TurboTax make any money?
Customers with more complex tax situations will file with our paid TurboTax products that provide all the additional forms and guidance they need. We also offer additional benefits that go beyond filing your taxes, but they are optional and are not required to file simple taxes for free. We hope that, over time, as our customers with simple returns need more capabilities as their financial situations change (for example owning a home, having a child, managing investments), they have loved our products and services so much that they will choose our paid TurboTax offerings to prepare and file their returns.
Or—-Use this IRS site for other ways to file for free. There are 8 free software versions available from the IRS Free File site