My tax situation is relatively simple that definitely does not require Turbo Deluxe. When I filed an extension back in April, I did not realize I would have to purchase Deluxe to complete those taxes. It's pretty expensive and my return is less than $200 so it does not make any sense to purchase it for $60.
Is it possible to get rid of it? Or would I have to file my taxes through another company?
Just because you used TurboTax to file the extension, you are not required to use it to actually file the return if you choose not to. However, there are some other options where you still may be able to do so.
TurboTax does have 2 free products, but it sounds like you are not in one of them. If you are using Online Deluxe, that is 59.99 for Federal and 44.99 for State.
If you started out in Free Edition (which is free for Federal and State), you may have been forced to upgrade to Deluxe due to a situation in your return that Free Edition cannot handle. Or perhaps you may have started out in Deluxe by mistake.
In any case the regular Free Edition is more limited this year due to tax law changes. If you need any of the new Schedules 1-6, for instance, then you can't use Free Edition. You can read about the new schedules at the link below. If you click the blue "see schedule" link there, it will show you what each schedule looks like.
Here are some common things that cannot be handled by the regular Free Edition:
Business or 1099-MISC income
Sales of stocks/mutual funds/bonds
Rental property income
Foreign Earned Income
Credits, deductions and income reported on the new schedules 1–6, such as the Student Loan Interest Deduction
If desired, here's how to switch and start over in TurboTax Free File Program.
NOTE: If you switch to Free File Program by that method, and find out later you don't qualify, you won't be able to go back to regular Online TurboTax in that same account. So instead of switching that way, if you wish you could start a new account (User ID) at the Free File Program website, which would maintain the option of returning to the other Online TurboTax account, if necessary.
If you made a payment with the extension, the payment has to be reported on Schedule 5. If you need Schedule 5 you cannot use TurboTax Free Edition.
. . . my return is less than $200 . . .
The price of TurboTax is not based on the amount of your refund. The TurboTax fee is for using the software to prepare your tax return. The price is the same whether you get a big refund, a small refund, or even if you have a payment due instead of getting a refund.
If you use the Free File website it includes all the schedules. Do you qualify for the Free File program listed above? Did you make a tax payment when you filed the extension? If you didn't pay anything then you don't need schedule 5. If you are getting a refund you don't need schedule 5.
If you go to another service we don't know how those work.
It seems like I qualify for the Free File Program, but what happens to the extension and the money I paid with the extension? Does that remain? Is the Free File Program essentially the same where I can get standardized deductions and student loan interest deductions?
Yes if you made a payment with the extension for tax due you can enter it into the Free File Program and your loan interest. Everything is the same over in Free File if you meet the qualifications.
In any program you use make sure to indicate you made a payment with the extension ... follow the interview process carefully. If you use the Turbotax program thru the IRS FREE FILE then here is how to enter it :
The federal extension payment will be shown on Form 1040 Line 17 and on Schedule 5 Line 71
To enter, change or delete a payment made with an extension request (Federal, State, Local) -
- Click on Federal Taxes (Personal using Home and Business)
- Click on Deductions and Credits
- Click on I'll choose what I work on (if shown)
- Scroll down to Estimates and Other Taxes Paid
- On Other Income Taxes, click on the start or update button
On the next screen select the type of extension payment made and click on the start or update button
Or enter federal extension payment in the Search box located in the upper right of the program screen. Click on Jump to federal extension payment
So how does this Schedule 5 work if I decide to use another service to file for free?
The Sched 5 is an IRS requirement, not TurboTax. We don't know how other tax software companies handle their Schedule 5 and whether it is in their free product or not.
Schedule 5 is required to report an extension payment (see Line 71)
The second free product I mentioned above (TurboTax Free File Program) handles all Schedules and Forms if you meet just one of the criteria I listed. If you don't meet one of the criteria to use it, then the lowest price in TurboTax to prepare Schedule 5 would be Online Deluxe (59.99 for Federal and 44.99 for any state return.)
If you do NOT have a state return, desktop Basic (CD/download) is 49.99. Basic does not include a state return, and it cannot import from ItsDeductible. To purchase from TurboTax:
If you DO need a state return, desktop Deluxe is 79.99 and includes both Federal and one state program for 79.99. There is a state efile fee of 24.99 in the desktop product, but no fee to print and mail the state return.
It may be discounted at a reputable authorized online retailer like Amazon. Do NOT purchase from a too-good-to-be-true online retailer. There are a lot of pirated and malware sites. Only a handful of large well-known companies (Amazon, Staples, Office Depot, Newegg, etc.) are authorized for TurboTax downloads.
You wrote: "It seems like I qualify for the Free File Program,"
I think I missed that statement in the numerous posts above, so the stuff I wrote about desktop software is not needed.
In that case, the Free File Program is free for both a Federal AND state return, if applicable. So you can prepare both Fed and State returns online for free with that product.