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I thought turbo tax was free to do tax return.

2 Replies
Level 15

I thought turbo tax was free to do tax return.

TurboTax has 2 free products, but you are not in one of them.  You appear to be using Live Basic Edition, which is a paid version that includes on-demand help from a CPA/EA tax expert and a review of your return prior to filing.   It is $50 for Federal and $40 for state.   I'll tell you how to remove it and give you some info about both free products below and tell you some options.


 See this FAQ:

FAQ:  How do I remove Live?


The regular Free Edition is for very simple returns and not everyone can use it.  Certain forms are not available in Free Edition and require an upgrade to Deluxe or higher, such as Schedules 1-3, itemized deductions, etc.   Did you start in Free Edition and had to upgrade?   Or did you add the LIVE feature by mistake?  If you haven't already paid or registered, and if you are sure you don't  want the Live Basic, you can use the "Clear and Start Over" feature to choose Free Edition, but depending on the complexity of your return you may not be able to use regular Free Edition.  If you need to itemize deductions, for instance, or other certain Schedules, you won't be able to use it.  It will let you know if you need to upgrade.


The other free product (TurboTax IRS Free File Program) is fully-featured and can prepare all the usual forms and schedules.  It is even more powerful than Deluxe.  But one has to meet one of the qualifications to use.  See below:


To qualify for free 2019 federal and state tax returns through the IRS Free File Program delivered by TurboTax, you just need to meet one of these requirements:

      • Your 2019 household AGI is $36,000 or less;
      • You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); or
      • In 2019, you served as active duty military (including Reservists and National Guard) with a maximum AGI of $69,000, and you have a military-issued W-2.

If you qualify for that program and want to use it, see these 2 FAQs:


FAQ:  What is the TurboTax IRS Free File Program?


FAQ:  How do I switch to the TurboTax IRS Free File Program?

Level 15

I thought turbo tax was free to do tax return.

You are posting from Basic Live which is a paid version that provides live help from a CPA.  You strayed out of the Free Edition somehow and chose a pricey higher version.







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. 

If you qualify to use it, there is another full-featured free version of the software:

Try Free File: 

You qualify if your income was $36,000 or less, or $69,000 or less if active duty military, or if you qualify for Earned Income Credit

If you switch to Free File you must create a new account and new user ID.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
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