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pbschneids20
New Member

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

 
6 Replies
mesquitebean
Level 15

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

It depends on what product you use.

 

TurboTax has 2 free products, but you are not in one of them.  You appear to be using Online Premier Edition, which is a paid version--$90 for Federal and $50 for state (if applicable), and if you choose to pay the fees out of your Federal refund, there is an additional $40 service fee ($45 for California filers.)   I'll tell you about both free products below, one of which is just as powerful as Premier Edition, if you meet one of the qualifications to use it.

 

Did you already pay??    It sounds like you chose to pay your fees out of your Federal refund and got charged $90 + $50 + $40 = $180.  Have you already filed?

 

NOTE:  If you haven't already filed, you may be able to change editions.   If you have already paid/filed, then the following will not apply.

 

Online Premier is normally used when one has capital gains/losses from transactions of stocks/bonds/mutual funds (Schedule D), or rental/royalty income (Schedule E), or the need to enter a K-1.

 

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 any one of Schedules 1-3, itemized deductions, education credits, student loan interest, etc.   Did you start in Free Edition and had to upgrade?    If you haven't already paid or registered, and if you are sure you don't need Premier (no Schedule D or Schedule E as mentioned above),  and if you are sure you don't need a higher level than Free Edition (see FAQ below), 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.   See this FAQ on some situations where one cannot use Free Edition:

FAQ:  Why do I have to upgrade from Free Edition?
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/upgrading/help/why-do-i-have-to-upgrade-from-free-edition/00/26379

 

If you have a very simple return, don't need one of Schedules 1-3, and are sure you don't otherwise need Deluxe or Premier, etc., here's how to start over and choose regular Free Edition:

FAQ:  How do I clear and start over in Online TurboTax?

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/using-turbotax/help/how-do-i-clear-and-start-over-in-turbotax-onli...

 

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 or Premier, if you qualify.  For example, in addition to Schedules 1-3 it can prepare Schedule C, D, E, F, etc., and enter K-1. 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; or
      • 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 didn't already pay and file, and if you qualify for that program and want to use it, see these 2 FAQs:

 

FAQ:  What is the TurboTax IRS Free File Program?
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/choosing-a-product/help/what-is-the-turbotax-free-file-program/01/...

and

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

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/downgrading/help/how-do-i-switch-to-turbotax-free-file-program/00/...

jess26
Level 2

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

Hi, related question. I've been filing my taxes with Turbotax for the past few years. My income has been well under the $36,000 because I am a full-time student so I should have qualified for the IRS Free File program. I was able to file for my taxes for free this year after doing some research and going to the IRS website.

 

However, during the last 3 years, I paid at least $100 every time I filed taxes with Turbotax because there was no indication on Turbotax's website that I could file my taxes for free as a part of this IRS program and every year, it even directs me to pay for the Deluxe version, since I had a miscellaneous income to report. TLDR; Is it possible to get a refund for my tax returns that were filed the past 3 years because I qualified for the IRS free file program and Turbotax didn't make that clear to the customers that they should've been able to file for free?

 

I understand that Turbotax needs to make money but it seems unfair that we would be redirected to a paid version when we should have been able to file taxes for free, especially when we're financially struggling. If anything, the website design needs to be fixed so that it is more transparent to consumers so even if I can't get a refund on those orders, I just wanted to provide this feedback. Thanks. 

LeonardS
Expert Alumni

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

TurboTax Free Guarantee: $0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File offer is available for simple tax returns with TurboTax Free Edition. A simple tax return is Form 1040 only, without any additional schedules. Situations covered 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
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jess26
Level 2

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

FYI, Turbotax Free Guarantee is a different product from IRS Free File through Turbotax. E.g. if you need to report gambling winnings, for example, you still need to pay for Turbotax Deluxe. It's free with IRS Free File if your income is low. This is something that Turbotax should've made more clear and transparent to consumers. 

mesquitebean
Level 15

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?


@ jess26 wrote:

FYI, Turbotax Free Guarantee is a different product from IRS Free File through Turbotax. E.g. if you need to report gambling winnings, for example, you still need to pay for Turbotax Deluxe. It's free with IRS Free File if your income is low. This is something that Turbotax should've made more clear and transparent to consumers. 


You are correct that in such situations, TurboTax does not make it clear how to get to the TurboTax IRS Free File Program to continue filing for free, which is at a separate website apart from Online TurboTax.  As a result, some people end up using and paying for Deluxe who have very little income.   Unless they know to go to the IRS website and click a link to get to the TurboTax IRS Free File Program webpage to start their return, they could end up in regular Free Edition at the regular Online TurboTax website, and thus often have to upgrade to Deluxe.  It is possible before paying for a user to switch from regular TurboTax to TurboTax IRS Free File Program, but many don't know how, unless they ask in this forum or find the relevant FAQ about how to switch.


This is mainly a user community forum.  If you qualified for theTurboTax IRS Free File Program in the past and ended up using the wrong TurboTax product,  you'd need to discuss your past experiences with Customer Support by phone.   Tell them your complaints and exactly what you said above--that you qualified for the IRS Free File program each year and ended up in the wrong product.    I don't know what they will tell you.    It would have probably been better to have asked more timely when you found you were in a paid product last year, but it can't hurt to try.

 

The problem you have now, however, is that if you used a free product for 2019,  you don't have phone support included.   So if you can't reach Support by phone, I've also included how you can message a TurboTax Support agent at Twitter or Facebook.

 

Support hours are 5AM-9PM Pacific (8AM-12 Midnight Eastern), 7 days/week

https://support.turbotax.intuit.com/contact

 

Or message a Support agent at:

https://twitter.com/TeamTurboTax
or
https://www.facebook.com/turbotax

jess26
Level 2

If turbo tax is supposed to be free for federal and state filing... why did I get charged $180?

Hi @mesquitebean . I contacted Turbotax both via phone and on Facebook and unfortunately, both reps stated that I cannot be refunded which is why I came on here, hoping that see if anyone else was facing the same issue. Still seems very unfair for Intuit to do this to people.

 

Thank you for such a thorough response and for acknowledging my problem! 

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