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paying before I start for turbo tax

I have never used turbotax before, my sister says do taxes first and pay at the end?

Why is program asking for payment?


2 Replies
Level 15

paying before I start for turbo tax

For a first time user of the TurboTax program, I *DO NOT* recommend the online version of the program. For a first time user not at all familiar with the program, it is NOT user friendly. This is especially true for the 2018 tax season with all the massive changes in tax law that have occurred for the 2018 tax year.

I would HIGHLY ADVISE you to use the CD/Desktop version that you physically install on your computer. With the desktop version you pay for the federal program ONE TIME and you can file as many returns as you like with that one installation. Just understand the IRS says you can only e-file 5 tax returns under the same e-mail address. After that, you have to print, sign and mail it to the IRS.

Here's the cost comparison between the desktop and online versions.

  • Online Vs Desktop For state taxes, you have to purchase each state program separately and install the program as an add-on to the federal program. Then you will pay again to e-file the state return. You can avoid the cost of e-filing a state return if you instead elect to print and file the state return. With the desktop version only, there is no additional charge to print and file the state return via mail. There is only an additional charge if you elect to e-file the state return.
  • Desktop version: With desktop you purchase the FEDERAL program one time and install the program on your computer. Then you can create as many federal tax returns as desired. But per IRS limits, you can only e-file a maximum of 5 federal returns. After the 5th federal return, you can print, sign and mail any additional federal returns. You DO NOT pay to e-file federal returns, or to print and file federal returns. If you are filing a state return, then the state module must be purchased separately. There is also another charge to e-file a state return. But there is no additional charge if you elect to print, sign and mail the state return.
  • Online version: With the online version of TurboTax (any flavor) you can only create one tax return per online account. But you can create up to 5 accounts per e-mail address. With the online version you will $PAY$ for each federal tax return that you "print and file" or e-file. You will also pay a purchase price for each state tax return program, and then you will pay again to file that state return, regardless of weather you elect to "print and file" or e-file the state return.
Level 2

paying before I start for turbo tax

This is my first year using the online version after more than 20 years using the CD version.  I am shocked at how much more it costs to file returns.  Using the cd TurboTax, i could file state return by mail for free.  Now it is charging me $39 just for state.  That is what the cd costs for both federal and state.  I don’t understand this.  Am I missing something?


 My laptop will no longer support the cd.  

It may be less expensive and less stressful to have someone prepare my taxes.

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