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Using turbo is free or not

2 Replies
Level 15
Level 15

Using turbo is free or not

TurboTax Free Edition is free. But the tag below your question says you are using TurboTax Live Self-Employed. That is not free.


Level 15

Using turbo is free or not

It depends. 

You appear to be using Live Self-Employed, which is the most expensive of the Online TurboTax products.  That Live feature allows for on-demand help from a CPA/EA tax expert during return preparation and a review of your return prior to filing.   It's $200 for a Federal return and $55 for a state return.  And if you choose to pay the fees out of the Federal refund, there is an additional $40 service fee ($45 for California filers.)


That Live component can be removed, if you want regular Self-Employed Edition ($120  for Federal and $50 for state).    We can tell you how to remove TurboTax Live, if desired, if you can't use one of the free products.


FAQ:  How do I remove Live?


  Why are you using the Live Self-Employed Edition?    Are you self-employed?  i.e., do you have self-employment income and expenses from a business, independent contracting, etc., or receive 1099-MISC income?   I'll tell you about free products, but if you have any of those types of income, you can't use the first one, although you may be able to use the second free product, if you qualify.   Even if you can't use a free product, if you don't need Self-Employed Edition, you may be able to downgrade to a lower paid product.


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 one of Schedules 1-3, itemized deductions, education credits, student loan interest, retirement savers credit, etc.   It cannot handle self-employed income or 1099-MISC.   Did you start in Free Edition and had to upgrade?    See this FAQ on some situations where one cannot use Free Edition:

FAQ:  Why do I have to upgrade from Free Edition?


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

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


The other free product (TurboTax IRS Free File Program) is fully-featured and can prepare all the usual forms and schedules. It can handle self-employed income, 1099-MISC, etc. 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 AGI is $36,000 or less (for Married Filing Jointly returns, combined AGI of both spouses cannot be over that limit),  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 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?

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