Why am i being charged for using the free edition?
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Why am i being charged for using the free edition?

2 Replies
Level 13
Level 15

Why am i being charged for using the free edition?

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.   NOTE:  All TurboTax paid editions will have a price increase on March 1, unless paid in advance to lock in the price.  The early-season discounts will expire.


Also, 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.


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


Why are you using Premier?   Online Premier is necessary if you need to prepare Schedule E (rentals/royalties), Schedule D (capital gains/losses), report a K-1, etc.


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, Child and Dependent Care credit, 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 Deluxe, Premier, or higher, 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 have any one of the Schedules 1-3, etc., you won't be able to use it.   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, Premier, or higher, 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 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 2020 federal and state tax returns through the IRS Free File Program delivered by TurboTax, you just need to meet one of these requirements:

  • Your 2020 household AGI is $39,000 or less; or
  • You qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); or
  • In 2020, you served as active duty military (including Reservists and National Guard) with a maximum AGI of $72,000, and you have a military-issued W-2.

If you meet one of those qualifications and want to use it, it is at this special website


but see these 2 FAQs first, including how to switch without starting over:


FAQ:  What is the TurboTax IRS Free File Program?


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



There are also other free file options that may have different requirements at the IRS website:

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