For some reason they automatically switch people to the Basic/Deluxe Edition. You have to chat with an online representative (which takes forever) and ask for a downgrade code (Which takes forever for them to generate) and then enter that in on the page before you enter your card information. Its a tiny little link on the bottom that says "Have a Prepaid Code?'" But it takes it back to being the free edition.
You are not using the Free edition, you are using the Online Basic version, a paid version. Somewhere along the line you upgraded.
Basic version is 19.95, plus 36.95 if state is needed.
And if you ELECT to have your TT fee paid out of your Federal refund, that is an optional additional 29.95 charged by University National Bank that handles that. The way to avoid that fee is to NOT use the Refund Transfer Service and to pay upfront with credit card, debit card, or prepaid debit card.
If you chose the Refund Transfer Fee, then to have the Refund Transfer Fee removed before efiling:
At the support page click BUYING/BILLING/ACCOUNT on the left, then QUESTION ABOUT MY CHARGES on the right.
The page will expand and you will see a CALL US and CHAT box. Choose which method.
If you decide to abandon that account and start over, you can clear out the data before abandoning the account. Here's how to clear a return. Be aware that all data is permanently lost if you choose to do it:
It includes free Federal preparation and free efiling. It includes free State preparation and free state efiling in 22 states. For the other states the charge is $14.95 to prepare (includes efile). The website above will show you the 22 states that are free.
The TurboTax Freedom Edition can prepare most forms. At the website there is a link that will show you what all it can prepare.
The disadvantage of the TurboTax Freedom Edition is that it cannot transfer in any 2010 tax data from a prior year return, and in 2012 will not be able to transfer your 2011 tax data into it. But it's a good deal for low-income taxpayers with relatively straightforward returns.
I, too, was suckered into this. By the time I was done entering everything in, I honestly did not want to bother figuring out what had gone wrong. I did not notice anything different between the free version I've used in the past and the paid service I ended up with this time.
Lame! I'll recommend turbo tax free service, but I'll be sure to let people know about this little trick they pull. Live and learn.