TurboTax Review 2023: This Online Tax Software Still Dominates (2023)

This story is part of Taxes 2023, CNET's coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

TurboTax has been a leader in tax software for decades, and returns with another impressive version this year, earning it our designation as thebest tax software for most taxpayers. Whether you're filing your taxes for the first time or you're an experienced tax filer, TurboTax can help you organize your tax information and deftly guide you through the process of completing your federal and state tax returns.

An efficient question-and-answer process and extensive tax help let TurboTax shine a bit brighter than its competitors. Its ease of use and tax expertise will eliminate any concerns about filing your tax return correctly and getting your maximum tax refund.

With tax laws changing every year, TurboTax's efficient approach adds more value than ever. It'll help you file your return quickly and easily -- and for most taxpayers, TurboTax's higher price will be worth the peace of mind it provides.

This year, your tax return is due April 18, 2023, but filing early may expedite your refund and even help you prevent identity theft. And although you can't file your return with the IRS until the end of January, you can get started with TurboTax now.

TurboTax Review 2023: This Online Tax Software Still Dominates (1)
(Video) TurboTax Review 2023 by a CPA | Pros + Cons | Walkthrough | Tutorial


  • Intuitive interface
  • Autoimports many tax documents
  • Easy to switch from another tax service
  • Offers two tiers of live support
  • Desktop and mobile app

Don't Like

  • Higher price than competitors
  • Frequently prompts you to upgrade or buy more products
  • Charges you for each state return you file

Who should use TurboTax?

TurboTax will make the process easier for the widest range of people. It offers four products that cover a spectrum of taxpayer situations. Individuals and families with simple tax returns only, meaning a single W-2 and no investment or rental income, should be able to use the basic software for free (For simple returns only. Not all taxpayers qualify).

(Video) TurboTax Review 2023

That noted, TurboTax won't be the best choice for everyone. If you have a more complicated tax situation -- say, you're a self-employed worker with multiple clients or side hustles -- TurboTax's business packages may be overkill and more expensive than others. If you want to file your freelance taxes online, we recommend TaxSlayer.

It's also worth noting that if you worked or lived in multiple US states in 2022, and need to file separate state tax returns, there may be better alternatives. At around $39 per state return, TurboTax is more expensive than options like Jackson Hewitt, which includes state filing in its $25 flat-fee federal and unlimited state returns option.

What products does TurboTax offer?

TurboTax offers four product tiers -- Basic, Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed -- depending on the complexity of your return and how much live help you want.

Two additional levels of expert help are also available to add on to each tier, for a fee. TurboTax Live Assisted lets you regularly consult with a tax expert who will review your return before you submit it. And for the first time, TurboTax Live Full Service matches you with a tax preparer who can prepare and file your taxes for you. With those added offerings, you technically have a total of 12 options.

Basic: Free option for students and filers with a simple return

A simple tax return usually contains a single W-2, may include limited interest and dividend income, doesn't require itemized deductions, and doesn't include rental property. The Basic version allows you to claim the standard deduction, earned income tax credit, some capital gains and losses and the child tax credit. TurboTax Basic even accepts form 1099-K, so you may be able to report income you made from a simple hobby or side hustle (though you won't be able to itemize any business deductions). Note, you can only file for free if you have a simple return, and not all taxpayers may qualify to file for free.

Deluxe: Best for maximizing deductions and credits

If you qualify for credits or deductions not covered in the Basic plan that boost your refund, it could be worthwhile to upgrade to Deluxe.

The Deluxe tier includes everything in the Basic version but also searches through more than 350 tax deductions and credits to find tax breaks that you qualify for. That makes it a good option if you had unemployment income, made charitable donations, contributed to a health savings account or had child care expenses in 2022.

(Video) Best Online Tax Software of 2023

Premier: Best for more complicated returns (investments and real estate income)

With the Premier tier, you can report investment income and rental property while maximizing your refund. It's also a great option for those with robust cryptocurrency activity, allowing you to upload 4,000 crypto transactions and 10,000 stock transactions at once.

Self-Employed: Best for gig workers, freelancers and business owners

The Self-Employed tier allows freelancers, contractors and small business owners to maximize their deductions and report personal and business income and expenses, along with investment income and rental property income.

Even if you have a salaried job, if you did any freelance work in 2022, you'll need to pay for this edition of TurboTax to maximize any deductions.

How much does TurboTax cost?

TurboTax product prices range from $0 to $119 without live support. Here's a full breakdown of pricing:

TurboTax pricing, compared

Best for Product Federal State* With TurboTax Live Assisted With TurboTax Live Full Service
Simple returns only (form 1040) Free $0 $0 $0 federal and $0 state until March 31, $89 federal after $209 federal/$54 state after
Maximizing tax deductions/credits Deluxe $59 $59 $129 federal/$64 state after $259 federal/$64 state after
Crypto, investing and real estate income Premier $89 $59 $179 federal/$64 state after $369 federal/$64 state after
Freelancers and business owners Self-employed $119 $59 $209 federal/$64 state after $399 federal/$64 state after

*Promotional pricing as of Mar. 1, 2023. Pricing subject to change.

Is TurboTax Live worth the cost?

Most tax situations won't require TurboTax's expert help upgrades. The main strength of TurboTax is that it's accessible and comprehensive, meaning the process offers enough information that you don't need to dig to find it. You'll be able to answer many of your questions through its online resources. That makes the added Live assistance category, where you can ask an expert questions and have them review your return at the end, mostly unnecessary.

(Video) TurboTax 2023- How to file your taxes online for beginners with Turbotax. Tutorial, walkthrough.

The category of Full Service is akin to a separate product. You're simply sending your tax documents to a tax preparer, so you're not using any of TurboTax's interface -- it's just a way to find a qualified tax preparer through TurboTax. Our recommendation would be to compare the cost of a local tax expert with TurboTax's Full Service option to determine which makes sense for you.

Other notable features

Both the desktop app and the mobile app make it easy to input information and upload tax documents through TurboTax. You can also upload documents from prior years or from other tax services, and you can even take a photo of your physical documents. If you start and pause the process on one device, it's easy to resume the process where you left off on another.

TurboTax offers other useful tools, including a charitable donation calculator (you'll need an Intuit login to use it) and a refund estimator that consistently updates the figure. Most advantageous, however, is the additional information that's provided to help you answer your difficult tax questions with simple responses and expanded context. You can delve as deep as you like to resolve a tax matter, depending on what your needs are and how much time you have.

The mobile app experience is quite good. While I'm not a fan of handling financial matters on my phone -- for both personal and practical reasons -- TurboTax makes it easy. It's a bit harder to read the additional information given the smaller screen, but you can still follow along with TurboTax's interview-based approach on a limited interface.

You can also choose to receive your refund a few different ways:

  • Direct deposit
  • Turbo Visa Debit Card (you'll have different options for state taxes, depending on where you live)
  • Paper check
  • Applied to next year's tax return
  • US savings bond
  • Free partial refund advance (valid through Feb. 15)

Why we recommend it

For those who want to get their taxes done quickly and with as little headache as possible, TurboTax is the leading contender. While it's not the cheapest option available, the breadth of product options and smooth process make it worth the cost.

Compare other tax software

  • Best Tax Software for 2023
  • TaxSlayer Review
  • Cash App Taxes Review
  • Jackson Hewitt Review
  • TaxAct Review
  • FreeTaxUSA Review

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

(Video) What's the Best Tax Software? - Not Who You Think!


What is going on with TurboTax? ›

Intuit left the Free File program in October 2021, citing a desire to innovate beyond what the agreement would allow. In March 2022, during the first tax season in which TurboTax did not participate in the Free File program, the FTC sued Intuit over deceptive ads for its so-called “Free” edition.

Is TurboTax safe to use 2023? ›

In 2023, we named TurboTax our top pick for Best Overall Tax Software. TurboTax was also selected as Best Tax Software to Maximize Deductions, Best For Cryptocurrency Traders, Best for Virtual Tax Preparation, and Best for Tax Advance Refund Loans.

Is there a downside to TurboTax? ›

TurboTax cons

On the downside, TurboTax doesn't offer expert assistance with every package, so if you opt for the free and basic version, you may find yourself in need of more guidance along the way. There also aren't any physical locations like H&R Block and other similar services offer.

How reliable is TurboTax online? ›

100% Accurate, Expert Approved Guarantee: If a TurboTax expert made an error while giving you specific tax advice, the company will take care of the IRS or state penalty and amend your return for free.

Is the IRS fixing the TurboTax issue? ›

Now, TurboTax says the issue has been fixed (the IRS announced Friday afternoon that millions of payments were being rerouted to the correct bank accounts).

Did TurboTax have a glitch? ›

There is a glitch in the 2022 TurboTax Deluxe download version......it is not calculating mortgage interest in itemized deductions. If you are not getting the deduction, you must have marked the interest not used to buy build or improve your home. OR you checked the option to force the standard deduction.

How many years can I use TurboTax for free? ›

Tax Return Access: Included with all TurboTax Free Edition, Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed, Premium, TurboTax Live, TurboTax Live Full Service customers and access to up to the prior seven years of tax returns we have on file for you is available through 12/31/2024.

Do I need new TurboTax software every year? ›

Because there isn't a way to update your prior-year tax software to handle the 2022 tax laws, you'll need to purchase TurboTax 2022 if you want to use TurboTax to prepare this year's taxes.

How much does TurboTax actually cost? ›

A Quick Look at TurboTax
TurboTax Filing Options
Filing OptionCosts
TurboTax Free Edition– Federal: Free – State: Free
TurboTax Deluxe– Federal: $59 – State: $49
TurboTax Premier– Federal: $89 – State: $49
1 more row
Feb 1, 2023

When should you not use TurboTax? ›

When to Hire a Tax Professional vs. Using TurboTax
  1. You're not taking the standard deduction. As a business owner, you've likely recorded many of your purchases as deductible expenses. ...
  2. Your taxes are complicated. ...
  3. Your books are sloppy. ...
  4. You've been investing. ...
  5. You don't have time.

Is TurboTax just as good as an accountant? ›

The choice between TurboTax vs. a CPA when preparing your returns is often based on time, money and financial complexity. Both are good options, but most investors favor one or the other based on their personal needs and comfort level.

What did TurboTax get in trouble for? ›

The Commission alleges that the company's ubiquitous advertisements touting their supposedly “free” products—some of which have consisted almost entirely of the word “free” spoken repeatedly—mislead consumers into believing that they can file their taxes for free with TurboTax.

Is TurboTax online better than download? ›

Most people choose to use the online service. TurboTax reported that 80% of the returns it handled came from its online products. When you have a choice between buying the software you install on your computer and paying to use the service online, you are better off buying the software download.

Does TurboTax online keep a copy of your return? ›

TurboTax Tip: If you filed your taxes with a TurboTax CD/download product, your tax return should be stored on your computer, so you can print a copy at any time. If you use TurboTax Online, you can sign in and print copies of your tax return for free.

Why is TurboTax forcing me to use Deluxe? ›

If we detect that your tax situation requires expanded coverage, like deductions for owning a home, unemployment income, or self-employment income, we'll prompt you to upgrade to a version that supports the forms you need so we can maximize your tax deductions and ensure you file an accurate return.

Will tax refunds be bigger in 2023? ›

According to early IRS data, the average tax refund will be about 11% smaller in 2023 versus 2022, largely due to the end of pandemic-related tax credits and deductions.

What is the average tax refund in 2023? ›

As of March 17, the IRS reports the average refund amount (aka money taxpayers overpaid the government) in 2023 is $2,933. This is about an 11% drop from what the average refund amount was this time last year, which clocked in at $3,305. Subscribe to the Select Newsletter!

Why does TurboTax keep rejecting my taxes? ›

Possible reasons for the rejection include reporting the wrong amount on your tax return, inputting the wrong W-2 amounts when transferring the information electronically or just math errors.

How many times has Turbo TurboTax been hacked? ›

Previous alerts of TurboTax account takeovers

TurboTax customers were previously targeted in at least three other series of account takeover attacks in 2014/2015 and again in 2019.

Why is my tax return so low 2023? ›

The IRS previously forecast that refund checks were likely to be lower in 2023 due to the expiration of pandemic-era federal payment programs, including stimulus checks and child-related tax and credit programs.

Can I sue TurboTax for messing up my taxes? ›

You can still fight back by suing TurboTax in small claims court, or using consumer arbitration.

Is TurboTax no longer free 2023? ›

TurboTax Live Assisted Basic is $0 through March 31, 2023 for simple tax returns only. You can see if you qualify here. Intuit is a proud supporter of US military members, veterans, and their families in their communities and overseas.

What is the difference between TurboTax free and deluxe? ›

The Deluxe edition of TurboTax is designed to calculate line-item tax credits and deductions. With the Free Edition, you can only take the standard deduction and any above-the-line deductions and credits. TurboTax Deluxe lets you take itemized deductions and below-the-line credits.

When can I start my taxes on TurboTax 2023? ›

The IRS announced that the IRS E-file open date began on January 23, 2023. You can file your taxes with TurboTax today! TurboTax is officially open and accepting e-filed returns.

How much is TurboTax Premier 2023? ›

Liberty Tax 2023 (Tax Year 2022)

You need TurboTax Premier ($89 for federal taxes) if you have to report investment income and rental property. TurboTax Self-Employed ($119 federal) lets you record income and expenses on a Schedule C and includes special guidance and features for self-employed individuals.

How do I choose which TurboTax to use? ›

Tips for Choosing a Version of TurboTax

For deductions associated with stocks or rental properties, choosing the TurboTax Premier would be the best option. If you have a home business or are self-employed, TurboTax Home and Business would be ideal. If you want to save money in general, opt for the CD/Download versions.

Is TurboTax Deluxe worth it? ›

If you qualify for credits or deductions not covered in the Basic plan that boost your refund, it could be worthwhile to upgrade to Deluxe. The Deluxe tier includes everything in the Basic version but also searches through more than 350 tax deductions and credits to find tax breaks that you qualify for.

How do I avoid paying TurboTax fees? ›

Pay upfront using a credit or debit card instead of choosing to have the fees deducted from your federal refund to avoid that $39.99 fee.

Can I download TurboTax without the CD? ›

That's OK — you can download your software directly from TurboTax. But, keep in mind, you can't use both the CD and the download.

Why won t TurboTax let me file for free? ›

Both TurboTax and H&R Block quietly left the Free File Alliance during the pandemic, the IRS says. You may still be able to file free through them for basic returns, but anything more complicated may trigger fees.

How hard is it to do taxes with TurboTax? ›

Although TurboTax isn't the cheapest tax filing option for most users, it's extremely user-friendly with a user interface and various features that make tax filing easy. If you want to make tax season even more hands-off, you can always upgrade to a full-service package.

Does TurboTax maximize refund? ›


Maximum Refund Guarantee / Maximum Tax Savings Guarantee - or Your Money Back – Individual Returns: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method by filing an amended return, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid.

Is it worth getting max benefits on TurboTax? ›

TurboTax MAX Is Worth Considering:

For around $50 TurboTax offers you additional peace of mind in the event of an IRS audit or theft of identity. Personally, I think MAX is worth considering, especially if you have complex taxes and potential red flags.

Is it better to go to a CPA or TurboTax? ›

Both are good options, but most investors favor one or the other based on their personal needs and comfort level. For many, hiring a CPA is a wise choice to ensure that you take advantage of every tax deduction that you're eligible for.

Do tax preparers use TurboTax? ›

TurboTax is only licensed for personal use, and it is not compliant with IRS regulations for paid preparers. Intuit offers ProSeries, ProConnect, and Lacerte Tax software, which are IRS-compliant for tax professionals who are filing multiple returns.

Does TurboTax find all deductions? ›

Military and civilian income—including combat pay, BAS and BAH. Military-related expenses—TurboTax will find every deduction you deserve.

Who is TurboTax biggest competitor? ›

Top Competitors and Alternatives of TurboTax
TechnologyDomainsMarket Share
Intuit Online Payroll2882427.12%
QuickBooks Online101959.59%
16 more rows

Why is government using TurboTax? ›

The U.S. government is suing Intuit, alleging that the owner of the widely used tax filing software TurboTax is lying to customers by claiming the product is free and then steering them toward paid services and products.

Why do people like TurboTax? ›

TurboTax support can help you get your taxes done right

For Live Assisted programs, you'll have access to an expert and the option for a tax expert to review your return before you file it. With TurboTax Live Assisted Basic, these features are free for those with simple tax returns, if your taxes are filed by March 31.

Can I switch from TurboTax desktop to online? ›

Q: If I previously used TurboTax Desktop products, can I switch to TurboTax LIVE online this year? A: Yes, you can transfer your previous year's Desktop tax data file (with a filename extension . tax[year], such as . tax2019) into TurboTax Live Online Deluxe, Premier or Self-Employed for tax year 2020.

How many returns do you get with TurboTax online? ›

In TurboTax Online, you can prepare and e-file one federal and up to five associated state returns under the same account login (your account is your username, not your e-mail address). And you can file up to five federal returns under the same email.

Is there any reason to keep old tax returns? ›

You typically have three years to amend an issue on your tax returns, which means you'll want to keep those records for at least that long. Retaining your tax returns can also simplify your next filing. For many taxpayers, their income and taxes change very little from year to year.

How many years tax returns should you keep? ›

Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

What receipts should I keep for personal taxes? ›

Supporting documents include sales slips, paid bills, invoices, receipts, deposit slips, and canceled checks. These documents contain the information you need to record in your books. It is important to keep these documents because they support the entries in your books and on your tax return.

How do I avoid upgrading to TurboTax Deluxe? ›

If you wish to file your taxes without upgrading to Deluxe, you can use the Clear and Start Over feature. Note: TurboTax Free Edition is intended for taxpayers with very simple returns (Form 1040EZ filers with the standard deduction), like first-time filers and students.

How do I skip TurboTax Deluxe? ›

How do I disable turbotax deluxe?
  1. With TurboTax open select tax tools in the left-hand panel.
  2. Then select Clear & Start Over.
  3. Select yes when asked are you sure you want to clear your return.
Jun 6, 2019

Who needs TurboTax Deluxe? ›

(If you're hoping to deduct the interest you paid on your mortgage, you'll want to go with TurboTax Deluxe.) TurboTax Deluxe includes a search of more than 350 tax deductions and credits to find all qualifying tax breaks.

Why is TurboTax delaying refunds? ›

Early or last-minute tax filing. If you file too early, some of the tax forms you need may not be finalized for handling yet by the IRS. This delays your refund since the IRS won't process a return until their software is ready to handle all necessary tax forms. But filing at the last minute can be just as problematic.

Why isn t TurboTax loading? ›

Verify that you have administrator rights on your computer and TurboTax is running as administrator: Right-click the TurboTax icon or setup icon and select Properties. In the Compatibility tab, select the Run this program as administrator box and select OK.

Why is TurboTax not letting me pay with my refund? ›

There are several situations where you won't be able to use the Pay With My Refund service, including: You're filing a paper return. You don't have a federal refund. Your federal refund isn't enough to cover the fees.

Why is my refund still processing TurboTax? ›

"Being processed", means the IRS must first process your return and then approve your refund. It's possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer.

Why is my tax refund taking so long 2023? ›

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has a severe paperwork backlog. Your return includes any errors or is incomplete. You filed for the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit. By law, the IRS cannot issue your refund before mid-February.

How long are tax refunds taking 2023? ›

In general, the IRS says that returns with refunds are processed and payments issued within 21 days, and often in as little as 10 days. For paper filers, this can take much longer. The IRS and tax professionals strongly encourage electronic filing.

Are tax refunds delayed 2023? ›

Many taxpayers experienced slower than anticipated IRS tax refund processing speed or time for their 2020 and 2021 Refunds which may continue into 2023 for your 2022 Return.

Why is my TurboTax Efile still pending? ›

What does it mean if my e-file status is “Pending”? This simply means your e-filed tax return was sent, but hasn't been accepted or rejected yet. It should generally get accepted or rejected within 24-48 hours of submitting.

How long do I wait for my tax return on TurboTax? ›

Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days. You can start checking the status of your refund within 24 hours after you have e-filed your return.

How long does it take for TurboTax to process? ›

TurboTax gives you an estimated date for receiving your refund based on a 21 day average from your date of acceptance, but it can take longer. Once your federal return has been accepted by the IRS, only the IRS has any control.

Why is my tax return accepted on TurboTax but IRS doesn t? ›

It simply means that your e-filed return is being processed and that the government hasn't approved or rejected it yet. Sometimes return status does not update for several days or even longer. During this time, the government reviews your refund (processing).

Why does TurboTax say I owe but I already paid? ›

Even after your pay those taxes, TurboTax will still say you have taxes due, that will never change. To verify that you have paid your taxes, you need to look on your bank or credit card statement where you paid your taxes and see that the money has been taken out of your account.

What happens if you do your taxes wrong but TurboTax still accepts it? ›

If you used TurboTax Online, simply log in to your account and select “Amend a return that was filed and accepted.” If you used our CD/download product, sign back into your return and select “Amend a filed return.” You must file a separate Form 1040-X for each tax return you are amending.

Should I be concerned that my tax refund is still being processed? ›

In the situation that your refund status changes from “we have received your tax return, and it is being processed” to “your tax return is still being processed,” it is likely that an issue or discrepancy that was detected in your tax return has been resolved.

How long is my tax return going to say still processing? ›

We issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days. However, if you filed on paper and expect a refund, it could take four weeks or more to process your return. Where's My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund.

Why has my tax return been processing for so long? ›

Your return may be incomplete or have a math error requiring a manual review. Your return could have been flagged as fraudulent because of identity theft or fraud.


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