Turbo Tax Online vs. Download / CD

Choose the right product to file taxes.

This was my first year filing taxes using the Online product. For many years, I would buy the CD or in recent years, download the software and complete both business and personal returns. What attracted me to try the online version this time was the pricing which was 20-30% lower than the CD/Download product. And via my preferred airline's shopping portal, I would also get 400 miles. I figured I had nothing to lose by going through the wizard as nothing would be charged until I was ready to file. The deal was sealed when TurboTax recognized my Intuit ID so that I was able to log in and I even had the ability to upload last year's personal return done on my computer via the downloaded product. I did not use TurboTax for my business return, as the cost is so much higher for this version, only available as a download, versus the ones for personal returns and I find it pretty easy to just manually fill out the 1120S form from the IRS. But I did use the Premier online edition so that I could bring in investment data from Fidelity. TurboTax made it very simple to suggest this upgrade based on my choices going through the wizard.

I was surprised at how fast the navigation was from section to section in the wizard, very similar to the downloaded product but it just seemed to be a whole lot faster. I was able to switch from section to section very easily and every time, TurboTax was really smart about double-checking with me to make sure that I wasn't missing any possible deductions when completing a section. The only "glitch" and I think this had more to do with Fidelity than with TurboTax, was that the imported stock information was bucketed to the wrong boxes in TurboTax. So, I still had to refer to the paper tax statement from Fidelity to add/change information. E-filing for both federal and state was breeze and worth the money since it didn't take long and I received confirmation from both agencies that my return was accepted (no errors). I think this was the fastest it ever took me to do my taxes and a lot of it had to do with the nice comparison in each section of what amounts I had for last year versus the previous year. Don't get me wrong, the online version is very similar to the downloaded product in many ways; it just seemed a lot faster since I didn't have to download, install program and get updates. 

Now if only TurboTax Business had an online version that would import my data from QuickBooks Online and it was priced lower, I would be golden.

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