What version of TurboTax is best for you depends on how complex your income taxes are and how much money you make. If you're able to submit the simpler tax forms 1040EZ or 1040A, you can use a free edition of TurboTax for your federal taxes. If your taxes are below a certain threshold, you can also use a free edition of the software.
Choosing a Version
The version of TurboTax that is suitable for your use is determined by the income tax form you submit to the federal government. If you meet the criteria for submitting either form. If you're required to file Form 1040, a paid TurboTax edition such as TurboTax Deluxe is the right choice. Another option, TurboTax Freedom Edition, enables some taxpayers to prepare and submit their federal income taxes free, even if they file Form 1040. TurboTax Free Edition is free only for your federal income taxes; you must pay to file your state income taxes using the software.
Qualifying for Form 1040EZ and TurboTax Free
Form 1040EZ is the simplest federal income tax form, and you can file it using TurboTax Free Edition. If you're under 65, your taxable income is less than $100,000 and consists of salary, tips, interest, scholarships, grants or unemployment, and you have no dependents, don't employ household staff, aren't in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and don't have any adjustments to income or credits other than the earned income credit, you are generally eligible to file form 1040EZ and use TurboTax Free Edition. Confirm you meet the 10 criteria for 1040EZ eligibility on the Internal Revenue Service website.
Qualifying for Form 1040A and TurboTax Free Edition
If you don't meet the criteria for Form 1040EZ because you have capital gain distributions or income from pensions, annuities, an IRA or Social Security, you might be eligible to file form 1040A and use TurboTax Free Edition. You cannot owe alternative minimum tax or itemize deductions with Form 1040A. Review the seven criteria for Form 1040A eligibility on the IRS website to ensure you qualify for Form 1040A and TurboTax Free Edition.
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Filing Form 1040 With TurboTax Deluxe
If your taxable income is $100,000 or more, you have unreported tips, distributions, self-employment earnings, income as a partner in a partnership or a shareholder in an "S" Corporation or income from an estate or trust, you must file Form 1040. You'll probably want to purchase a paid TurboTax edition such as TurboTax Deluxe. If you owe employment taxes for household employees or you want to itemize deductions, you must also file Form 1040 and use TurboTax Deluxe.
Filing With TurboTax Premier or Self-Employed
If you are a small business owner or sole proprietor and you file Form 1040 Schedule C, "Profit or Loss From Business," purchase TurboTax Self-Employed to prepare and file your federal income tax return. If you have rental property or investments and you must file either Form 1040 Schedule D, "Capital Gains and Losses" or Schedule E, "Supplemental Income and Loss," you can only file these schedules with TurboTax Premier or TurboTax Self-Employed.
Qualifying for TurboTax Freedom Edition
If your adjusted gross income is $33,000 or less, you're active duty military with family income of $66,000 or less, or you qualify for the earned income credit, you qualify to use the TurboTax Freedom Edition, regardless of the type of income you have or whether you itemize deductions. Unlike TurboTax Free and Deluxe, which charge extra to file state income taxes, you file your state income taxes free with TurboTax Freedom Edition.