Ken Clark

Certified Financial Planner



TurboTax Freedom (Free Version) Review - Two Thumbs Up

January 19th, 2009 by Ken Clark

Our college-aged daughter was out visiting us this weekend and brought her W-2 in the hopes of getting her taxes done early. Usually, I just use our TurboTax software to do her simple return. But this year, I’d heard that TurboTax is only letting you do one return per software purchase (without paying an additional fee), and I had no interest in purchasing two copies of the program.

When I went on to the TurboTax website to double-check this rumor (which was initially true, but was changed due to a customer backlash), I noticed they offer a free filing service called TurboTax Freedom. After giving it the quick once over, I decided to give it a try.

My overall impression is that this a great program for qualifying users. It only took me about 15 minutes to prepare and file her simple return (one W-2 and the standard deduction). The interface was simple and intuitive, with plenty of hyperlinks that help define confusing terms and rules.

The Federal E-file function was free and easy to use (it required me to provide either her E-file PIN or AGI from last year). Since her state of residence (California) doesn’t have a free E-file program that works with TurboTax, I paid $9.95 to be able to print her state return and file by mail.

All in all I thought it was a great program - ideal for taxpayers with just one or two W-2’s, who will either use the Standard Deduction or have very few itemized deductions.

To qualify to use the TurboTax Freedom program, a taxpayer must meet just one of the following requirements:

  • Have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $30,000.
  • Be active duty military with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) under $56,000.
  • Qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Have you used TurboTax Freedom? I’d love for you to post your experience in the comments section below.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 11:07 pm and is filed under Real Life Examples, Taxes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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