TurboTax Deluxe tax preparation software won't be of much help if you're dealing with multiple stock sales or rental property income -- that's when you need TurboTax Premier 2011 (*Est. $75) instead -- but reviewers say it does a good job with most common federal and state tax issues, including tax breaks for things like home mortgages and child care. TurboTax Deluxe features videos and extra help for itemized deductions (Schedule A) and charitable contributions, but no advanced help for investments, etc. The Deluxe version includes unlimited free help from tax experts via online chat; with Premier, you can call experts on the phone, too. In test after test, TurboTax strikes critics as easier to use than its main rival, H&R Block at Home tax software.
TurboTax Deluxe is available as boxed/downloadable software for your desktop or as an online service. The desktop version includes five free federal e-files and one free state software download, but you'll pay an extra $20 to e-file a state return. TurboTax Deluxe Online costs less, but it includes only one federal e-file and no state software; you'll pay an additional $37 to prepare and e-file your state tax return. All versions are compatible with Windows and Mac. The cheaper TurboTax Basic 2011 only covers federal income taxes and does not include the charitable contribution tool; for the money, reviewers prefer TaxACT Online Ultimate 2011 (*Est. $18), which – unlike TurboTax – includes free state e-filing.
TurboTax tax preparation software wins test after test. Download.com reviews the Deluxe version, and other sources -- including PCMag.com, PC World and About.com -- recommend TurboTax based on their tests of other versions. Amazon.com offers plenty of user reviews for the deluxe version.
This review is for the step-up TurboTax Premier version, but TurboTax Deluxe is similar minus some specific guidance for investments, etc. Tax expert Kathy Yakal tests tax-prep programs every year, and, as usual, she finds TurboTax easier to use than others.
Review: TurboTax Premier Online (2011), Kathy Yakal, Jan. 24, 2012
2. PC World
Yardena Arar tests TurboTax head-to-head against H&R Block At Home, TaxACT, CompleteTax and Tax Brain software. Arar likes TurboTax best, even though it's the most expensive.
Review: Tax Sites: TurboTax Is Still the One to Beat, Yardena Arar, Feb. 16, 2012
Jaymar Cabebe at Download.com, which is owned by CNET, tests TurboTax Deluxe by doing his taxes with it. Although it's not the cheapest option, Cabebe highly recommends it for its clear interview questions and free live expert tax help.
Review: TurboTax Deluxe 2011, Jaymar Cabebe, Feb. 24, 2012
Shelley Elmblad, About.com's guide to financial software, tests the Home and Business version of TurboTax -- but her recommendation is for TurboTax in general. She gives TurboTax 4.5 stars, the same as H&R Block At Home tax software. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: TurboTax Tax Software Review, Shelley Elmblad, Jan. 24, 2012
TurboTax Deluxe earns an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5, based on the more than 300 user reviews posted. Most reviewers are perfectly satisfied, but several report problems installing the software, even though they're using one of the recommended operating systems.
Review: TurboTax Deluxe Federal + e-File + State 2011, Contributors to Amazon.com