Though TurboTax Live is pricier than its other options, there are plenty of benefits that can make it a worthwhile investment. Some of these benefits include personalized tax advice and support from a tax professional or CPA. If you have a complicated tax situation or just want to ensure your taxes are filed without any mistakes, the extra cost may be well worth the peace of mind.
With the tax deadline around the corner, many of us feel overwhelmed by the thought of filing our taxes. Fortunately, there are many tax software programs that make filing more manageable and allow you to feel confident in submitting your taxes on time.
One of these programs is TurboTax Live, which offers live advice from real CPAs and tax professionals, so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake or owing Uncle Sam money. In this review, we’ll take a look at what TurboTax has to offer and whether it’s worth the investment.
What is TurboTax Live?
TurboTax Live is an online tax prep service by TurboTax that allows you to receive help and guidance from a dedicated tax expert while you’re filing your tax returns. These live tax experts or CPAs (certified public accountants) will get to know you and your unique tax situation so that they can provide you with unlimited advice and answer your tax-related questions.
Here’s how it works: Once you start your return with TurboTax Live, you can click the button “Live Help” whenever you need tax advice or guidance. TurboTax Live will then connect you to a tax expert or CPA through chat or one-way video. Before finalizing and filing your tax return, you’ll get a final review from the expert so you know your taxes are done correctly.
Ultimately, whether TurboTax Live is worth it for you depends on your needs and budget. You may want to consider the cost of the service compared to the potential benefits, such as peace of mind, accuracy, and savings on your tax bill.” — Barbara Schreihans, founder of Your Tax Coach
TurboTax Live Assisted Basic vs. TurboTax Live Full Service
There are two levels of service you can choose from with TurboTax Live — Assisted and Full Service. The main difference between the two is how involved you want to be in filing your own taxes.
TurboTax Live Assisted Basic is exactly as it sounds — you get assistance from a tax professional as you’re filing your tax return. However, if you want to be completely hands-off and have someone do your taxes for you, you can upgrade to TurboTax Live Full Service. With this option, a tax expert will take care of your tax return from start to finish.
To opt for this service, snap photos of your tax documents and upload them using a secure document share. Then, your tax expert will take it from there. You’ll receive regular updates about the tax preparation progress through TurboTax’s online tracker. You can also contact your tax expert directly if you have any questions.
Though TurboTax Live Full Service is more expensive than TurboTax Live Assisted, your tax expert will do almost everything for you. If you have a busy schedule and don’t have the time or energy to file taxes yourself, TurboTax Live Full Service can take that work off your plate.
If you’re wondering whether TurboTax Live is worth it, you are probably wondering if other features are a good investment.
How much is TurboTax Live?
How much TurboTax Live costs will depend on the product tier you choose and how much help you need from a tax expert. Below are the four product tiers that TurboTax currently offers:
- Basic version: Best those with straightforward tax returns (only need to claim earned income tax credit, child tax credit, or student loan interest deduction).
- Deluxe version: Best for those with more complicated tax situations and those who want to maximize their tax refund through tax deductions and tax credits.
- Premier version: Best for those with rental income and investments.
- Self-Employed version: Best for those with self-employment income and business expenses.
|Live Assisted||Live Full Service|
Keep in mind that the prices below may differ depending on when you purchase the software. And by signing up for our emails, you can learn when TurboTax reduces its prices. If this is still a little too expensive for you, take a look at some of the other tax preparation software options, like those below.
Who should use TurboTax Live?
TurboTax Live is great for taxpayers looking to simplify the filing process.
The Assisted version is perfect if you’re familiar with the tax prep process but just need a little extra guidance to make sure everything is done correctly — helpful when it comes to deductions and credits or double-checking your work. On the other hand, the Full Service version is great if you want an expert to handle everything from start to finish.
Although TurboTax Live costs more than other TurboTax products, you have the peace of mind that your taxes are getting handled correctly.
How to use TurboTax Live
To get TurboTax Live, simply select a TurboTax Live product when you start filing your tax return. If you started with a different TurboTax product but want to switch to TurboTax Live, sign into your account, select “Live Tax Advice,” then select “Upgrade.”
To speak with a tax expert through TurboTax Live, select the “Live Help” button on your screen, then “Connect with live help” at the top of the chat window. If you’re filing your taxes without assistance from an expert but have a question about your TurboTax product, you can contact the company’s customer service at 1-800-446-8848.
Is TurboTax Live worth it?
Deciding whether TurboTax Live is worth it comes down to your specific tax situation. If you have a straightforward return that only requires using IRS Form 1040, chances are you won’t need the extra benefits of the Live version.
That being said, if you’re dealing with complex situations such as investments, rental properties, business income, or anything else outside the scope of a normal return, then opting for TurboTax Live could be beneficial. This is especially true if you’re looking for the maximum refund through itemized deductions.
Barbara Schreihans — founder of Your Tax Coach, a tax accountancy and tax strategy firm — says, “Gaining access to a team of certified tax experts who can provide personalized guidance and advice throughout the tax preparation process can be a complete game changer in your tax preparation process. Ultimately, whether TurboTax Live is worth it for you depends on your needs and budget. You may want to consider the cost of the service compared to the potential benefits, such as peace of mind, accuracy, and savings on your tax bill.”
If you are wondering whether Turbo Tax Live is worth it, you may also be considering TurboTax Audit Defense or at least considering whether it’s a good investment. This article takes a deep dive into the pros and cons of TurboTax Audit Defense.
Is TurboTax Live free?
Unfortunately, no. TurboTax Live is not free. However, having unlimited access to advice and guidance from tax experts could be well worth the investment.
The most expensive product tier within TurboTax Live is the “Live Full Service Self-Employed” option at $399 — similar to how much other tax preparers or CPAs may charge. However, if you don’t have the time and energy to look for a trustworthy tax preparer, TurboTax Live offers a convenient solution since they can match you with a dedicated expert who understands your tax situation.
Is TurboTax Live Full Service good?
TurboTax’s Live Full Service can be a great option if you want an expert to handle your taxes from start to finish. All you need to do is set up your profile and upload your tax documents, and your dedicated tax expert will take care of the rest.
And with free audit protection included, your expert has your back even after your taxes are done.
What qualifications do the tax experts have?
All of TurboTax’s tax experts are U.S.-based and have extensive experience and training. When you connect with your dedicated tax professional, you’ll see their specific qualifications listed on their profile.
What are the benefits of TurboTax Live?
With TurboTax Live, you get access to experienced and proven tax experts who can answer any of your tax-related questions. For those who’ve never filed their own taxes before or have complex tax situations, having someone there to guide them can provide peace of mind.
Plus, these experts will conduct a final review of your taxes to ensure you get the maximum tax refund and the biggest tax savings.
When are tax experts available?
Once you’re matched with a tax expert, they’ll share with you the hours they’re available. If you need help outside those hours, you can contact other available tax experts seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT (during the tax filing season.) From April 18 to early January, experts are only available Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
Can you choose which tax expert you work with?
TurboTax uses information about your tax situation to match you with the right expert with relevant expertise to handle your taxes. However, if you’d like to be matched to a new expert, you can let your current expert know and they’ll help you get reassigned.
What’s the TurboTax phone number to talk to a live person?
If you’d like to connect with a tax expert in TurboTax Live, select the floating “Live Help” button on your screen, then select “Connect with live help” at the top of the chat window. After entering your question, you can choose your preferred method of connecting with the expert — chat or one-way video call.
If you haven’t upgraded to TurboTax Live but want to speak to customer service, call 1-800-446-8848.
- TurboTax Live is an online tax prep service ideal for taxpayers looking to simplify the filing process or those dealing with complex situations.
- There are two versions of TurboTax Live — Assisted Basic and Full Service. With Assisted, you receive advice and guidance during the filing process, whereas Full Service has the expert do your taxes for you.
- Prices vary depending on which product tier you choose. The most expensive is the Live Full Service Self-Employed option at $399.
- Whether TurboTax Live is worth it depends on your tax situation and needs. However, having expert advice tailored specifically to you could sometimes be beneficial.
Find the best tax prep software
Filing taxes can feel intimidating — especially if you’re a first-timer or have a complex tax situation. If that’s the case, it might be worth investing in TurboTax Live to receive personalized help from a dedicated tax professional.
To decide whether you need the upgrade, do your research by visiting TurboTax Live’s FAQ page to learn more about how the service works. Also, don’t forget to check out online tax software reviews to see what other customers are saying. And using our tax preparation comparison tool, you can see what people are saying about TurboTax Live as well as many other tax prep software options.
View Article Sources
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- How To Avoid Paying IRS Back Taxes — SuperMoney
- TurboTax Stops E-filing Due To Suspicious Activity – Here Are Your Alternate Options — SuperMoney
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- Best Tax Preparation Firms — SuperMoney
- TurboTax — SuperMoney