Intuit is adding another product to its portfolio called TurboTax Live (currently on sale for $30.00 off). It should appeal to the segment of taxpayers who are able and ready to prepare taxes on their own, but would like to have someone review it and even ask a specific tax questions related to their situation as they progress and before the returns are filed. The focal point of the new program is adding live, on-screen expert to help you remove any potential doubts and ensure 100% accuracy.
TurboTax Live offers the same guarantees and features as before to complete your returns successfully. What makes it different are the following features:
- Online CPAs and EAs – now you can have questions very specific to your tax situation answered by CPAs or EAs; you still prepare the returns on your own from the convenience of your home or office and at times that work for you; if you hit a roadblock, you can now reach out to those dedicated experts to help you move forward and instill the peace of mind that you make the most of your taxes and more importantly, that they are 100% accurate
- Connect with a click – “Expert Help” button has been incorporated in the tax preparation process; use it to have your doubts resolved as often as you want
- Help from income tax experts – CPAs and EAs are at your service for any tax related question
TurboTax Live handles all types of Schedules and nearly every tax form. The only form it doesn’t handle is Foreign Earned Income (Form 2555). If this doesn’t apply to you, you’re good to go with any other tax situation.
Just as any other TurboTax product, this one too allows you to import prior year tax info to get a head start. The import auto populates the basic fields such as names, social security numbers, addresses, etc. But it doesn’t end there. To further speed up the process, you can import W-2 or 1099 forms from many employers. Other areas that TurboTax can populate automatically include details of your portfolio from institutions such as Charles Schwab, Ameritrade, Bank of America, etc., and dividend income, investment income or loss is automatically calculated.
Your job is to verify that there were no errors when importing data. Personally, I haven’t had any problems with that feature. I only noticed that the software might at times ask to verify some amounts while importing the information. In my case I have additional contributions to my monthly withholding to make sure I don’t owe anything at the end of the year. I much rather get a refund even if it means elevated contributions with each paycheck. There are instances when those contributions add up to quite a lot and can appear erroneous to the software. Import process questions the numbers because they may appear incorrect; one click resolves any doubts.
In the end, TurboTax Live offers the same safeguards as other Intuit product to file taxes securely and protect your information. Data stored at Intuit servers is encrypted and information transfer to IRS and state governments uses SSL encryption.
Once your return is complete, you can efile and choose to have your refund paid via direct deposit. This is by far the fastest way to get your money, but not the only one. You have options to get it in a prepaid credit card and even split the refund amount between different refund options.