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TurboTax's Deluxe vs. Premier - Which One is Better?

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August 29, 2022
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    Intuit’s TurboTax is an incredibly user-friendly tax preparation software launched way back in 1984. Since then, the company has constantly refined the software to make it as fast, friendly, and comprehensive as possible. 

    Whether you are a newbie, filing your taxes for the first time, or an experienced tax filer, TurboTax can be of great help. It systematizes your tax information and masterfully guides you through the process of filing your state and federal tax returns. 

    It also has a simple and efficient Q&A format that walks you through the entire tax filing process for better understanding. However, every taxpayer has their own tax needs, and to meet these specific needs, Intuit has launched various versions of TurboTax such as Basic, Deluxe, Premier, and Home and Business. But, which one is needed?

    To help you solve this dilemma, we have drafted this article because the last thing we need (aside from an IRS audit) is to buy a version without all the features or an expensive version that you don’t really need. However, the main focus of this article will be on the Deluxe and the Premier version as they are the most commonly used by  Turbotax users. 

    Let’s see which version comes on top in our TurboTax’s Deluxe vs. Premier comparison.

    Which TurboTax Version Do You Need?

    To determine the best version for you, let’s establish the versions offered by TurboTax. There are two kinds of versions available:

    • Those available in boxes as a CD or to download
    • Versions available for online use only

    Note: TurboTax has 4 tiers and each version of TurboTax has the features of its previous version. 

    TurboTax CD/Download Versions

    This version can be bought on both TurboTax and Amazon. After installing TurboTax on your computer or laptop with the CDs, it will be updated automatically. Let’s start with the Basic Edition. 

    The Basic Edition

    This version of TurboTax is recommended for straightforward tax situations such as claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Child Care Credit, or only for filing a Federal Tax Return. This edition will cost you $24.99 on Amazon. 

    Features: 

    • Includes 5 federal e-files
    • Free US-based product support
    • Updated tax laws along with expanded child tax credit
    • Easily imports mortgage and investment information from participating companies and W-2s. This might require a free Intuit account.

    The Deluxe Edition

    The Deluxe edition comes with a feature called Deduction Maximizer, which looks for more than 350 different credits and deductions. Furthermore, this edition accurately calculates the value of donated items to charities. It has a lot of tax forms, but not Schedule D. The Deluxe Edition is recommended if you have high medical expenses, own a home, have charitable donations, and have to file both state and federal tax returns. It will cost you $68 on Amazon.

    Features:

    • Includes 5 federal e-files and 1 State via download
    • Free US-based product support
    • Updated tax laws along with expanded child tax credit
    • Easily imports mortgage and investment information from participating companies and W-2s. This might require a free Intuit account
    • Looks for more than 350 tax deductions and credits
    • ItsDeductible tracks donations to charities
    • The Audit Risk Metre reduces the chance of an IRS audit

    The Premier Edition

    The Premier Edition is recommended if you own rental properties, sold bonds, stocks, mutual funds, employee stock, or are a trust beneficiary. In addition to this, it can also calculate the rental property income, refinancing issues, and expenses. This will cost you $103 on Amazon.

    Features:

    • Includes 5 federal e-files and 1 State via download
    • Free US-based product support
    • Updated tax laws along with expanded child tax credit
    • Easily imports mortgage and investment information from participating companies and W-2s. This might require a free Intuit account
    • Maximizes deductions on tax-saving rental property
    • Includes IRA tools and extra retirement tax help
    • Audit Risk Meter reduces the chance of an IRS audit

    Home and Business Edition

    This edition is recommended if you are a self-employed individual, a freelancer, an independent contractor, a sole proprietor, a small business owner, or have a home-based business. This edition walks you through Schedule C and helps you maximize deductions for your business costs such as your home office or vehicle. It has a simple user interface and an easy way to enter your income and expenses. Moreover, it can also show you ways to reduce start-up costs for new businesses. 

    Features:

    • Includes 5 federal e-files and 1 State via download
    • Free U.S.-based product support
    • Updated tax laws along with expanded child tax credit
    • Easily imports mortgage and investment information from participating companies and W-2s. This might require a free Intuit account
    • Prepare unlimited 1099 and W-2 tax forms for contractors and employees
    • Audit Risk Meter reduces the chance of an IRS audit

    Now that we have the basics sorted, let's quickly jump and dive into TurboTax’s Deluxe vs. Premier.

    TurboTax’s Deluxe vs. Premier

    TurboTax Deluxe

    TurboTax’s Deluxe Edition is ideal if you want to maximize your returns. It is an affordable option and offers some of the best features in this price range. Listed below are some of the benefits of TurboTax Deluxe Edition: 

    • Offers you maximum returns 
    • Offers e-filing of tax returns in an easy way
    • Cross-checking of tax returns 
    • Saves time while filing taxes

    Next in our TurboTax’s Premier vs. Deluxe comparison, let’s look at the Premier Edition. 

    TurboTax Premier

    The TurboTax Premier Edition is a slightly more expensive and better version of TurboTax Deluxe. Here are some of the extra benefits of TurboTax Premier: 

    • Helps you in the calculation of retirement taxes 
    • Supports you in calculating rental property income and similar expenses 
    • Offers you maximum returns 
    • Offers e-filing of tax returns in an easy way
    • Understands your tax history and offers you a brief analysis

    Tips for Choosing a Version of TurboTax

    If you are looking for some pointers as to how you can choose the best version according to your needs, here are some tips: 

    • Choose the TurboTax Deluxe edition if you are looking for deductions related to your job or home ownership.
    • For deductions associated with stocks or rental properties, choosing the TurboTax Premier would be the best option.
    • If you have a home business or are self-employed, TurboTax Home and Business would be ideal. 
    • If you want to save money in general, opt for the CD/Download versions. 

    The last point brings us to the Online versions of TurboTax. 

    TurboTax Versions for Online Use

    You can utilize the online version of TurboTax without buying a CD or download. All your information would be stored on Intuit’s server. You should also save a PDF on your laptop or computer. 

    The online versions have the same four tiers or versions, though there are some added versions as well. 

    • The first version is the Basic one, which is ideal for simple tax filing needs and includes e-filing.
    • The second version is the Deluxe version with all the features of the Basic version with added features associated with deductions.
    • The third is the Premier version which has features related to deductions for rental properties and investments. 
    • The Home and Business version offers some added features associated with home deductions and self-employment. 

    Added Benefits of TurboTax Available, Often for a Fee

    Almost all the versions of TurboTax can import your data from the previous year’s TurboTax, Quickbooks, Quicken, or other tax preparation software. Importing your data can save you some time and help you avoid errors as you don’t have to enter the data manually. Also, almost all versions of TurboTax allow its users to import their 1099 and W-2 data.

    Even though the software is user-friendly, you can talk to TurboTax support if you feel overwhelmed.  Sometimes, TurboTax charges a fee for this feature.

    The CD/Download versions let you file five returns provided they are done from the same computer, so you could also file your family's returns. Each CD/Download version other than the Basic version allows its users to create a state return without any charge. However, for the e-file state return or returns for extra states, you have to pay extra 

    If you are using any version of TurboTax and the IRS is about to audit you, TurboTax allows you to consult a tax professional for free. This comes under the Audit Support Guarantee. You can pay a bit extra and get the Audit Defense, where you will be represented by a tax professional if you are audited. 

    TurboTax also offers an Accurate Calculation Guarantee, but it gets voided if you fill the forms without the TurboTax interface’s guidance. 

    To Wrap it Up

    In our TurboTax’s Deluxe vs. Premier comparison, we analyzed different features offered by both versions. Even though the Premier version is better than the Deluxe, it is slightly costly. And it is important to remember that the Deluxe version is also full of useful features and is a great choice for maximizing your returns. Other than that, we also shed some light on their other versions of TurboTax but the Premier and Deluxe versions are better than other options. 

    TurboTax Deluxe vs Premier - FAQs

    1. What is the difference between TurboTax’s Deluxe vs. Premier?

    The Deluxe edition has a feature called Deduction Maximizer, which looks for more than 350 different credits and deductions. Furthermore, with ItsDeductible, this edition accurately calculates the value of donated items to charities. This edition has a lot of tax forms, but not Schedule D.

    2. Is TurboTax Premier necessary?

    TurboTax Premier is an excellent option for filing taxes, but it is only necessary if you have to calculate income from rental properties and investments. Also, this edition can calculate gains and losses from bonds, stocks, employee stock plans, and mutual funds.

    3. Why is TurboTax asking me to upgrade to Premier?

    TurboTax always looks out for its users. If the company detects that your tax situation needs some extra coverage such as deductions for unemployment income, deductions for self-employment income, or home ownership, TurboTax will prompt its users to upgrade from their current version to maximize deductions.

    4. Which TurboTax edition should I use?

    If you are looking for some pointers as to how you can choose the best version according to your needs, here are some tips:
  1. Choose the TurboTax Deluxe edition if you are looking for deductions related to your job or home ownership.
  2. For deductions associated with stocks or rental properties, choosing the TurboTax Premier would be the best option.
  3. If you have a home business or are self-employed, TurboTax Home and Business would be ideal.
  4. If you want to save money in general, opt for the CD/Download versions.
  5. 5. Is TurboTax Premier worth it?

    Yes, TurboTax is more than worth it because this version can import your stock gains and losses automatically from a majority of online brokerages. If you have deductions related to stocks or have rental properties, choosing TurboTax Premier would be best for you. Additionally, if you are a landlord, the Premier version is best suited for you otherwise you have to go for the Self-employed Edition.
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