It’s happening again: I’m using TurboTax to file for the 2023 tax year. Despite taking the top off my tax refund — the tax software isn’t cheap — it’s worth the convenience.
TurboTax updates yearly. Here’s how the company has changed its tax-filing software for 2024.
Automatic race mode
Bad news first: TurboTax has dragged “Race Mode” from 2023 into the new year. The feature tracks your time live, and it encourages you to beat your previous tax-filing record. You know what’s worse than filing taxes? Filing taxes under pressure.
Read more: we researched free tax software and put together a list of the best options here
I dislike it. Worse, you’re automatically entered into Race Mode when you start filing. Here’s the good news: You can disable it by clicking on the top-left toggle. I highly recommend doing so if you like to take things at your own pace.
Linked bank and credit card accounts
Green flag alert: TurboTax introduced linked accounts, which lets you quickly import purchases you made in 2023. This sped up my filing process — and it might have sped things up even more if I had a business checking account. But it worked just fine on my personal accounts.
Here’s how it works: You link your bank and credit card accounts to TurboTax. The tax filing system automatically imports your purchases. You can sort through your purchases and flag them as deductions. You can check multiple to flag many all at once.
Two reasons this is awesome: You can skim purchases to recall business-related expenses fast, and you can mass-label them. I highly recommend using the search bar. For example, search “ChatGPT” to bring up every ChatGPT-related expense and mark them as business-related.
Why flag purchases as business-related? Business-related purchases may count toward your deductions. TurboTax will calculate whether you should use itemized deductions or the Standard Deduction to lower your taxable income as much as possible.
AI assistant chatbot
It’s not 2024 without a chatbot thrown into the mix. TurboTax offers a 24/7 chatbot that answers your tax-related questions. Supposedly. It’s a bit janky, in my experience.
To speak to the bot, click “Help” in the top-right corner of the desktop platform. A window will open in the sidebar. You can ask the chatbot anything in natural language. If it doesn’t know the answer, it will direct you to the TurboTax community forums or offer expert (human) help.
The AI assistant, dubbed Intuit Assist, is far from a game-changer. On a one-through-five scale, I’d rate it a three for helpfulness. Still, it’s worth a try. The feature is fast and free.
TurboTax cost in 2024
Despite what its misleading advertisements promise, TurboTax usually costs money. The majority of tax filers don’t qualify for its free tax-filing service. Turbotax Premium users, including freelancers and small business owners, sometimes pay hundreds of dollars to file. Eek.
Even so, it tops the list of best tax-filing software out there. TurboTax earns its due by making tax seasons quick and mostly painless. Last year, it took me a few hours to submit all my taxes through the platform, despite it being my first time. For me, it was well worth the money.
When to file taxes in 2024
The federal tax-filing deadline in 2024 is April 15. If you want to start early, now is the time. Even if you’re lacking forms, you can begin right now on TurboTax because it automatically saves your progress.
Or you can get started with a free tax-filing software alternative. TurboTax isn’t the only player out there. Cash App users can file taxes free through the app; it doesn’t attempt to upsell you. Plus, the IRS is rolling out Direct File in some states, 100% free. You may be eligible.
Get started early. Or…you can wait to file until the very last second? Maybe you like the rush of barely making the deadline. Maybe cutting it close is one of many tiny ways you rage against the machine. Sure. Do you. So long as you avoid late payment penalties, you’re golden.
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