Review of: Autonomous TurboTax|Reviewed by:Cassidy Horton |Release date: March 8, 2023
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If you're self-employed, a temporary worker, or an entrepreneur, you might be wondering how you're going to file your taxes this year.
I didn't say it was the most exciting thought, but hey, we all have taxes to pay.
Luckily for us, using is one of the easiest and quickest optionsTurboTax self-employed.
Yes, it's a bit more expensive than competitors like H&R Block or TaxSlayer. But it also has the easiest user experience in my opinion. Here is an overview of how it works.
What is Self Employed TurboTax?
TurboTax self-employedis tax software specially designed for freelancers, independent contractors and small business ownerswhose tax filing requirements are slightly more complex than those of a typical employee.
TurboTaxis the most popular tax filing service in the United States. In 2021, more than 50 million people used TurboTax to file their taxes.
How does TurboTax work for the self-employed?
Filling out your tax return with TurboTax is like taking a Buzzfeed quiz. And frankly, that's what I'm here for. For example, look at this screenshot.
One of the first thingsTurboTaxquestionswhen you registerEs,"How do you feel when you do your taxes?"
One of his many sarcastic responses is:“We get it: the tax code is pretty crazy. But we have help options on every screen to make things a lot less overwhelming.”
It's super talkative and soothing. like you said,"Hey! We know tax returns can suck sometimes, but we got your boo.
But beyond its conversational tone, TurboTax uses a question-and-answer system to simplify tax filing. All you have to do is respond to each prompt as it appears on your screen. And before you know it, your entire return is complete.
Here is a brief overview of what the archiving process looks like:
- Create your TurboTax account.
- Answer a few questions about your current financial situation.
- Gather any tax papers you say you will need.
- Enter information about your income and expenses.
- Let TurboTax help you maximize your deductions and credits.
- If applicable, file your state tax return.
- Check your forms.
- Fill them out and archive them electronically.
TurboTax filing plans for the self-employed
TurboTax offers three different ways to file taxes for the self-employed, with options ranging from a do-it-yourself filing plan to full-service preparation.While all three options (TurboTax Self-Employed, Live Assisted Self-Employed, and Live Full Service Self-Employed) achieve the same end goal of a properly prepared self-employed tax return and offer the same forms and credits, the plans differ, requiring different levels of intervention from you, the filer. They also offer various ways to get help.
This is the online DIY presentation plan you're probably most familiar with. It supports all possible situations and forms, including those commonly needed for freelance or contract income.
This plan also lets you deduct business-related expenses (and look for even more savings from 500 different credits and deductions), including a self-employed tax calculatorquarterly tax payments, simplifies the presentation of Appendix C with year-to-year comparison tables and more.
Self-Employed Online gives you access to general help and technical support, but you cannot ask professional tax questions specific to your situation.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on this plan.
For more information, see:How much tax should you budget for as a freelancer for self-employment?
independent assisted living
This plan is something between DIY and full prep. You are still responsible for completing your own tax return, but you have the option of receiving live support from experienced self-employed tax professionals if needed. And when you're done, they'll review your statement to make sure you haven't missed anything, including any deductions you're entitled to.
Basically, upgrading to Live Assisted only unlocks access to expert help.
Live Full Service Autónomo
This is the most expensive of the three plans because it's the most convenient for you. He hands over your taxes to a specialist, provides you with the necessary information and documents and regulates your taxes for you.
How much does TurboTax cost for the self-employed?
There are three different versions of TurboTax Self-Employed available, each with different prices. The plans and prices are:
- TurboTax self-employed- starting at $119, easy DIY filing plan
- independent assisted living– Starting at $209, you can submit with professional help
- Live Full Service Autónomo- starting at $399, including a professional presentation, so all you have to do is thetax records
These prices are for federal filings only and you will need to pay an additional fee for state filings. That will be between $59 and $64 per state electronic file.
Choose the cheapest option, TurboTax Self-Employed, if you want to do it yourself (with general support if you need it). Select the Self-Assisted Live intermediate option if you would like a tax professional to review your final return before filing it and if you would like live assistance upon request. Or choose the Live Full Service Self-Employed option if you want a tax specialist to handle all your paperwork for you.
TurboTax resources for the self-employed
Regardless of which TurboTax plan for self-employed you choose, you have access to these great features:
Search 500+ freelance tax deductions
TurboTax searches over 500deductionsacross dozens of industries to help you identify which ones apply to your specific situation. So if you have aWorkers hitchhiking, self-employed, online sellers or real estate agents, for example, will help you maximize these losses.
If there are multiple ways to calculate a deduction, such as B. Using the actual mileage rate versus the standard mileage rate for vehicle deductions, look at the numbers in both ways to see which offers the biggest savings.
For more information, see:10 deductions you didn't know you could make as a business owner
Get a personalized audit assessment
Every entrepreneur has a common fear: the idea of being tested. With TurboTax Self-Employed, however, your tax return undergoes a personalized audit assessment. All red flags will be marked along the way.
While it's not a foolproof way to protect yourself from an audit, it does a good job of reducing your chances.
Prepare and submit 1099 and W2 forms
If you are self-employed, chances are you receive 1099-NECs from clients who have paid for your services. Or you create them for the people you hired to help you run your business.
The good news is that TurboTax helps with both. You can use the software to create unlimited W-2 and 1099 tax forms for any contractor or employee hired that year. You can also take a photo of each 1099 you receive and upload it to TurboTax.
Get access to 24/7 customer support
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using TurboTax Self-Employed is that you have access to general customer support, tax specialists, or self-employment specialists, depending on which plan you choose. This is very beneficial if you are a new business owner or have a more complex return than in the past.
And if you start with the cheaper version of TurboTax Self-Employed and decide to upgrade to Live Assisted or Live Full-Service for more personalized support, you can do so at any time without having to start over.
Integrate yourself with Lyft, Uber, UberEats and Quickbooks
Lyft,Overand UberEats drivers can automatically import their income and expenses into TurboTax, so they don't have to enter everything manually.
The same goes for anyone using QuickBooks Self-Employed to track mileage, income, or expenses. TurboTax automatically imports your data and adds it to your tax return.
This might seem like a small feature, but it can save you a lot of time. In addition, it reduces the likelihood of making oneMistakes in the tax return.
My experience researching TurboTax self employed
After reading hundreds of independent TurboTax reviews, it is obvious that many people love this software.
"Simple", "fast" and "easy to use" are keywords that appear in almost every test report. People say the program is well thought out and easy to navigate. This is my experience too.
The second most talked about feature is the deduction tool. TurboTax examines almost every deduction imaginable and does an excellent job of finding even obscure lows that you may not have heard of.
I personally haven't used TurboTax Self-Employed, butdoI've used TurboTax regularly for over five years to file my tax returns and I really enjoyed it. It is structured like a game where you only have to answer the questions that appear on the screen. Meanwhile, TurboTax silently files your tax returns without you really knowing.
Honestly, I had fun filing my taxes with TurboTax when I first started using it. (Maybe it's just the math genius in me, or the fact that I got refunds for being a penniless college student.) Anyway, I'd end my comeback of the year with the thought:Why Do Adults Hate Tax Season So Much? That was easy, easy!
That being said, there islikeOne thing that bothered me about TurboTax was the steady increase in sales. With each screen, I felt like I was being bombarded with opportunities to get expert help or upgrade to more features.
This annoyance was easy for me to overlook because the software is truly amazing. But it's something to keep in mind.
For more information, see:How TurboTax Self-Employed can save you time, money and headaches
For whom is TurboTax self-employed?
If you are self-employed, a private transport driver, consultant, sideline worker or other person classified as an independent contractor,TurboTax self-employedIt's a good choice for you.
Your tax situation is more complex than that of a typical W2 employee and TurboTax does an excellent job of ensuring nothing is overlooked.
For example, you can tell TurboTax what type of self-employment you are and it will show you which of over 500 possible deductions apply to your situation. For carpoolers, this could be things like car repairs, insurance, and your cell phone. For freelancers, this can be fees, a laptop, tools and supplies.
For more information, see:3 ways to make more money as a freelancer
small business owner
Whether you're a new business owner or a seasoned professional, TurboTax Self-Employed will guide you through all the steps needed to file your tax returns correctly and accurately. Covers self-employment tax, remote work from home, business and income deductions, and more.
Another benefit is that TurboTax Self-Employed also helps you file 1099 and W2 for those if you have employees.
Who should not use TurboTax self-employed?
Corporations and LLCs with multiple members
Small businesses classified as multi-member LLCs, S corporations, or C corporationsYou cannot use TurboTax Self-Employed. Instead, you should useTurbotax business, only available on CD or download.
Cost-conscious filing cabinets
If you're looking for the cheapest way to file your taxes, TurboTax may not be the way to go. They offer a premium product at a premium price.
So if you're on a tight budget, know that you can file self-employment taxes online at a much lower cost. For more options, including cheaper or even free services, click the link below.
For more information, see:The best tax software for 2023
Advantages and disadvantages
- Super conversation— TurboTax looks like an AI friend who really loves taxes and wants to help you fill in your taxes correctly. Just answer the questions as they appear on the screen and you'll be done in no time.
- Online-Software— There are no downloads or clunky computer programs here. Make your return online from anywhere (even from your smartphone).
- Three support levels to choose from— A true gold standard, choose the cheapest option if you want to do it yourself, the medium option if you want a final review by an expert, or the full service option if you want a tax specialist to do your taxes for you She's done.
- Great customer service options— You can get 24/7 help with your taxes from general customer service, self-employment specialists, tax experts and more.
- Prices— You pay more for TurboTax than other tax software platforms. And if you need more support, you'll have to upgrade to the more expensive Live Assisted or Live Full-Service plans. Before tax day, look out for special offers and promotions to save money.
- No option for personal files— Competitors such as H&R Block offer the opportunity to personally complete your statement. TurboTax Self-Employed only has the option to attend virtually, which may not be your cup of tea.
TurboTax self-employed vs. competitors
If you think TurboTax Self-Employed is not for you,Here are a few alternativeshold:
seen live:$209 + $64 for filing your state tax returns Live-Full-Service:$399 + $64 for filing your state tax returns Online help:from $145 + $37 to file your state tax returns
TurboTax self-employed H&R Autonomous Block Independent tax killer Cost Online:$119 + $59 for filing your state tax return Online:from $85 + $37 to file your state tax returns Online:$59.95 + $39.95 for filing your state tax returns Number of plan options for self-employed 3 2 1 Characteristics Ultimate Money Back Guarantee, 100% Accuracy Guaranteed, Schedule C File, Deduction Tool, Quickbooks Integration for Freelancers, Lyft, Uber and UberEats Integration Ultimate Money Back Guarantee, 100% Accuracy Guaranteed, Schedule C File, Deduction Tool, Expense Tracking, Uber Import, Ultimate Money Back Guarantee, 100% Accuracy Guaranteed, Schedule C File, Deduction Tool, Estimated Quarterly Payment Reminders
seen live:$209 + $64 for filing your state tax returns
Live-Full-Service:$399 + $64 for filing your state tax returns
Online help:from $145 + $37 to file your state tax returns
Block H&RTimetwo options for unattended archiving. You can submit it yourself, with the option of paid assistance, or hire a professional to do it.And of course you have the option of visiting your local H&R Block branch if you prefer to be advised personally.
No matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to a tool for maximizing deductions, tracking expenses, and importing taxes for Uber drivers. H&R Block's prices are on par with TurboTax, but are only slightly cheaper.And H&R Block excels at live support on-site and online.
TaxSlayer Self-Employed is similar to TurboTax Self-Employed but costs less than half. You can speak to a self-employment specialist if you need help, howeverTaxSlayer only offers the DIY login option.
tax killerIt has one feature that TurboTax and H&R Block seem to be missing, which is reminders for estimated quarterly tax payments. At the same time, it doesn't integrate with ridesharing or accounting software.TurboTax might be easier to use and more robust than TaxSlayer, but if you're comfortable enough submitting a file, your situation isn'tAlsocomplicated, with TaxSlayer you save.
Read our full TaxSlayer review.
TurboTax self-employedWhile it costs a little more than other tax filing solutions, its robust features and simple Q&A setup make it a breeze for anyone who wants to file taxes quickly and accurately. Whether you're a freelancer, temp worker, or small business owner, you canSign up for an account todayand try it out You pay nothing until you submit your statement.
For more information, see:
- Do you have income from self-employment? 10 tips to save on taxes
- 10 smart things to do with your taxes
- Get a truly free credit score
- Monitor your balance daily: start now
- Our recommended credit cards
About the author
Cassidy Horton is a financial writer specializing in banking and insurance. He earned his MBA and BA in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University and has since published hundreds of financial articles online for Forbes Advisor, The Balance, Money, Finder.com and others. When she's not helping millennials and Gen Z manage their finances, Cassidy is wandering the Pacific Northwest, cuddling her two cats and eating lots of fried chicken. Connect with her atcassidyhorton.comÖLinkedInto see what it does next.