I switched to TurboTax self-employed for filing my taxes this year and it turned out to be a great money-saving idea.
Last year was the first time I filed taxes in Canada and I did it through Simple Tax.
While it was straightforward, for 2021, my self-employed tax situation was a bit more complicated and I needed something that would enable interactions with an accountant.
TurboTax provided this plus more. In this post, I break down the top 10 reasons I switched to TurboTax Self-employed.
Since the pandemic has led to a significant increase in gig workers, independent contractors, and freelancers, a lot of people will probably require TurboTax or similar.
A lot of people look forward to tax refunds but it’s usually the other way around for me because I pay my taxes at once after filing my returns.
Whatever refunds and credits I’m entitled to are then deducted from what I owe and I pay the balance to CRA.
I’m OK with that since I put a little aside every month for taxes throughout the year.
What is TurboTax?
TurboTax is an online tax preparation software developed and managed by Intuit.
Intuit is also responsible for QuickBooks (an accounting software package) and Mint (budget tracker and planner).
TurboTax offers tax preparation software for different financial scenarios:-
- TurboTax Free for simple tax returns.
- TurboTax Live includes unlimited tax advice as you do your taxes, plus a final review before you file for individuals and self-employed people.
- Comprehensive software for larger businesses and rental property owners.
With all these options, you can complete your returns yourself or have a tax professional do it for you.
You can save up to 15% when you file your returns via TurboTax HERE.
10 Reasons I Love TurboTax Self-employed
1. Detailed Questions
TurboTax asked very detailed questions to determine my appropriate tax scenario then showed me all the forms I had to fill.
The answers to these questions also helped me find ways I could save money and maximize deductions for my tax situation.
2. TurboTax is Easy to Use
TurboTax is literally a step-by-step process from start to finish so you don’t get lost in the process.
And at any point, you can click the icon in the corner for detailed explanations of any form or question.
3. Access to Tax Expert
TurboTax provided access to a tax expert who assisted with reviewing my return in detail before I submitted it.
This was a lot cheaper and more efficient than dealing with an accountant in person.
4. You’re Protected with TurboTax
TurboTax provides Audit Defense with some of the packages. With this option, you’re guaranteed professional representation in case you’re audited by the CRA.
5. TurboTax is Cost Effective
TurboTax is cost-effective. For all the services they provided, assisting with reviewing and requesting clarifications on my questions, I paid $99.99.
6. Fixed Cost
Apart from the $99.99 option, there’s an option to DIY for $44.99 or let someone else do it for $199.99.
This cost doesn’t change no matter how complicated your tax situation is or becomes in the process of preparing your paperwork.
7. TurboTax Provides Access to Tax Experts
TurboTax provides access to tax experts with over 20 years of experience.
These experts answer any questions, go over your returns with you and correct any errors before you submit.
You chose the day and time between 9 am – 12 am any day of the week. I found this benefit invaluable.
8. Your Information is Secure
Your data and account are secure with TurboTax using TLS encryption and multi-factor authentication.
9. Available Across Multiple Platforms
TurboTax is available across multiple platforms and devices – iOS and Android and browsers. I used it on Google Chrome on my Macbook Pro.
10. Useful Checklist Provided
TurboTax provides a handy tax prep checklist for self-employed individuals. This checklist provided some great tips on how to organize my receipts for next year as well.
Even though it cost more than SimpleTax, TurboTax found more deductions, saved me way more money, and provided access to a tax expert.
I also found TurboTax much more user-friendly than SimpleTax so I guess I’m a definite convert now.
Is TurboTax Self-employed Free?
There’s a free version of TurboTax for basic and simple tax returns but TurboTax self-employed isn’t free.
The software provides 3 options for self-employed individuals:-
- Option 1 – DIY. You do everything yourself and file online at $44.99 per return. However, options might be limited.
- Option 2 – Assist & Review Self-Employed. After completing your returns, get tax advice and a final live review of your return from an expert at $99.99 per return.
- Option 3 – Full Service Self-Employed. TurboTax Live experts prepare, optimize, and file your taxes for you at $199.99 per return. (This option is not available in Quebec yet).
Whatever option you choose, you pay only when you’re ready to submit your final returns to CRA.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.