Getting Started: How To Prepare Your 2018 - 2019 Tax Return With TurboTax

2018 - 2019 TurboTax Quick Start Guide

Whether you're a first time tax filer, or using TurboTax for the first time, we are here to get you up and running in a jiffy!

In this introduction to TurboTax 2018 - 2019 tax season software, several factors are addressed right off the get go to get you pointed in the right direction:

Choose Between TurboTax Online, or Download / CD

First I would like to point out that TurboTax Online Tax Preparation versions are by far more popular than desktop software versions. This is a common trend through all brands in the industry. Many factors come into play when making your decision on which format to use.

2018 Season-to-date TurboTax Federal Unit Data

2017 Version Unit Sales

Season through April 21, 2018

TurboTax Online 29,814,000
TurboTax Desktop 5,030,000
TurboTax Free File Alliance 1,169,000
Total TurboTax Units 36,013,000

The TurboTax Online Versions are quick and easy to use over a secure connection to the TurboTax website. There is no software to install and you can work on your tax return from any computer with an internet connection. Start your return at work and finish it at home, all progress is saved so that you can continue right from where you left off.

The TurboTax Download / CD Desktop Installation Tax Software Versions allow tax payers to work on their tax return without the need for an internet connection. This is great for those in remote locations, however these versions require you to install the software on your computer which may lead to conflicts with other preinstalled software. It's a rarity, but it can happen. Be sure to Update TurboTax Desktop Versions as needed.

For simplicity purposes, my advice is to go with Online Tax Preparation if at all possible!

Choose The Correct Edition For Your Tax Filing Needs

Determine which edition suites your tax filing needs the best:

How To Upgrade To Another TurboTax Edition

You can upgrade or switch to a higher version of TurboTax after you've started your return if you find another edition will suit you better. Select Upgrade in the menu interface on the left, or the menu icon in the upper-left corner. Then, select the version you'd like to upgrade to. Sign out and then sign back in to access your prior-year return or other upgrade features.

How To Downgrade to a Lower TurboTax Edition

You can downgrade to a lower online edition but each edition of TurboTax is designed to handle different tax situations and their associated forms. While you’re welcome to downgrade, you may miss some features—and you’ll be prompted to upgrade when those features are needed.

To downgrade you must clear and start over in TurboTax Online. To do this erase your return and start from scratch as long as you haven't submitted payment, deducted the TurboTax fee from your refund, or registered.

If you haven't already done so, sign in at TurboTax.Com and select the Take me to my return button. On the welcome back screen, in the left-side menu, select Tax Tools, and then Clear & Start Over (select the menu icon in the upper-left corner if you don't see this menu).

TurboTax 2018 - 2019 Income Tax Filing
Jumping Into The Tax Return Preparation Process

If you are using a desktop version, start by checking for updates to insure the most up to date tax law modifications are in place. Online versions are automatically updated as they happen so no update process is needed.

Another up front process I like to perform is estimating my tax liability ahead of time so that I'm more prepared for what Uncle Sam may be expecting from me. It's a good thing to do this several times a year as changes in your life and finances happen so that you're always in tune with your financial tax liability.

Next gather up all the documentation needed for preparing your tax return. A tax preparation checklist will be handy for this purpose and insures you won't be running around in circles trying to figure out what you need.

TurboTax: Simple, Fast, Convenient!

Now you can use your TurboTax 2018 edition of choice to prepare your Federal and State Income taxes, double check them, and file them in just one night, or spend a few minutes here or there until you complete your return. TurboTax Guides you step by step once it completes an interview process designed to learn about your life and tax filing needs. This process uses the information gathered to see how it can benefit you by applying tax deductions and credits that you qualify for in order to lower your overall tax bill. Here's some more tidbits you should know about TurboTax 2018 - 2019 tax season products:

With TurboTax you can work on your taxes day and night, whenever the time is right for you. Get an early start to insure your not going to get stressed about meeting the April 15 2019 tax filing deadline. A small investment of your time viewing the credits and deductions tips will dramatically increase your ability to get a bigger refund, and widen your knowledge and ability to properly prepare for bigger refunds on future returns.

Compare TurboTax against H&R Block, TaxBrain, TaxAct, Tax$imple, or eSmart-Tax to see why TurboTax is rated #1.


TurboTax Canada

TurboTax Canadian Editions are the top rated choice for tax filers in Canada.

Formally known as TurboTax Canada, these tax software programs have been leading the tax software revolution in the Canadian territories for decades.

These editions come in French and English versions to accommodated filers from both languages.

Check out our blog for more talk on TurboTax products.