TurboTax 2020 is best for anyone who needs extra-clear tax guidance

TurboTax 2020 is best for anyone who needs extra-clear tax guidance, but it’s also the best option for people with a complicated tax situation. That could mean a lot of things. If you’re a landlord with rental income and expenses to track, you have a lot of investments to report or you’re a freelancer with side income, then you’ll have a lot of extra tax forms to fill out and tax rules to follow.

To start with the first screen on TaxCaster is the My-Info screen and since this is pretty self explanatory we will trust that you can answer those questions easily and we will focus on the Income Screen entries to begin our TurboTax 2020 TaxCaster Guide.

As the first question posed what are your total taxable wages you have to wonder what are none taxable wages? Well, Non-taxable wages are wages an employee or individual receives without any taxes being withheld. However, most wages paid are taxable. So when are wages non-taxable? The IRS definition of a non-taxable wage and tax-exempt income is quite narrow.

There’s a reason people return to TurboTax 2020 year after year: It excels for its design and carefully guided questions and explanations. The downside? Tier for tier, TurboTax 2020 is the most expensive option.

TurboTax 2020’s interface offers excellent guidance throughout the process and support options for when you get stuck. After moving you through a Q&A-style interview, TurboTax 2020 roots through every deduction and credit and shows you the most common forms relevant to your situation. It also gives you an opportunity to see if the more uncommon situations might apply to you. Behind the scenes, the software crunches the numbers and fills in your answers on the correct government forms and schedules.

When you have a question, you can refer to the Help Center articles that pop up on the sidebar, or upgrade to a paid version to talk with tax specialists. For an additional fee, you can access TurboTax 2020 Live, in which an enrolled agent or CPA reviews your taxes and looks for missed tax breaks

We ran one of our fictional tax filers—more on this below—Steve and Jane Go-Getter’s taxes through the Self-Employed version, since Jane has freelance writing business. TurboTax 2020 flagged several common deductions that Jane could potentially claim and noted where she may have entered an error. It also informed Steve that his employer withheld too much Social Security tax. Timothy Taxes used the Free version, while Noah Numbers used the Deluxe package.

Tax-preparation software should make it easy to find every tax break, calculate your refund or tax due, and navigate tax law changes. And as more people take on side hustles—57 million Americans do some sort of freelance work, according to a 2019 survey from Upwork and Freelancers Union—you may have to calculate self-employment taxes, too.

All of the major do-it-yourself tax-preparation products can guide you through the filing process for every tax situation and provide general tax advice. But it’s the user experience and extra features that can make one product stand out above the rest.

Intuit TurboTax 2020’s plain, easy-to-understand language guides you every step of the way. For those who qualify to use its free version or want plenty of filing options, we think H&R Block. Users can file online, via mobile app, and in person. If you don’t need as much guidance and want to save money, TaxAct and TaxSlayer are solid budget picks.

As the tax-filing deadline draws near—July 15 for most people—taxes can loom larger and larger in your life. These online tax software systems can help make a daunting task doable.

Tax breaks are government offerings for a reduction in your taxes. Tax breaks can come in a variety of forms, such as claiming deductions, taking advantage of credits, or excluding income from your tax return. Tax credits are more beneficial than tax deductions since they are applied directly to reduce your gross income (instead of lowering your taxable income like deductions).
Homeowner Tax Breaks

Mortgage Interest and Points Deduction: interest and points you pay on your mortgage are tax-deductible.
Casualty Losses Affecting Your Home: losses due to theft, vandalism, or Mother Nature’s wrath
Energy-Efficiency Home Improvements: IRS Energy Star or EPA standards improvements often qualify for tax credits.
Property Tax Deduction: money you pay for property taxes to the local and state government can be deducted on your tax return, along with sales tax. For 2020 this is now limited to $10,000.

The TurboTax TaxCaster can help tax payers as a year round tool you can use to keep track of all your 2020 financial changes throughout the year. Plus, now TaxCaster can forecast your 2021 tax liability using new tax laws and past year income analysis.