How to Get a Bigger Tax Refund With TurboTax
Thanks for reading! This article is sponsored by TurboTax. All products featured were hand-picked and thoughtfully chosen by our editorial team, and any items listed below were in-stock with accurate pricing at the time of publication.
Tax filing season officially begins on Monday, Jan. 24 — that’s the first day the IRS will accept tax returns for 2021. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for filing your return, most people choose between self-filing, using tax prep software, or hiring a licensed CPA. Typically, this decision boils down to a few factors, like how complicated your taxes are, how much time you have, and whether you want to spend money upfront to guarantee a successful return.
For people who aren’t ready to hire a CPA but still want accurate calculations and maximum refunds, TurboTax is a great choice. It’s also a quick and easy process. Just upload your tax documents, answer some basic questions, and let TurboTax handle the math.
We’ve compiled a list of five simple ways to maximize your refund with TurboTax and more ways to save during the signup process. If you’re seeking professional advice, remember to contact a tax expert or utilize a reputable tax prep software before making any decisions about your return.
The Best TurboTax Coupons Available Now
TurboTax is all about helping you get the most out of your tax return and minimizing the out-of-pocket costs to file your taxes. Below are several ways to add to your savings:
- Start filing your 2021 taxes for free by creating a TurboTax account or signing in.
- Every time you refer a friend to TurboTax, you get a $25 gift card with a referral limit of 10 for a total of $250 in gift card value.
- Choose TurboTax Deluxe by Feb. 21 and get an extra $10 off your service.
- Upgrade to TurboTax Premier and enjoy an additional $15 discount on your service.
- Business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed folks get an extra $20 off TurboTax Self-Employed when they sign up by Feb. 21.
How Do I Set Up a New TurboTax Account?
Before you fall down the tax filing rabbit hole, you’ll need to set up a TurboTax account. Here’s how:
- Head over to the signup page for new accounts.
- Enter in and confirm your email address.
- Create a user ID and password and add your phone number.
- Click on “Create account" and choose your products or try out services for free.
- Gain access to manage all Intuit services including QuickBooks and Mint.
5 Tax Filing Tips to Save Money Using TurboTax
1. Start Early
Begin your tax prep now to avoid mistakes and identify any deductions or credits you may qualify for. You may also want to take some extra time to determine your filing status. For example, some married couples could actually be entitled to a larger return if they file separately, especially if they incurred large medical expenses during 2021. You’ll also need time to consider whether you’re better off itemizing or choosing the standard deduction. Luckily, you can get reliable advice by connecting with a TurboTax expert as you do your taxes.
2. Take Advantage of Credits and Deductions
Tax credits and deductions work in different ways to lessen your tax burden. In a nutshell, tax credits limit your tax liability (how much you owe the IRS). Some credits are even refundable, meaning you’ll receive the full amount even if it exceeds your total liability.
Here are some common tax credits to be aware of:
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Recovery Rebate Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
Tax deductions reduce your taxable income. Generally speaking, lowering your taxable income lowers the amount of money you pay in taxes. Popular deductions include:
- Student Loan Payments
- Capital Losses
- Charitable Donations
- Business Expenses
If you think your eligible deductions exceed this year’s Standard Deduction for joint filers and single filers, you might want to think about itemizing. Otherwise, the TurboTax Free Edition is likely the perfect service for you. TurboTax Free Edition is geared towards anyone who has W-2 income, limited interest, and dividend income and wants to claim the standard deduction. It also covers student loan interest deductions, the earned income tax credit (EIC), and child tax credits.
3. Save With TurboTax’s Deluxe Service
If your taxes are more on the complicated side (itemized deductions, rental property income, stock sales, business income, etc.), consider upgrading to TurboTax Deluxe. In addition to guiding you through the unique circumstances of your return, TurboTax will search over 350 deductions and credits to help maximize your refund. You could potentially save more with their Maximum Refund Guarantee, where they’ll match any other tax preparation method you used that resulted in a larger refund or smaller tax due. Homeowners can also benefit from TurboTax Deluxe, with thorough advice regarding mortgage interest, property taxes, and much more.
4. Contribute to Your IRA (or Open an Account)
Making an IRA contribution during tax season can be beneficial in a couple of ways. First, you’ll be proactively setting money aside for your retirement, and second, you can deduct up to $6,000 dollars (depending on your adjusted gross income) to reduce your taxable income. In fact, you can even make contributions for 2021 all the way up to Tax Day on April 18, 2022. You may also be eligible for the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit.
Don’t have an IRA? Don’t worry. There are other ways to plan for retirement while reducing your taxable income, like contributing to a health savings account (HSA) or 401(k).
5. Use TurboTax Live to Chat With an Expert
TurboTax does its best to limit the guesswork for you. Still, there may be times when you’d like the reassurance that comes with speaking to a certified expert in real time. TurboTax Live delivers that experience without having to visit and pay for a CPA. Set up an online chat with an expert, or schedule a video call at your convenience. You can also have an expert review your tax return to make sure all your questions are answered. As always, TurboTax Live, along with its entire suite of services, is backed by TurboTax’s 100% Accurate Calculations guarantee, meaning they’ll cover any penalties from the IRA caused by TurboTax calculation errors. How’s that for peace of mind?