Tax software for tax year 2018

Looking for deals on TurboTax. SlickDeals had one the other day that turned out to be no deal at all, and then it died.

Fidelity does give access to TurboTax Premier for free, but to active traders (100-200 trades per year at least), and sometimes to others based on assets held, but the exact level isn’t known. Plus, it usually isn’t available via Fidelity for free until mid-December. Fidelity has a link to a discounted TurboTax that (because it doesn’t include state) is more expensive than Amazon.

Vanguard says they no longer do discounts for TurboTax. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t give it away free to high rollers.

Preemptive response to “Why the rush? You can’t file yet anyway.”. The answer is simple … tax planning for year-end actions.

Why buy when you can download this spreadsheet?
I used this last year and have already have used it this year to plan for this years taxes.

Just donate to this guy so this alternative to the commercial tax software stays alive.

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I thought you can use it for free, you just have to pay to actually file? Maybe they changed this?

You can. Good point. I started to use the online version though and found that it didn’t pull in as much of previous years’ data as the desktop version. I was concerned it wouldn’t export to desktop well either. Plus, navigation though the program is radically different from the desktop version that I’ve been using for almost 30 years.

The thing is … I feel sure I’ll get a freebie from Fidelity but won’t know for sure, and interested in others’ data points regarding getting it from Fidelity. Also, if there is a good deal somewhere on it, I might just buy it anyway. If it is like last year, Fidelity will post it five minutes later.

Fair, I don’t have much experience with it. One thing you may want to look into - many intuit products have 60 day money back guarantees, in case you do end up getting it free from Fidelity (or somewhere else).

Does anyone know when TaxAct preview edition will be available? It is usually out by now… thanks for any info

According to this page, if you have more than 25k with fidelity (likely not including workplace accounts), and make at least 120 stock/bond/option trades you’ll get turbotax online for free. But I know that’s not exactly what you’re looking for.

I have a large account with Fidelity and they have been giving me Ttax fed efile+state every year. I do not trade stocks so only have a few Tbill buys at auction.

Last year I got it on Dec 19, 2017

When you login to your Fido account look down the landing page to the bottom and the offer will appear there.

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Yes, I don’t do any trades at all through Fidelity and yet it was offered to me last year. I assume on asset levels, although there must be something more to it than that. The rep that I spoke to said I’d get it again this year, but said it was not based on the tier of client relationship. So who knows?

He recommended following their link to purchase it, and then ask for reimbursement. But I did not do so because what they offer right now requires additional $40 for state, and also doesn’t offer the desktop version.

When you click on the link to the offer on your Fido home page, there is no charge. So I would just wait to see what develops.

Once the offer appears, yes.

I received an email today that it is available.
FYI for any others who use TaxAct.

To clarify, meeting those requirements means you should get that benefit. But it doesn’t necessarily mean not meeting those requirements won’t get you an offer.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t get the offer and really want it, fidelity has no transaction fee ETFs. Not 100% sure those would count as stock trades, but may be worth a shot if you’re close to the number.

Credit Karma is still free - anyone have qualms with it ?

Tax planning can save money. Starting a return now for items you know can save time later compared to doing spread sheet calculations or using an old program.

In my circumstances, I am considering buying one now. Question is which one? I used to use Turbotax and then shifted to Block because of their 10% back on refund in Amazon cards.

Incidentally, I never benefited from their refund offer. They do not say, but it is limited to one filing and is normally used for the first one. I used it for my son’s simple one (low earnings from a summer job only) to get his refund quickly, and then found the offer did not appear when I did mine. I had a substantial refund coming.

I also found you had to file electronically, and all sorts of hard to find glitches and omissions could prevent this. The work spent finding these could be avoided by printing it out, and filing by mail.

It looks like Turbotax is more expensive with a $49.99 offer on Amazon for Delux + State, while Block is $34.97 for their Delux Plus state. Some money now can be saved by getting the Federal only and later either buying the State version, or doing the state manually. I suspect yoiu save by buying the package with both firms, but do not know for certain how much. Apparently a state version is $19.99 on Turbotax.

I do notice Amazon has a 20% back offer on Tax Act if you pay using your Amazlon Store card. This apparently does not apply to the $34.97 direct download product. Since the 20% off includes the 5% you would normally get, this gets you the downloadable product cheaper, and my state does not charge tax.

Since I can get 5% back on Amazon purchases through their store card (and other credit card offers for some quarters), the 5% refund is no longer attractive, and I am wondering which to buy now, or if there are any good offers.

In particular, since I want to do tax planning, I do not want to buy a program and then find out it is missing key parts or these have not been updated. One review of Block says their is not updated yet.

When and how to pay some items, or make large charitable contributions are decisions that would benefit from starting the return now, and estimating some items.

I believe Turbotax and pick up most items from the Block 2017 returns, but has any had any experience that mioght lead me to stick with block, even though some features I do not like.

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The Turbotax offer appeared on my Summary page on Fidelity today (12/18/18). Although it says Online Premier, you can select Products after navigating to the Turbotax page and see that the download version of Premier with state is $0.00. Be careful, though … you must give a payment method, and after I did so, it changed to full price, but the second time I tried it said zero.

It isn’t clear what the criteria is to be targeted for this offer. I know that if you placed “hundreds” of trades each year via Fidelity, you should see it. I do no trading at all, so there is some other trigger. But it isn’t necessarily Private Client status, I was told.



For those who did not get the offer, most tax software goes on sale in early January. I would set a price drop notice on camelcamelcamel for your favorite brand. Once you see an offer on Amazon then shop around as other vendors usually beat their price.

Last year I paid Amazon ~$15 for hr block near Black Friday but then they sent me an offer in the mail with a free copy. Just received $10 offer for deluxe in mail. I think I’ll just use that.

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