Tag Archives: TurboTax-Download

How to choose the best tax software for YOUR needs (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of choosing the right tax software for preparing your 2016 taxes. In this part, I will describe the pros and cons of preparing your taxes online at the turbotax online website, or on your computer locally by downloading turbotax first.

(Part 1 of the series explained different types of turbotax packages for personal and business tax filings).

Turbotax Online or Download?

There are two versions of TurboTax, online and desktop. TurboTax Online products allow you to complete your taxes on the Web, while the desktop products allow you to install the software and complete your taxes right on your computer. First, we’ll look at the differences between the two, and then if you still can’t decide which one you want, we’ll ask you some questions to help you decide.

Function or Feature

TurboTax Online

TurboTax Download

the product

Free to try. Don’t pay until you print or e-file.

Purchase software on CD from a retail store or directly from TurboTax. Or,purchase over the Web for download.

Accessing or installing the product

Nothing to install. Prepare your return and e-file from
any computer with Internet access.

Install purchased product from a CD or download and install on your personal


Lower system requirements than desktop.

Higher system requirements than online.

your return

Step-by-step Interview questions make tax preparation simple.

Step-by-step Interview questions and the
ability to view and complete tax forms just as they appear on paper.


E-file, or print and mail, unlimited federal returns as long as each has a unique
User ID and Password.

Prepare and print multiple returns. E-file up to five federal returns.


E-file up to three state returns per federal return filed electronically. (Each
federal and state return is paid for separately and the cost of e-filing is included.)

E-file up to three state returns per federal return filed electronically. (Note that each federal and state e-file must be paid for separately.)

the product

Updates are automatic – no downloads required.

Download updates from the Web.

For most of the people, filing taxes online would be the better option, since you can access you data from anywhere, no need to keep checking for tax software updates, and because you can file unlimited tax returns online without any additionl charges. Finally, you can get to try turbotax online free, something that turbotax download does not offer.