TurboTax Deluxe vs. Premier - Which is Better?
Filing your IRS taxes with TurboTax and confused about whether you need TurboTax Deluxe or Premier? Here’s our easy comparison to help you buy the right edition
TurboTax Deluxe vs. Premier: A quick comparison
Just need the highlights? Here’s our comparison of TurboTax Deluxe vs. Premier at a glance:
|From $39 (state additional)
|From $89 (state additional)
|Audit risk meter
|Schedules 1 - 6
|Schedule D & Form 8949
|Employee stock plans
|Stocks & crypto
Which version of TurboTax do you need?
Let’s start with the basics - there are two main versions of TurboTax:
TurboTax CD/Desktop was the more popular option for tax filers back when cloud services were less readily available and reliable. As such, TurboTax Online is the more popular option currently, with TurboTax reporting that around 80% of users opt for this product.
Both products come in tiered pricing editions, with access to different features depending on the pricing model you choose.
However, there are still a few key differences between the two products worth knowing about that may make you opt for one version over the other:
|$0 - $129
|$50 - $190
|Limited to one filing per year
|Up to 5 federal filings with some editions
|Cloud-based service and internet connection required
|Desktop application limited to one device
|Automatically updated with the latest guidance
|Manual updates may be required/new versions may need to be purchased
|Compatible with most operating systems
|Limited to MacOS and Windows
|Online and live support are available
|Phone support available
With that out the way, let’s look at the four different editions of TurboTax available.
What are the different editions of TurboTax?
There are four different editions of TurboTax:
TurboTax Basic (Free)
TurboTax Home & Business
Each edition as you move up in pricing includes all of the features from the previous edition, plus new features. For 2024, TurboTax is renaming their online products - so you can start filing for free and you’ll automatically be assigned a plan when you go to file, based on the information you’ve provided in your tax return. It’ll cost you between $0 and $129 (plus state filing costs) depending on your specific financial situation.
TurboTax often discounts software around the tax filing season (from late December to early April). Similarly, TurboTax Desktop is often available on sale from a number of retailers. So while the prices we mention below are the full prices for TurboTax in 2024, if you time it right, you’ll be able to get the edition you need for less.
If your tax situation is straightforward - such as if you only have employed income on a W2 - the free edition of TurboTax Online will do the trick.TurboTax estimates their free online edition will work for around 37% of taxpayers. This edition is suitable for those with:
Limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV
Claim the standard deduction
Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
Child tax credits
It does not cover tax scenarios that are more complicated than this. Those with additional Schedules to complete outside Schedule 1 or with 1099 forms will need a paid edition of TurboTax.
TurboTax Basic price:
TurboTax Online: Free
TurboTax Desktop: $50 (state and e-file additional)
TurboTax Deluxe can do all of the above and more. This has been renamed in TurboTax Online, but the features remain the same similar to the desktop version of TurboTax Deluxe. It’s suitable for those with medical expenses, homeowners, and those with charitable donations.
Desktop includes 5 federal e-files and 1 state
Updated tax laws along with expanded child tax credit
Imports mortgage and investment information from participating companies and W-2s
Looks for more than 350 tax deductions and credits
ItsDeductible tracks donations to charities
This version has the deduction maximizer feature, which can help you identify more than 350 credits and deductions and help you file donations accurately. It also features most tax forms, but unfortunately does not include Schedule D - so if you have capital gains or losses from investments, you’ll need the next edition of TurboTax.
TurboTax Deluxe price:
TurboTax Deluxe Online: $39 (state additional, online support additional)
TurboTax Deluxe Desktop: $80 (1 state download, state e-file additional)
TurboTax Premier does all of the above, plus includes Schedule D, Form 8949, and more for reporting capital gains and losses. Additional features include:
Accurate and robust investment tax reporting
Employee stock plan support
Covers Bitcoin and other crypto
Guidance on rental property expenses and deductions
However, while TurboTax Premier can help you report crypto - some of the import options remain limited. As such, you may opt to use a crypto tax calculator like Koinly to help ensure you have an accurate crypto tax report to file with TurboTax.
Learn more about filing crypto taxes with TurboTax and Koinly.
TurboTax Premier price:
TurboTax Premier Online: $89 (state additional, online support additional)
TurboTax Premier Desktop: $115 (1 state download, state e-file additional)
TurboTax Home & Business
The final edition of TurboTax, and the most expensive, is TurboTax Home & Business. As the name suggests, TurboTax Home & Business is most suited to those self-employed or running a business. This edition includes all of the features mentioned in the other TurboTax editions previously, as well as:
Create and e-file W-2s and 1099s for employees and contractors with Quick Employer Forms
Guidance on start-up deductions
Guidance on small business and self-employment deductions
TurboTax Home & Business price:
TurboTax Home & Business Online: $89, but online support is recommended (state additional, online support additional)
TurboTax Home & Business Desktop: $130 (1 state download, state e-file additional)
How much does a TurboTax state filing cost?
As we mentioned previously, TurboTax Online has changed its format a little this year, so the additional cost of a state return varies depending on the amount of support you request. For those doing it themselves with no assistance or full service, a state filing costs $54. For those using TurboTax Assisted Online or TurboTax Full Service, a state return will cost you $64.
So which is best, TurboTax Deluxe vs. Premier?
TurboTax Premier is most suitable for those with stocks or crypto, or capital gains and losses from other income who will need to file a Schedule D. TurboTax Deluxe will suit most other taxpayers otherwise.
What are alternatives to TurboTax?
Alternatives to TurboTax include: