Tax Questions? TurboTax Has Free Answers

Back by popular demand! Starting today taxpayers with tax questions can get an easy – and free – answer from a TurboTax expert.

How it works:

FTQ2TurboTax will answer one personal, tax-related question for free through Jan. 31 at Anyone can submit a question – whether you use TurboTax or not. Simply submit a question online, and you’ll receive a personal call back at a time you request from a tax expert.

If you’ve been reading the TurboTax blog or glanced at recent news coverage, you know there are lots of tax savings opportunities this year tied to the Economic Stimulus plan. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of taxpayers are expected to benefit, whether they’re first-time homebuyers, Cash for Clunker recipients or college students.

Whatever your question is, tax experts are here to help. Our experts are highly qualified tax pros with extensive knowledge in tax law and with TurboTax software. They’re enrolled agents and experienced tax preparers with advanced education and they’re standing by to help you. This is the third year that TurboTax has offered Free Tax Question.

Questions after January? Not a problem.

If you have more than one question or you want answers beyond the January offer, TurboTax Live Community is free, and offers year-round, anytime access to online answers from a community of millions of TurboTax customers and tax experts.

You can type in a question and immediately find answers.

Giving taxpayers free options for their questions is another way TurboTax makes it easier to get more money in your pocket…and who doesn’t want that? There’s no purchase necessary to participate, but it is subject to availability, so be sure to take advantage of the free offer with your taxing question.

Comments (119) Leave your comment

  1. I am 72 yrs. old, retired and drawing social security. Due to economic conditions, I have to work a part time job to make ends meet. My employer pays me cash since my hours are low. We file all our incomes on line and want to stay honest about it. The only bracket on e-file that came close to my situation listed me as self employed or private contractor. I was “blown away” when it showed I owed $1,700.00 on the $8,600.00 I made part time.

  2. Last year I used Deluxe and got my school form printed out; this year I used Premier and didn’t get a school tax form. Why?

  3. My friend has an insurance policy by which the cash value pays the insurance premiums quarterly. At the end of the year, he receives a Form 1099-R from the insurance company and must report the premiums paid as income. I believe this is recorded on line 16a and 16b of the Form 1040. What does this fall under in Turbo Tax since it is not a pension or annuity?

  4. I have 2013 disbursements from a ROTH IRA. The funds were principal contributions made over 5 years ago. The institution holding the Roth issued a 1099-R identifying the gross distribution with a distribution code of J (early distribution) and indicating taxable amount not determined. I believe I am able to receive a distribution of principal without tax or penalty. With TurboTax I am able to identify the distribution as non-taxable however the total distribution is added to my income which ultimately creates a larger tax burden.
    I believe I may have completed this section incorrectly. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  5. I bought 2013 turbo tax deluxe from Amazon. I think I purchased the wrong year. Will it work for what I need to file in April.

  6. For the past 3 year we have tried to e-file with
    TurboTax. The IRS kicks it back. They do not recognize my wife’s SS number .We file the same return via U.S. mail and they process it.

  7. My husband & I are recently married.(Sept 2013). We live separately, have separate homes, dependants, checking accounts, will not be living together until retirement(10 yrs). Can we both claim Head of Household?

  8. my husband and I file married filing jointly, under the medical part in the federal my question is I’m covered under my employer insurance with a HSA plan , my husband is covered under medicare. how do I answer the question have you been covered under Medicare while covered under a HSA??

  9. HOW do you print the finished tax forms out???? And how do you put the country on your form when the US is not listed??? thank you!

  10. HOW do you print the finished tax forms out???? And how do you put the country on your page when the US is not listed??? thank you!

  11. Questions while doing turbotax basic , why did irs? Or turbotax ask if you have been convicted of a drug related charge that lead to a felony or not, yes or no? What is up with that???

  12. im in the military and took out a loan against my TSP. do i report that amount i took out in the Retirement and Investments section at all or do i just leave it be? thanks in advance

  13. I recently moved from NJ to TN. I am still employed by the same company in NJ. NJ state taxes are being taken out of my check each week. I know I will have to file with the state of NJ for last year but should the state taxes still be taken out even though I no longer am a resident of NJ?

  14. wondering if the 20% health insurance I pay thru my employer can be put in my taxes. I pay 20% of company ins for son and I, and I pay a $$ for my 2 girls with a separate ins. can I add it all up and apply it to my turbo tax as $$ I put out for health ins?? like I would copays, hospitals and prescriptions??

  15. I have claimed 4 years of the American Opportunity credit but I am still in my fourth year of college can I claim that credit or the lifetime learning credit.

  16. Filing amended forms cr5 and cr 7 (Michigan)multiple years (never filed originally) I know that each year has to be in a seperate envelope, but can I fille cr5 and cr7 in the same envelope for the same year?

  17. If I have so little income that my tax is zero, do I have to use up any carryover losses for this return? Can I just use them when I want and how much I want, as long as I don’t exceed $3000 in any one year?

    • Hi – Unfortunately the IRS requires that you utilize your carryover to the fullest extent possible, or it is forfeited (i.e., you can’t “bank it” for future years). Sorry to deliver bad news. –Christopher

    • Hi Tom,
      There is no charge to amend your tax return if you already used TurboTax.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I assume you understood that when I said I used Turbo tax, I meant free file turbo tax, right?
        I understand that an amended form has to be mailed, not Efiled, is that correct?

  18. I have multiple years where I need to correct my carryover losses for capital gains. The info does not change my actual tax due, but I think in order to not set red flags for current year, I have to ament the priors. Question: Do I have to file all amended forms first, before I file current year?

    • Hi! If your tax bill for this year or the previous years are not changing (i.e., you’d still be claiming the $3,000 maximum loss, and only adjusting the carryover), then I would recommend filing this year’s return now and then filing an amended return for 2011 when you’re ready. (You likely wouldn’t need to go further back than that — maybe amend 2010 as a buffer). Again, this assumes that your tax liability for the years in question aren’t changing. Hope that helps! –Christopher

      • seems like whatever I amend, whether it is 20011 or 2011 and 10, whoever looks at it would look at the one previous to the farthest one back to verify. What if I were to just make sure 2012 was correct, using the full $3000 each year leading up to it and not amending. Other than correspondance with the IRS to clear it up, IF they contact me, are there penalties and fines when the change doesn’t change my tax?

  19. Just not sure if i will be over gst bracket this year or not. If I am do i owe gst for the whole out of my own pocket having not charged for it?

    • Hi Pat – I need more clarification on what you mean by GST to help you better. Please see my response to your other post. Thanks, Karen

      • Hi karen, thanks for the reply. Im in australia and if you earn more than $75000 you are required to register for gst (which i am) and charge 10% on top of all income. Tho im not sure if i will earn more than that threshold this year but i just may. So if i do earn over that limit having not charged the 10%,will i still have to pay that 10% at the end of the year out of my own pocket? I hope thats clear,its a tad complicated.

    • Hi Pat – By GST, are you talking about sales taxes? If so, yes, if you don’t charge your customers, you are costing yourself money because you pay it out of your pocket. You can still deduct it, but it comes from your profit. Thanks, Karen

  20. I’m trying to decide whether to turbo this year – my situation got more complicated. I inherited stock and bonds which I immediately sold. I have the price per stock and price per bond on the death date and the date I sold it. How specifically will tubo handle this? What prompts and subsequesnt prompts will I get. I’m worried about getting sufficient prompts in turbo to figure this out.

    • Hi Candy – The software is very specific about asking the appropriate questions regarding how you acquired the stocks/bonds and the dates, etc. There are blue text links on many of the screens that offer more detailed help for specific questions. And, we offer free tax help to all of our users. I think you will do great with Turbo Tax…just read the screens carefully and you will do great! Also, you can start for free to see how you like it. Thanks, Karen

  21. i purchased a travel trailer in 08/2012 and don’t know where to enter on the turbo tax forms, my federal form passed, but my state (il) did not was told i could deduct the interest and the sales tax, when i did the federal, i don’t know if i placed the deductions in the right place on the form 1040,it was accepted, the state was not, i have the form st556 from the dealer, i just don’t know where to enter the info

    • Hi Barry,
      Awards from a discrimination lawsuit are generally taxable. Lawsuits from physical injury are not taxable so if you have any medical bills as a result of sex discrimination then the amounts attributed to your bills are tax deductible.
      TurboTax helps you enter this type of income on your tax return.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  22. I have a son living who lived with me all of last year and has worked for less than 6 month; can I still claim him as a dependent?

    • Hi Darrell,
      Sorry, unfortunately you can only write off the repairs if it is an investment property that you are collecting rental income on.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  23. i work and live in nj. i am filing with turbo tax in nj. i was given a w2 for 2 weeks i worked in ny for same company. how do i do this with turbo tax. do i have to file in ny for 2 weeks?

  24. my 2nd job i just made $540 ,they did not send me w-2 form ,do i have to file tax return for this income or not

    • Hi Joy,
      Yes you should file a tax return for the income even if the amount is under $600, as the employer may still report the income to the IRS. The IRS matches income reported by employers with the income you report. You can call your employer and request a duplicate copy of your W-2.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  25. I e-file with Turbo Tax 2011 yesterday
    March 20, 2012.
    As of today March 21 I have not received an e-mail from IRS saying they have received my
    2011 Tax Return,

    • Hi Dean,
      Go to the federal taxes tab, Deductions and Credits, Click Explore on my own. On the next screen scroll down to employee business expenses, click start. TurboTax will guide you through entering your info.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  26. My residence is Texas and I worked in Illinois for a few months and have out of state income to claim and want to know which version of turbo tax I should use. Would the Deluxe version cover this?

  27. Hello I found your web site via Google while looking for a similar matter, your web site got here up. It appears good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back later.

  28. Question:

    If I normally charge a set rate per hour for services rendered and I do some work at a reduced rate for a friend, is there a way to get a tax advantage for the discounted rate?

  29. On filing for state of oklahoma i was sked for information on my form from previous year i cant remember what number that was i was just wandering how important that question was

  30. I received a $100.00 credit in 2010 from the City of Portland (Oregon) for a City Fee that was erroneously deposited by my CPA

    for a business that I sold in 2009. I now have a 2010 Form 1099-G for $100.00 that I need to put into my taxes someplace. It wants me to put it in as a business entry and I no longer have a business. Once you deposit anything to a business, it opens up a myriad of requirements. I don’t want that! Can I just include it onto one of the various forms without going through the guided systems?

    Thanks for your help.


  31. I have lived with my ex-husband for 20 years. Three years ago he was injured on the job and has been unable to work. He obviously has lived in my house for 12 months and I have provided for him. Can I claim him as a dependant.

  32. Does turbo tax automatically deduct federal taxes withheld from empolyers based on the id numbers for employers?

  33. Why dose the first page of my California return not match the offical form? This is the page with signature at the bottom. The top of the form is not formatted and has bunch of numbers in columns etc. thanks

  34. Was on unemployment in 2010 made 16,000 appr. they only took 1,400. appr. off have a dependent to claim and property taxes on my house will I get a refund?

  35. My son went into a Medical facility this year and was unable to pay any of his bills. As such, we had all of his paychecks, STD, and LTD dollars received deposited directly into my account so I could pay his bills for him using his money. In this situation, since I paid his medical bills using his money, can I deduct the medical payments made in 2010 on his income tax return? He is not a dependent on my return.

  36. If a dependent buys a home in 2010, but has no income to otherwise file taxes, and all related expenses regarding the home are paid by the tax payers, is it possible for the taxpayers to claim the home buyers credit instead of the dependent?

  37. Im trying to help a friend fill out his income taxhis taxable salary was 12081, he get soc security but none is taxable, he has now children and is low income, can he claim Making work pay credit and EIC?

  38. I have w-2 form, mortgage and form k1. I would like t know which Tootax should I buy. You have Basic,Deluxe, Premier and Home&business. Which one should I buy.

    Thank you

  39. I got married in October 2010. My husbands refunds have always gone to back child support. This is my last year inchapter 13 bankruptcy, which a portion of my refunds have gone to the court. How do we file our taqxes this year to ensure his child support and my chapter 13 all gets paid without losing EITC?

  40. I separated from my husband earlier this year. We havent filed legal separation or for a divorce. I have been recieving help from the state with the cost of daycare. Since we are still married can we file taxes together?

  41. My wife must take an MDR for 2010. We thought that taking money out of her IRA would satisfy this requirement. However, she has a 457 State of NJ deferred comp acct and we are told she must also take money out of that account. Is this correct and if so will there be a penalty because we have gone past Dec 31. If there is a penalty how much would it be?

  42. my wife works as a in home caregiver and uses her personal vehicle to go to and from clients homes.she only gets paid for time at clients homes and no drive time pay. is there any tax break we can use to help cover gas and wear and tear on our vehicle? if so what do we need to claim on taxes?

  43. ive been staying with my fiance for going on a year i have a 3 year old son whos not biologically his but he takes care of him because i have no income can my fiance claim my so on his taxes this yr

  44. My mother passes away 2 years ago. I was on the deed to her house but not the loan so I am now sole owner. I have continued to pay it and after fixing the house up I have now rented it. How do I claim the mortgage interest and property taxes I have paid through her mortgage company? There is little to no income from the property because of the cost of repairs and other losses. Do I have to continue to file a return in my deceased mother’s name until I can refinance?

  45. My boy has moved home January 2009 and still at home. How do I claim him as a dependent on Turbo Tax?

  46. If my employer is paying my tuition, can I claim the amount on the 1098-T that the University sends me? As far as I know, the amount is not included on my salary on my w2 form. However, it is a benifit.

  47. I am a widow with two children. We recieve SS from my late husband and this is our only income since I was layed off work. My mother has been living with us for two years since my father passed away. I am not filing taxes this year and her accounten told her to file my children on her taxes. I need to know if this is legal? I have never done anything like this. She does live with us and her income does help out in the household but I don’t want to do anything that will affect the social security that I recieve to raise my children. If anyone could help me with this I would greatly appreciate it.

  48. My husband was laid off all of 2009 and received unemployment. I was employed and we have two children and own a home. I use Turbotax every year but am wondering: do we have to file jointly or can we file separately. And if we can file separately, which way is better since he is going to get hammered for receiving unemployment that was not taxed.

  49. I E-Filed my taxes and already received my refund.I then received a W-2 that I forgot about.I printed the 1040x amended return. My question is do I just enter the W-2 that wasn’t included in my original 1040ez or all my W-2’S

  50. Hello, I was paid a $25 per diem from my company last year whenever I was out of town overnight for M&IE. The federal per diem for my territory is $46 per day. Can I deduct the $21 difference under business travel expenses?

  51. can I claim internet service and cell phone service, I work for a Home Health agency and have to have both for my job

  52. my girlfriend and I purchased a house a year ago we file taxes seperatly, got our tax statement from the morgage co. can we file this seperatly or put it all on like my tax form how does this work

  53. I’m getting ready to purchase turbo-tax. The only major deduction I will have will be my home intrest. Can I get buy on just the basic package.

    thank you, Dennis

  54. Can I be elegible for a tax refund even though I only get disability and have no taxes taken out but bought a newer car?

  55. I get reimbursement for my gas I put in my car for work at a average price per gallon for milage.It is determined by were you live.I also get paid 365 a month for my car.This is all done by a third party.They send us nothing for taxes cause they say it is tax free.How do I put this on my turbo tax were it won’t count a taxable income or does it count as taxable income if it is a reiumbursement.

  56. My daughter is 3 her biological Father is in prison and has no rights to her. I am not married and have not worked this year at all. The man I have been seeing for the past year has been our soul provider. Can he claim her as a dependent with my approval, since i have soul custody of her?

  57. Have taken a 25000 distribution in 2009 from IRA and converted it into a Roth IRA. I know I have to pay tax on the 25000. Why is Turbo Tax telling me I also have to either put some back or pay an annual tax of an additional 1500 because the Roth is overfunded?




  59. I am not sure if I qualify for the Life Time College Credit. I am currently in grad school but my tuition was paid for with loans…can I still account for the amount the tuition cost..or can I only tax the amount that I paid out of pocket only

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