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Ramsey SmartTax vs. TurboTax

Oh, tax season. That special time between Jan. 1 and April 15 where people seem to either file their taxes with glee or slap on the blinders until the very last minute. Whatever camp you’re in, one of the things that can make filing taxes a pleasure or a pain is how you file. And with nearly 73% of people choosing to self-file their taxes electronically, you want a self-file service provider that moves you from start to finish quickly, accurately and affordably.1

But with several DIY e-filing providers available, who should you choose?

With nearly 73% of people choosing to self-file their taxes electronically, you want a self-file service provider that moves you from start to finish quickly, accurately and affordably.1

Let’s take a look at the new Ramsey SmartTax vs. TurboTax so you can make the best decision for your tax situation.

How to Choose an E-File Service

If you’ve got multiple income sources, own your own business, or just generally have a more complicated tax return, it’s best to skip the DIY e-file route and head straight to a trusted tax professional.

Taxes shouldn't be this complicated. Let us help.

For something more straightforward though, you want to look for a service with software that’s easy to learn and use, fits the budget, and will give you peace of mind that your tax return has been completed correctly. Plus, you want to keep an eye out for service providers with hidden fees, ridiculous add-ons and attempts to sell you more stuff you don’t need (we’re looking at you, credit cards).

What Is Ramsey SmartTax?

Ramsey SmartTax is a new e-file alternative to TurboTax—which, let’s face it, is less interested in helping you along your entire financial journey and more focused on additional fees, add-ons and debt-based product partnerships (we’re still looking at you, credit cards). With Ramsey SmartTax, every part of the e-filing process is designed to be easy to use, accurate and reliable. It’s the only e-file tax return service Dave Ramsey recommends. But that’s not where the differences end. Let’s see how Ramsey SmartTax vs. TurboTax measures up.  

With Ramsey SmartTax, every part of the e-filing process is designed to be easy to use, accurate and reliable. It’s the only e-file tax return service Dave Ramsey recommends.

5 Differences Between Ramsey SmartTax vs. TurboTax

Before you choose an e-file service for self-filing or go with “ol’ faithful” one more year, make sure you understand what to look for.

Ease of Use

Both Ramsey SmartTax and TurboTax simplify the process of e-filing your taxes. Each guides you through a step-by-step process to completing your tax return. Entering W-2s, dependents, health insurance and mortgage information—each software service shows you how to find that information and helps you input it into the IRS’s giant math equation.

Both show you where you are in the filing process at all times so you can keep the momentum going. And with Ramsey SmartTax, there are only three steps—prep, save and e-file—that stand between you and having your taxes done and done! Plus, you can file from anywhere, anytime, including in your sweats from the couch at midnight on a Saturday night.

Have questions along the way? Upgrade to Ramsey SmartTax Federal Premium for live chat, phone or email support.

Reliability

When it comes to taxes, you need an e-filing system that won’t leave you scratching your head or the IRS questioning your return. Both Ramsey SmartTax and TurboTax deliver basic reliability, but one goes the extra mile.

Ramsey SmartTax is powered by TaxSlayer, one of the most trusted names in the tax return game for more than 50 years. Besides, this isn’t just SmartTax—this is Ramsey SmartTax. That means you’re in the hands of people who care about you and your money goals—not just a wham, bam, here’s my taxes ma’am operation.

TurboTax has also been around for several decades, making them reliable (depending on your definition of “reliable”) in the tax return space as well. They’ll file your taxes for you, but you’re basically just a tax ID number who they can market additional products to for their gain.

Affordability

Ramsey SmartTax’s Federal Classic version is $17 for federal filing + $32 for state filing. The Federal Premium version? Yeah, that’s $37 for federal filing + $32 for state filing. That’s it. No fees or add-ons.

Bottom line: No matter your situation, you can file for $17. And a move from Federal Classic to Federal Premium, where you get extra support, is just $20. How’s that for affordable?

TurboTax offers a free entry-level product, but it’s geared to a pretty limited set of folks. If you don’t own a home, don’t make more than $100,000 a year, but you do have a W-2 and/or dependents, you can file for $0. While that might be a lot of people, it’s probably not most people. In this case, homeowners, folks with student loans, people who donate more than $300 in a year, the self-employed or small business owners, and more are all out of range of the freebie filing. From there, the minimum you’ll spend with TurboTax is $60 plus a $40 state filing fee. But it’s not actually quite as clean and simple as $60. Let’s take a look at price transparency.

Price Transparency

When you’ve got a straightforward return, you need a straightforward price. Fortunately, Ramsey SmartTax doesn’t do “confusing.” Whether you go Federal Classic ($17 + $32 state filing) or Federal Premium ($37 + $32 state filing), you don’t have to worry about fees or add-ons that stack up along the way. Even the most straightforward taxes often require a few additional tax forms outside the basics. With Ramsey SmartTax, that’s not a problem. The price doesn’t change.

TurboTax, on the other hand, makes it kinda hard to nail down a price. Is it $60? $80? $120? Most of the time you won’t know until you get started. That’s because additional forms to meet your specific tax situation are added on as you go along. You might start with the $60 plan and get bumped up to the $80 plan after a few questions and clicks. Or you might not know what you’re on the hook for until you get to the very end, and then what are you supposed to do? Taxes are already confusing. You don’t need more confusion.

Because Ramsey SmartTax believes in price transparency, you can make Ramsey SmartTax a line item in your EveryDollar budget and trust that the number you start with is the number you’ll end with.

Protecting Your Money Goals

This one’s important. When you do your taxes electronically, you’re putting your whole financial life in the hands of a software system. And that’s no joking matter. Not only do you want your personal information to be protected from fraudsters, scammers and hackers, but you also want the e-filing service provider you go with to protect your money goals. Sounds pretty noble, huh? Well, that’s because for a tax filing service, it is. But it’s what you can expect with Ramsey SmartTax. Normal is for everybody else, and you’re not everybody else.

When you e-file with Ramsey SmartTax, unlike with TurboTax, you will never, ever have your information sold to companies selling debt-based products or services. One of TurboTax’s not-so-secret moneymakers includes selling its customers’—the same people trusting them with their most sensitive and private financial information—data to credit card companies, private lenders and more. Your debt is their gain. Yuck.

And if you owe money to the IRS, they’ll conveniently offer you a loan to help pay your bill. That’s certainly a turbo approach to lining their pockets with your money! The last thing you want to do when you’re filing your taxes is to create more debt for yourself. Remember, part of the TurboTax business model is to sell you loans!

We want you to win with money—24/7/365, not just April 15. Ramsey SmartTax is designed to keep you winning.

Ramsey SmartTax vs. TurboTax: Which Is Right for You?

Bottom line: We want you to win with money—24/7/365, not just April 15. Ramsey SmartTax is designed to keep you winning. When you e-file with Ramsey SmartTax, you know you’re getting the best and clearest price, a reliable filing partner, and most importantly, a product that keeps your well-being and financial future in mind.

Don’t just do your taxes this year. Have a plan to get them done the right way. For a smarter way to do your taxes, check out Ramsey SmartTax.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

Tax Pro or File Your Own?

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Tax Pro or File Your Own?

Use this free quiz to help you decide which tax filing method is right for you.
 
Take the Quiz

Tax Pro or File Your Own?

Use this free quiz to help you decide which tax filing method is right for you.
 
Take the Quiz