Buyer's Guide - Should I use TurboTax Online or CD/Download Software?
Choosing between TurboTax Online and CD/Download Software is easy when you have all the details. For example, with TurboTax Online you can prepare your return and e-file from any computer with Internet access, whereas TurboTax CD/Download Software needs to be installed on your personal computer.
We listed the major differences between TurboTax Online and CD/Download Software below. Take a moment to review the differences before you pick one.
- Need more info than included here? See our chart for comparing TurboTax products.
Purchasing the product
- Online - Free to try. Don't pay until you print or e-file.
- CD/Download Software - Purchase software on CD from a retail store or directly from TurboTax. Or, purchase over the Web for download.
Accessing or installing the product
- Online - Nothing to install. Prepare your return and e-file from virtually any computer or device with Internet access.
- CD/Download Software - Install purchased product from a CD or download and install on your personal computer.
Storing your return
- Online - Store your tax information securely online for access from multiple computers.
- CD/Download Software - Save your tax information to your computer or disk.
Completing your return
- Online - Step-by-step Interview questions, making tax preparation simple.
- CD/Download Software - Step-by-step Interview questions and the ability to view and complete tax forms just as they appear on paper.
- Online - E-file, or print and mail multiple federal returns, as long as each has a unique User ID and Password (separate account).
- CD/Download Software - Prepare and print multiple returns. E-file up to five federal returns.
- Online - Prepare and e-file up to five state returns per e-filed federal return. (Each federal and state return is paid for separately and the cost of e-filing is included.)
- CD/Download Software - Prepare and print multiple state returns, but you can only e-file up to three state returns per e-filed federal return. (Note that each federal and state e-file must be paid for separately.)
Updating the product
- Online - Updates are automatic—no downloads required.
- CD/Download Software - Download updates from the Web.