What's in the "State Prep" update?
You may have noticed a State Prep component in your update, either by itself or as part of a larger federal program update.
"State Prep" is a generic designation for an automatic state download and was introduced in the 2009 TurboTax Deluxe and higher personal tax versions. (Prior to 2009, you had to initiate the state download separately in TurboTax.)
How does it work?
The Updater predicts which state(s) you might need to file in, based on information you entered in the interview.
For example, let's say you told TurboTax that you are a resident of Pennsylvania, work in New York, and own rental property in Maine. The Updater predicts that you may need to file returns in Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine.
Once a predicted state becomes available, the Updater automatically downloads it and this is what you'll see as State Prep in the Updater.
When you are ready to prepare your state return(s), TurboTax Deluxe (or higher) will ask you which state you want to designate as your "free" state. You will only be charged for the additional states if you choose to prepare them in TurboTax.
Does this mean I have to use TurboTax to file my state return(s)?
No, you are not obligated to prepare returns for any state programs that TurboTax automatically downloads. The files are there only if you need them.
If the wrong state is downloaded, go back to the Personal Info section and carefully review your state entries. You may have selected that state in the drop-down list. Correct the entry, and then update TurboTax to ensure that the correct state files are downloaded. You can ignore the downloaded files for any state(s) you don't want to prepare in TurboTax.