Still need to file? An expert can help or do taxes for you with 100% accuracy. Get started

Skip To Main Content
TurboTax Logo
TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / Tax Tips Guides & Videos / Retirement / Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA): Tax Treatment & Strategies

Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA): Tax Treatment & Strategies

Written by Rocky Mengle, J.D. (Tax Attorney) • Reviewed by Miguel Burgos, CPAUpdated for Tax Year 2023 • May 24, 2024 1:01 PM
OVERVIEW

The tax rules for net unrealized appreciation (NUA) can save you money if you have company stock in your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. NUA is basically the increased value of the stock from the time it’s added to your retirement plan to the time you leave your job. The rules let you defer tax on any NUA, and lower the tax rate when you eventually sell the stock.

A person in a park looking at her cell phone.

Key Takeaways

  • Net unrealized appreciation (NUA) refers to the increase in value of employer stock held within an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan. It’s equal to the difference between the stock’s initial purchase price (cost basis) and its value when distributed to the employee.
  • When taking company stock out of a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, you can defer taxes on the NUA portion of your distribution until the stock is sold. At that point, the NUA is taxed at long-term capital gains rates. However, your cost basis in the stock is taxed as ordinary income for the year of the distribution.
  • To take advantage of NUA tax rules, you must take a lump-sum distribution, which involves withdrawing all your company stock from all employer-sponsored retirement plans of the same type in a single tax year. The lump-sum distribution must also be taken because you leave the job, reach age 59½, become disabled, or die.
  • You can opt out of the NUA rules. However, it’s best to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor before deciding whether to opt out or follow the NUA tax rules.

If you hold company stock in your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, you should become familiar with the rules on net unrealized appreciation (NUA). With some careful planning, NUA can offer significant tax savings when it’s time to take money out of your retirement plan.

What is net unrealized appreciation?

NUA is generally the increased value of an employer’s stock from the time it was purchased within an employer-sponsored retirement plan (e.g., a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan) to the time it’s distributed to the employee. NUA is calculated by subtracting the stock’s cost basis from its market value on the day it’s distributed.

For example, suppose you buy a share of your company’s stock through your retirement plan for $10 (cost basis). By the time you’re ready to retire, the stock’s market value has increased to $50. The $40 increase in value is the NUA ($50 - $10 = $40).

If you pay different amounts for company stock over time (which is usually the case), use your average cost basis to calculate your NUA.

Tax treatment of net unrealized appreciation

When you retire or otherwise leave your job, there are a number of things you can do with the money in your 401(k). You can leave it in the account. You can roll it over into an IRA, another 401(k) account, or a brokerage account. If you need the money right away, you can cash out and spend it all. Or you can do a combination of these options.

If you transfer funds to a brokerage account or a Roth IRA, or simply cash out, you’ll have to pay tax on the money for the tax year you withdraw it from your former employer’s 401(k) plan (assuming you didn’t have a Roth 401(k) account). The “ordinary” income tax rates apply, which currently range from 10% to 37% depending on your federal tax bracket.

On the other hand, if you leave your money in the existing account, or transfer it to a traditional IRA or 401(k), you won’t have to pay tax on the money until you withdraw it. At that point, the money will be taxed at your ordinary tax rate (again, assuming you’re not withdrawing the money from a Roth account). This ability to defer taxes until later is why most people prefer to hold their money in an IRA or 401(k) account after they leave their job.

However, if your 401(k) account (or other employer-sponsored retirement plan) includes shares of your employer’s stock, you might be better off transferring those shares to a brokerage account or cashing out when you leave your job. That’s because the NUA tax rules can be used to reduce the immediate tax hit and apply the more-favorable long-term capital gains tax rates (0%, 15%, or 20%) when you eventually sell the employer stock.

Here’s how the NUA rules generally work:

  • If you pull the company stock out of your former employer’s 401(k) plan in a lump-sum distribution, tax is deferred on the NUA until you sell the stock (you still must pay tax on your cost basis at your ordinary tax rate),
  • When you do sell the company stock, the NUA is taxed at the rates for long-term capital gain, and
  • Any gain exceeding the NUA (i.e., gain since taking the stock out of the former employer’s 401(k) plan) is taxed as long-term or short-term capital gain, depending on how long you held the stock after pulling it out of the 401(k) account (short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary tax rate).

If there isn’t a lump-sum distribution, tax is only deferred on NUA resulting from nondeductible employee contributions. Any NUA resulting from deductible voluntary employee contributions is taxed in the year of the distribution.

Also note that you can elect to include NUA in your taxable income for the tax year you receive it. If you were born before January 2, 1936, and go this route, you might be able to figure the tax on your NUA using an alternative method (i.e., “20% capital gain election” or “10-year tax option”).

TurboTax Tip:

The 3.8% surtax on net investment income doesn’t apply to NUA. However, it does apply to any increase in the company stock’s value after it’s taken out of your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Lump-sum distribution for purposes of the NUA rules

For purposes of the NUA rules, a lump-sum distribution is a distribution or payment of your entire balance – within a single tax year – from all of your employer's qualified plans of a single kind (e.g., pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plans). You must also be taking the distribution because you:

  • Left your job,
  • Reached age 59½,
  • Became totally and permanently disabled (self-employed workers only), or
  • Died.

However, you can still apply the NUA rules if funds in your 401(k) account that aren’t company stock are rolled over into an IRA or another 401(k) plan. That way, you can still defer taxes on those amounts if they’re separated from the company stock before the rollover.

Example of net unrealized appreciation rules

To show how the NUA rules can save you money, let’s take a look at a few of the different options you have if you leave a job and have company stock in a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement account.

For all the options, assume you have a 401(k) plan that holds 1,000 shares of your company’s stock. The average cost of each share is $25, so your total cost basis for the shares is $25,000 (1,000 x $25 = $25,000). On the day you leave your job, the stock is worth $130,000. As a result, your NUA is $105,000 ($130,000 - $25,000 = $105,000). In addition, you’re in the 24% federal tax bracket and your long-term capital gains are taxed at the 15% rate for the tax year you leave your job and the following five years.

Option #1 – Roll over the company stock into a traditional IRA. You roll over all the company stock into a traditional IRA, which means tax on the stock is deferred until the year it’s sold. Two years later, the IRA sells the stock for $150,000, and you then withdraw that amount from the account. Since the NUA rules don’t apply, you’re taxed at a 24% rate on the $150,000 distribution for the tax year you receive it. That results in a $36,000 tax bill ($150,000 x .24 = $36,000).

Option #2 – Cash out the company stock. You cash out the company stock in a lump-sum distribution and receive $130,000 when you leave your job. Under the NUA rules, the $25,000 cost basis is taxed that year at the 24% rate. That results in $6,000 of tax ($25,000 x .24 = $6,000). The $105,000 of NUA is taxed that year at the 15% rate for long-term capital gains, which results in $15,750 of tax ($105,000 x .15 = $15,750). Therefore, the combined total of tax on the company stock is $21,750 ($6,000 + $15,750 = $21,750).

Option #3 – Transfer the company stock into a brokerage account; sell it two years later. You take a lump-sum distribution of all the company stock and put it in a brokerage account. Under the NUA rules, the $25,000 cost basis is taxed that year at the 24% rate, which results in $6,000 of tax ($25,000 x .24 = $6,000). Two years later, you sell the stock for $150,000. At that point, the $105,000 of NUA is taxed at the 15% rate for long-term capital gains, which results in $15,750 of tax ($105,000 x .15 = $15,750). Since you held the stock in the brokerage account for more than one year, the additional $20,000 of gain since the transfer ($150,000 - $130,000 = $20,000) is also taxed at the 15% rate for long-term capital gains, which results in an additional tax of $3,000 for the tax year the stock is sold ($20,000 x .15 = $3,000). Therefore, the combined total of tax on the company stock is $24,750 ($6,000 + $15,750 + $3,000 = $24,750).

Option #4 – Transfer the company stock into a brokerage account; sell it 11 months later. You take a lump-sum distribution of all the company stock and put it in a brokerage account. Under the NUA rules, the $25,000 cost basis is taxed that year at the 24% rate, which results in $6,000 of tax ($25,000 x .24 = $6,000). Eleven months later, you sell the stock for $150,000. At that point, the $105,000 of NUA is taxed at the 15% rate for long-term capital gains, which results in $15,750 of tax ($105,000 x .15 = $15,750). Since you held the stock in the brokerage account for one year or less, the additional $20,000 of gain since the transfer ($150,000 - $130,000 = $20,000) is taxed at the 24% ordinary rate for short-term capital gains, which results in an additional tax of $4,800 for the tax year the stock is sold ($20,000 x .24 = $4,800). Therefore, the combined total of tax on the company stock is $26,550 ($6,000 + $15,750 + $4,800 = $24,750).

As you can see, using the NUA rules can save you money under a variety of different circumstances. The highest overall tax bill ($36,000) comes with Option #1, when you roll over the company stock into a traditional IRA. In that case, the NUA rules don’t apply.

With all the other options, the NUA rules work to lower your overall tax liability. You can also see how holding the company stock for more than one year after you withdraw it from your former employer’s 401(k) plan can save you even more money ($24,750 vs. $26,550 of tax). Also note that, even though you might have the lowest tax bill if you cash out immediately ($21,750), you won’t earn any additional income after withdrawing funds from your old 401(k) plan – so you might not be in a better financial position in the end.

How to report net unrealized appreciation

If you have NUA from a distribution of company stock from a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, it will be shown in Box 6 of the Form 1099-R you receive from the plan administrator. If you didn’t receive a lump-sum distribution, only the NUA resulting from your own contributions will be included in Box 6.

On your Form 1040 for the year the company stock is distributed, NUA is included on Line 5a as part of your overall pension and annuity payments. However, it generally isn’t included as taxable income on Line 5b if you’re taking advantage of the NUA rules.

However, if you choose to include NUA in your taxable income for the year you receive it, and you were born before January 2, 1936, use Form 4972 to calculate the tax on your NUA using the 20% capital gain election or the 10-year tax option.

Net unrealized appreciation strategies

So, when can the NUA rules save you the most money…and when might you be better off rolling over company stock into an IRA?

Assuming you can afford to pay tax on your cost basis in the company stock, here are a handful of situations when you might want to apply the NUA rules:

Company stock’s value has grown significantly. The NUA tax rules can provide significant tax savings if the value of the company stock has grown a lot. This is especially so if your cost basis in the stock is much lower than the stock’s market value when you withdraw it from your plan.

High percentage of company stock in your retirement plan. You’ll also want to consider applying the NUA rules if a large percentage of your total retirement plan balance consists of NUA. That’s because a larger amount of the growth will be subject to the lower capital gains tax rates, rather than ordinary income rates.

You’re in the highest tax bracket. Higher-income workers can benefit more from the NUA rules, too. That’s because the gap between their ordinary income tax rate (up to 37%) and their long-term capital gains tax rate (20% maximum rate) are likely to be the greatest.

Cash needed immediately. If you need to cash out the stock when you leave your job, you may be better off taking a lump-sum distribution and applying the NUA rules compared to opting out of the NUA rules and taking the distribution as taxable income.

However, even if all this sounds too good to pass up, there still could be reasons why you might not want to apply the NUA rules. Here are a few examples of circumstances under which you might not want to trigger the NUA rules:

Deferring all taxes for as long as possible. If your goal is to push back the payment of all taxes for as long as possible, then you might want to keep the company stock in the existing retirement account, or roll it over into a traditional IRA or other 401(k) plan. That way you can defer payment of taxes on the cost basis as well as on the NUA. Future gains will also be deferred. You might want to take this route if you expect to be in a significantly lower tax bracket down the road (e.g., in retirement).

Diversifying your retirement savings. If too much of your retirement savings is tied up in company stock, and perhaps you don’t think there’s a lot of growth to be had with that stock, you might want to sell off some of the stock and diversify your portfolio. In that case, it might not make sense to take a lump-sum distribution of all your company stock. And without a lump-sum distribution, you might not be able to apply the NUA rules.

Short on funds when you leave the company. If you follow the NUA rules, you’ll still have to pay tax at the ordinary income tax rates on your cost basis in the company stock for the year you withdraw the stock. If that will create financial hardship, it might be better to keep the stock in a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan that continues to shield the stock from tax.

There can be other pros and cons of using the NUA rules. As a result, you might want to check with a qualified tax professional or financial advisor before picking the path that’s right for you.

With TurboTax Live Full Service, a local expert matched to your unique situation will do your taxes for you start to finish. Or, get unlimited help and advice from tax experts while you do your taxes with TurboTax Live Assisted.

And if you want to file your own taxes, you can still feel confident you'll do them right with TurboTax as we guide you step by step. No matter which way you file, we guarantee 100% accuracy and your maximum refund.

 

Use your Intuit Account to sign in to TurboTax.
By selecting Sign in, you agree to our Terms and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

100% free filing, max refund guarantee.

~37% of taxpayers qualify. Form 1040 + limited credits only. Answer simple questions and TurboTax Free Edition takes care of the rest.

Taxes done right, with experts by your side

Get unlimited advice, an expert final review and your maximum refund, guaranteed with TurboTax Live Assisted Basic.

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

TaxCaster Tax
Calculator

Estimate your tax refund and where you stand

I’m a TurboTax customer

I’m a new user

Tax Bracket
Calculator

Easily calculate your tax rate to make smart financial decisions

Get started

W-4 Withholding
Calculator

Know how much to withhold from your paycheck to get a bigger refund

Get started

Self-Employed
Tax Calculator

Estimate your self-employment tax and eliminate any surprises

Get started

Crypto Calculator

Estimate capital gains, losses, and taxes for cryptocurrency sales

Get started

Self-Employed Tax Deductions Calculator

Find deductions as a 1099 contractor, freelancer, creator, or if you have a side gig

Get started

ItsDeductible™

See how much your charitable donations are worth

Get started

Read why our customers love Intuit TurboTax

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by our customers

(675018 reviews of TurboTax Online)

Security icon

Your security. Built into everything we do.

Here's how

taxball

File faster and easier with the free TurboTax app

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play

TurboTax Online: Important Details about Filing Form 1040 Returns with Limited Credits

A Form 1040 return with limited credits is one that's filed using IRS Form 1040 only (with the exception of the specific covered situations described below). Roughly 37% of taxpayers are eligible.

If you have a Form 1040 return and are claiming limited credits only, you can file for free yourself with TurboTax Free Edition, or you can file with TurboTax Live Assisted Basic or TurboTax Full Service at the listed price.

Situations covered (assuming no added tax complexity):

  • W-2 income
  • Interest or dividends (1099-INT/1099-DIV) that don’t require filing a Schedule B
  • IRS standard deduction
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Student loan interest deduction

Situations not covered:

  • Itemized deductions claimed on Schedule A
  • Unemployment income reported on a 1099-G
  • Business or 1099-NEC income
  • Stock sales (including crypto investments)
  • Rental property income
  • Credits, deductions and income reported on other forms or schedules 

TURBOTAX ONLINE GUARANTEES

TurboTax Individual Returns:

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee – Individual Returns: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we'll pay you the penalty and interest. Excludes payment plans. This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax. Excludes TurboTax Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • Maximum Refund Guarantee / Maximum Tax Savings Guarantee - or Your Money Back – Individual Returns: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method by filing an amended return, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. (TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $30.) This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax. Excludes TurboTax Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • Audit Support Guarantee – Individual Returns: If you receive an audit letter from the IRS or State Department of Revenue based on your 2023 TurboTax individual tax return, we will provide one-on-one question-and-answer support with a tax professional, if requested through our Audit Report Center, for audited individual returns filed with TurboTax for the current 2023 tax year and for individual, non-business returns for the past two tax years (2022, 2021). Audit support is informational only. We will not represent you before the IRS or state tax authority or provide legal advice. If we are not able to connect you to one of our tax professionals, we will refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. (TurboTax Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $30.) This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax. Excludes TurboTax Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: You may use TurboTax Online without charge up to the point you decide to print or electronically file your tax return. Printing or electronically filing your return reflects your satisfaction with TurboTax Online, at which time you will be required to pay or register for the product.

  • Our TurboTax Live Full Service Guarantee means your tax expert will find every dollar you deserve. Your expert will only sign and file your return if they believe it's 100% correct and you are getting your best outcome possible. If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparer, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax Live Full Service federal and/or state purchase price paid. If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax tax expert or CPA made while acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest. Limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • 100% Accurate Expert-Approved Guarantee: If you pay an IRS or state penalty (or interest) because of an error that a TurboTax tax expert or CPA made while providing topic-specific tax advice, a section review, or acting as a signed preparer for your return, we'll pay you the penalty and interest. Limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

TurboTax Business Returns:

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee – Business Returns. If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we'll pay you the penalty and interest. Excludes payment plans. You are responsible for paying any additional tax liability you may owe. Additional terms and limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • TurboTax Audit Support Guarantee – Business Returns. If you receive an audit letter from the IRS or State Department of Revenue on your 2023 TurboTax business return, we will provide one-on-one question-and-answer support with a tax professional, if requested through our Audit Report Center, for audited business returns filed with TurboTax for the current 2023 tax year. Audit support is informational only. We will not represent you before the IRS or state tax authority or provide legal advice. If we are not able to connect you to one of our tax professionals for this question-and-answer support, we will refund the applicable TurboTax Live Business or TurboTax Live Full Service Business federal and/or state purchase price paid. Additional terms and limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE PRICING:

  • Start for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. For most paid TurboTax online and mobile offerings, you may start using the tax preparation features without paying upfront, and pay only when you are ready to file or purchase add-on products or services. Actual prices for paid versions are determined based on the version you use and the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases. Strikethrough prices reflect anticipated final prices for tax year 2023.

  • TurboTax Free Edition: TurboTax Free Edition ($0 Federal + $0 State + $0 To File) is available for those filing Form 1040 and limited credits only, as detailed in the TurboTax Free Edition disclosures. Roughly 37% of taxpayers qualify. Offer may change or end at any time without notice.

  • TurboTax Live Assisted Basic Offer: Offer only available with TurboTax Live Assisted Basic and for those filing Form 1040 and limited credits only. Roughly 37% of taxpayers qualify. Must file between November 29, 2023 and March 31, 2024 to be eligible for the offer. Includes state(s) and one (1) federal tax filing. Intuit reserves the right to modify or terminate this TurboTax Live Assisted Basic Offer at any time for any reason in its sole and absolute discretion. If you add services, your service fees will be adjusted accordingly. If you file after 11:59pm EST, March 31, 2024, you will be charged the then-current list price for TurboTax Live Assisted Basic and state tax filing is an additional fee. See current prices here.

  • Full Service $100 Back Offer: Credit applies only to federal filing fees for TurboTax Full Service and not returns filed using other TurboTax products or returns filed by Intuit TurboTax Verified Pros. Excludes TurboTax Live Full Service Business and TurboTax Canada products. Credit does not apply to state tax filing fees or other additional services. If federal filing fees are less than $100, the remaining credit will be provided via electronic gift card. Intuit reserves the right to modify or terminate this offer at any time for any reason in its sole discretion. Must file by April 15, 2024 11:59 PM ET.

  • TurboTax Full Service - Forms-Based Pricing: “Starting at” pricing represents the base price for one federal return (includes one W-2 and one Form 1040). Final price may vary based on your actual tax situation and forms used or included with your return. Price estimates are provided prior to a tax expert starting work on your taxes. Estimates are based on initial information you provide about your tax situation, including forms you upload to assist your expert in preparing your tax return and forms or schedules we think you’ll need to file based on what you tell us about your tax situation. Final price is determined at the time of print or electronic filing and may vary based on your actual tax situation, forms used to prepare your return, and forms or schedules included in your individual return. Prices are subject to change without notice and may impact your final price. If you decide to leave Full Service and work with an independent Intuit TurboTax Verified Pro, your Pro will provide information about their individual pricing and a separate estimate when you connect with them.

  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Premium, formerly Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2022. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.

TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE:

  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard data rates apply to download and use mobile app.

  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

  • Get your tax refund up to 5 days early: Individual taxes only. When it’s time to file, have your tax refund direct deposited with Credit Karma Money™, and you could receive your funds up to 5 days early. If you choose to pay your tax preparation fee with TurboTax using your federal tax refund or if you choose to take the Refund Advance loan, you will not be eligible to receive your refund up to 5 days early. 5-day early program may change or discontinue at any time. Up to 5 days early access to your federal tax refund is compared to standard tax refund electronic deposit and is dependent on and subject to IRS submitting refund information to the bank before release date. IRS may not submit refund information early.

  • For Credit Karma Money (checking account): Banking services provided by MVB Bank, Inc., Member FDIC. Maximum balance and transfer limits apply per account.
  • Fees: Third-party fees may apply. Please see Credit Karma Money Account Terms & Disclosures for more information.

  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund or state refund (if applicable): Individual taxes only. Subject to eligibility requirements. Additional terms apply. A $40 Refund Processing Service fee may apply to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.

  • TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax product specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premium, TurboTax Live Assisted and TurboTax Live Full Service; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. Services, areas of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Limitations apply See Terms of Service for details.
  • Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live Assisted or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2024. Intuit will assign you a tax expert based on availability. Tax expert and CPA availability may be limited. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. For the TurboTax Live Assisted product, if your return requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return. For the TurboTax Live Full Service product: Handoff tax preparation by uploading your tax documents, getting matched with an expert, and meeting with an expert in real time. The tax expert will sign your return as a preparer. The ability to retain the same expert preparer in subsequent years will be based on an expert’s choice to continue employment with Intuit. Administrative services may be provided by assistants to the tax expert. On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live tax experts refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.

  • TurboTax Live Full Service – Qualification for Offer: Depending on your tax situation, you may be asked to answer additional questions to determine your qualification for the Full Service offer. Certain complicated tax situations will require an additional fee, and some will not qualify for the Full Service offering. These situations may include but are not limited to multiple sources of business income, large amounts of cryptocurrency transactions, taxable foreign assets and/or significant foreign investment income. Offer details subject to change at any time without notice. Intuit, in its sole discretion and at any time, may determine that certain tax topics, forms and/or situations are not included as part of TurboTax Live Full Service. Intuit reserves the right to refuse to prepare a tax return for any reason in its sole discretion. Additional limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.

  • TurboTax Live Full Service - File your taxes as soon as today: TurboTax Full Service Experts are available to prepare 2023 tax returns starting January 8, 2024. Based on completion time for the majority of customers and may vary based on expert availability. The tax preparation assistant will validate the customer’s tax situation during the welcome call and review uploaded documents to assess readiness. All tax forms and documents must be ready and uploaded by the customer for the tax preparation assistant to refer the customer to an available expert for live tax preparation.

  • TurboTax Live Full Service -- Verified Pro -- “Local” and “In-Person”: Not all feature combinations are available for all locations. "Local" experts are defined as being located within the same state as the consumer’s zip code for virtual meetings. "Local" Pros for the purpose of in-person meetings are defined as being located within 50 miles of the consumer's zip code. In-person meetings with local Pros are available on a limited basis in some locations, but not available in all States or locations. Not all pros provide in-person services.

  • Smart Insights: Individual taxes only. Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premium, TurboTax Live, TurboTax Live Full Service, or with PLUS benefits, and is available through 11/1/2024. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • My Docs features: Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premium TurboTax Live, TurboTax Live Full Service, or with PLUS benefits and is available through 12/31/2024. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • Tax Return Access: Included with all TurboTax Free Edition, Deluxe, Premium, TurboTax Live, TurboTax Live Full Service customers and access to up to the prior seven years of tax returns we have on file for you is available through 12/31/2024. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.

  • Easy Online Amend: Individual taxes only. Included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premium, TurboTax Live, TurboTax Live Full Service, or with PLUS benefits. Make changes to your 2023 tax return online for up to 3 years after it has been filed and accepted by the IRS through 10/31/2026. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice. For TurboTax Live Full Service, your tax expert will amend your 2023 tax return for you through 11/15/2024. After 11/15/2024, TurboTax Live Full Service customers will be able to amend their 2023 tax return themselves using the Easy Online Amend process described above.

  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2022 TurboTax products.

  • #1 online tax filing solution for self-employed: Based upon IRS Sole Proprietor data as of 2023, tax year 2022. Self-Employed defined as a return with a Schedule C tax form. Online competitor data is extrapolated from press releases and SEC filings. “Online” is defined as an individual income tax DIY return (non-preparer signed) that was prepared online & either e-filed or printed, not including returns prepared through desktop software or FFA prepared returns, 2022.

  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees. Limitations apply. See Terms of Service for details.
  • TurboTax Premium Pricing Comparison: Cost savings based on a comparison of TurboTax product prices to average prices set forth in the 2020-2021 NSA Fees-Acct-Tax Practices Survey Report.

  • 1099-K Snap and Autofill: Available in mobile app and mobile web only.

  • 1099-NEC Snap and Autofill: Available in TurboTax Premium (formerly Self-Employed) and TurboTax Live Assisted Premium (formerly Self-Employed). Available in mobile app only. Feature available within Schedule C tax form for TurboTax filers with 1099-NEC income.

  • Year-Round Tax Estimator: Available in TurboTax Premium (formerly Self-Employed) and TurboTax Live Assisted Premium (formerly Self-Employed). This product feature is only available after you finish and file in a self-employed TurboTax product.

  • **Refer a Friend: Rewards good for up to 20 friends, or $500 - see official terms and conditions for more details.

  • Refer your Expert (Intuit’s own experts): Rewards good for up to 20 referrals, or $500 - see official terms and conditions for more details.

  • Refer your Expert (TurboTax Verified Independent Pro): Rewards good for up to 20 referrals, or $500 - see official terms and conditions for more details

  • Average Refund Amount: Sum of $3140 is the average refund American taxpayers received based upon IRS data date ending 2/17/23 and may not reflect actual refund amount received.

  • Average Deduction Amount: Based on the average amount of deductions/expenses found by TurboTax Self Employed customers who filed expenses on Schedule C in Tax Year 2022 and may not reflect actual deductions found.

  • More self-employed deductions based on the median amount of expenses found by TurboTax Premium (formerly Self Employed) customers who synced accounts, imported and categorized transactions compared to manual entry. Individual results may vary.

  • TurboTax Online Business Products: For TurboTax Live Assisted Business and TurboTax Full Service Business, we currently don’t support the following tax situations: C-Corps (Form 1120-C), Trust/Estates (Form 1041), Multiple state filings, Tax Exempt Entities/Non-Profits, Entities electing to be treated as a C-Corp, Schedule C Sole proprietorship, Payroll, Sales tax, Quarterly filings, and Foreign Income. TurboTax Live Assisted Business is currently available only in AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MI, MO, NC, NV, NY, OH, PA, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WY.

  • Audit Defense: Audit Defense is a third-party add-on service provided, for a fee, by TaxResources, Inc., dba Tax Audit. See Membership Agreements at https://turbotax.intuit.com/corp/softwarelicense/ for service terms and conditions. 

TURBOTAX DESKTOP GUARANTEES

TurboTax Desktop Individual Returns:

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee – Individual Returns: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest. Excludes payment plans. This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax Desktop. Excludes TurboTax Desktop Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See License Agreement for details.

  • Maximum Refund Guarantee / Maximum Tax Savings Guarantee - or Your Money Back – Individual Returns: If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method by filing an amended return, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state software license purchase price you paid. This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax Desktop. Excludes TurboTax Desktop Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See License Agreement for details.

  • Audit Support Guarantee – Individual Returns: If you receive an audit letter from the IRS or State Department of Revenue based on your 2023 TurboTax individual tax return, we will provide one-on-one question-and-answer support with a tax professional, if requested through our Audit Report Center, for audited individual returns filed with TurboTax Desktop for the current 2023 tax year and, for individual, non-business returns, for the past two tax years (2021, 2022). Audit support is informational only. We will not represent you before the IRS or state tax authority or provide legal advice. If we are not able to connect you to one of our tax professionals, we will refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state license purchase price you paid. This guarantee is good for the lifetime of your personal, individual tax return, which Intuit defines as seven years from the date you filed it with TurboTax Desktop. Excludes TurboTax Desktop Business returns. Additional terms and limitations apply. See License Agreement for details.

  • Satisfaction Guarantee/ 60-Day Money Back Guarantee: If you're not completely satisfied with TurboTax Desktop, go to refundrequest.intuit.com within 60 days of purchase and follow the process listed to submit a refund request. You must return this product using your license code or order number and dated receipt.

TurboTax Desktop Business Returns:

  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee – Business Returns: If you pay an IRS or state penalty or interest because of a TurboTax calculation error, we’ll pay you the penalty and interest. Excludes payment plans. You are responsible for paying any additional tax liability you may owe. Additional terms and limitations apply. See License Agreement for details.

  • Maximum Tax Savings Guarantee – Business Returns: If you get a smaller tax due (or larger business tax refund) from another tax preparation method using the same data, TurboTax will refund the applicable TurboTax Business Desktop license purchase price you paid. Additional terms and limitations apply. See License Agreement for details.

  • Satisfaction Guarantee/ 60-Day Money Back Guarantee: If you're not completely satisfied with TurboTax Desktop, go to refundrequest.intuit.com within 60 days of purchase and follow the process listed to submit a refund request. You must return this product using your license code or order number and dated receipt.

TURBOTAX DESKTOP

  • Installation Requirements: Product download, installation and activation requires an Intuit Account and internet connection. Product limited to one account per license code. You must accept the TurboTax License Agreement to use this product. Not for use by paid preparers.

  • TurboTax Desktop Products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees may apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees may not apply in certain states, check here for details. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase. Software updates and optional online features require internet connectivity.

  • Fastest Refund Possible: Fastest federal tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

  • Average Refund Amount: Sum of $3140 is the average refund American taxpayers received based upon IRS data date ending 02/17/23 and may not reflect actual refund amount received.

  • TurboTax Product Support: Customer service and product support hours and options vary by time of year.

  • #1 Best Selling Tax Software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2022 TurboTax products.

  • Deduct From Your Federal or State Refund (if applicable): A $40 Refund Processing Service fee may apply to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.

  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies; Requires Intuit Account. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2021 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2021 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Desktop Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.

  • Audit Defense: Audit Defense is a third-party add-on service provided, for a fee, by TaxResources, Inc., dba Tax Audit. See Membership Agreements at https://turbotax.intuit.com/corp/softwarelicense/ for service terms and conditions.

All features, services, support, prices, offers, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Intuit Logo
TurboTax LogoCreditKarma LogoQuickBooks LogoMailChimp Logo

©1997-2024 Intuit, Inc. All rights reserved.
Intuit, QuickBooks, QB, TurboTax, Credit Karma, and Mailchimp are registered trademarks of Intuit Inc. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options subject to change without notice.

Security Certification of the TurboTax Online application has been performed by C-Level Security.

By accessing and using this page you agree to the Terms of Use.