TurboTax Student Discount 2024 – How to File for Free

Updated on Sunday February 18, 2024: Did you know that TurboTax can now specifically help college students in filing their 2024 tax returns? It’ll not only help you check and see if you qualify for up to $1000 in education related credits and deductions but also help you get the biggest refund possible. Best of all, if you have a simple tax return to file this year then you can use TurboTax completely for free (about 37% of taxpayers will qualify for it, form 1040 plus limited credits only).

How to get started?

You can start your tax return for free on TurboTax’s main start page. Once there, you’ll be able to use the education credits and deductions finder widget to see what you will be eligible to claim on your tax return. And it’s not only for full-time or part-time college and university students but also for those that were enrolled in a degree, certificate, credential or any other programs or courses used to improve job skills. After you answer a few questions about your specific situation then you’ll be able to see how much you can claim in lifetime learning credits and/or deduct in tuition and school related fees. If you also paid any student loan interest during this tax filing period then you’ll also see how much of that you can deduct.

Can can I file with TurboTax for free?

If you’re a student and need to file a simple tax return (form 1040 only) then you may be able to qualify for the TurboTax Free Edition, TurboTax Live Basic Edition, or the TurboTax Live Full Service Basic Edition. This incudes instances where you may have W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income reported on 1099-INT or 1099-DIV forms (i.e. interest earned in a bank savings account), Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC), or child tax credits. However anything beyond that — such as calculating itemized deductions, reporting stock sales, having unemployment income reported on a 1099-G form, reporting business or rental property related income, or anything reported on schedules 1-3 — won’t qualify for free filing with TurboTax.

If you don’t qualify for free tax filing this year then you can still save 10% off your TurboTax purchase by using one of these current offers (the list is updated daily and available to everyone regardless of current student status).

What if I’m an international student?

U.S. law requires international college and university students that are here on F-1 Visas to file U.S. tax returns if they have worked in the United States, received grants, made income from a U.S. source, received an allowance, or received a stipend (usually by filing a 1040NR tax form). If after your studies ended and you were unable to leave the United States because of a medical condition or medical problem then you might also need to file Form 8843 to exclude days present in the United States for purposes of the substantial presence test.

Try the free tax simulator.

If this is your first time filing your own tax return and are no longer claimed as someones dependent, but want to take a dry-run before working on the real thing, then you check out Everfi’s free tax simulator. They’ve partnered with TurboTax to design a free tax prep course to help become familiar with the information needed to fill out basic tax forms and learn about the tax filing process. At the moment there are five courses available ranging from “Taxes for Students” to “Tax for Investments and Cryptocurrency”.

Is there a specific TurboTax “service code” for students?

If you ended up using one of the TurboTax Online versions to file your taxes this year — such as Deluxe, Premier or Self-Employed — you may notice a “service code” box right before you complete your return. This section does not apply to students and there is no service code that you need to enter. This is an area that’s typically only used when being helped by a customer service agent (i.e. to apply an individualized order credit or to tie back a transaction to a specific customer service representative or referral).


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