Free TurboTax Deluxe Online with State Farm Bank Account

Works again for Tax Year 2013. State Farm is again offering their bank and credit card customers TurboTax tax-prep software at a significant discount. TurboTax Federal Deluxe Online is free, Premier is $20, Home & Business is $30, and State is also included free with e-File for all versions. Software downloads are also available (Deluxe $20, Premier $30, Home & Business $40). I ran an experiment last year and found it only took a one-time $25 deposit and a week’s time to obtain this valuable perk. Details below.

(Side note: TurboTax Deluxe 2013 no longer supports stock and mutual fund sales reported on Schedule D. You must now pay for the $20 Premier version in order to get this feature. Rather disappointing feature reduction, Intuit!)

According to my blog archives, from 2006-2009 State Farm offered TurboTax Deluxe for free to all customers including insurance policyholders. Starting in 2010 or 2011, they started offering it only to bank and credit card customers. I recommend opening a “Free Checking” bank account instead of a new credit card account, as many other credit cards are offering $500+ value in sign-up bonuses while the State Farm one does not. I’d much rather get $500 for a credit check and just put $25 in a State Farm bank account indefinitely while earning the same perks. Think of it as earning 50% APY interest every year on that $25! I did not get hit with a credit check for opening the State Farm bank account.

New Bank Account Application Process Details


First, I opened a new account online. Make sure to apply for “Free Checking” and not “Interest Checking” which has higher minimum balance requirements. I was able to do everything online, nothing to mail in. New customers must fund their checking account with at least $25, and the easiest methods are to use an online bank transfer or fund with a credit card. The site warns you that it may be classified as a cash advance, and in the spirit of discovery I tried using a Citi credit card and it was indeed marked a cash advance (I paid it off immediately so the interest charges on $25 should be less than $2).

Next, get an account number and gain online access.. You’ll need to wait for approval and a snail mail letter with your new account number. There may be another way to get this number faster (calling in?) but I just waited a few days. You’ll need your account number to link your bank account to your online profile. After providing it, I had to wait about 24 hours for the account to show up online.

Success! Once your bank account shows up in your online profile, the website will recognize you as a State Farm Bank customer and you’ll be given access to free TurboTax. :) Simply log into your account and look for the TurboTax logo under the right sidebar. You should see the following new prices (click to see full screenshot):

To see the State filing prices, click on the blue “State additional” link. You should see this popup showing that it’s also free. Retail for State is $36.99.

Note: TurboTax only charges you when you finally file your return. To guarantee that you’ll get your free software, you’ll have to access TurboTax initially every single time via StateFarm.com and NOT TurboTax.com. I simply changed my browser bookmark to go to StateFarm.com. You’ll still eventually do your taxes on a secure site at TurboTax.com, but you need the redirect from State Farm’s site.

To receive your special TurboTax offer, you must access and complete your return through the links on statefarm.com. If you access your return directly from Intuit’s site, payment will be required.

Comments

  1. Unless you already have this bank account opening for about $40 is not worth it when chase offers 125

  2. Why are those two things mutually exclusive? My application didn’t trigger any pull on Experian or TransUnion. It’s also a potential $40 a year for future additional years, and that’s after-tax money that won’t be reported on a 1099-INT.

  3. I’ve never done my own taxes. Is TurboTax the best way to do it for the type of frugal, early retirement oriented person likely to read this blog? Are there other options that might be better?

  4. I’m all over this. Great tip, thanks!

  5. I was able to use a debit card to fund, so hopefully no cash advance fees and no need to dig up routing numbers.

  6. I have used Turbo Tax the last 5 years.Can you transfer your personal information from last year,or do you have to start all over?

  7. Thanks for yet an other great post again and I am in.
    I have applied for the free checking account and when I chose the mode of payment as using a debit card and hit continue.
    The next screen says your application has been submitted and someone will communicate to me in 5-7 days.
    Not sure what happened but I was never able to fund my account.
    Called the customer service and with my SSN they were able to see my application. However for the funding, they said they are sending some forms to me and I should sign them and send a sample check.

    Am I going through a whole different procedure?

  8. Is it just one state that you get for free?

  9. Jonathan, please clarify. Does it require a $25 deposit or a $100 deposit?

  10. My credit union also provides this with their free online banking. Check out your local CU and they may offer it as well.

  11. @Andrew – I would say it depends on your situation – is it complicated, rental income, partnerships, inheritances, etc. I have used a personal accountant at times, but also done my taxes in TurboTax to better understand my situation and how taxes work.

    @Andy – Do they ask for PIN? I’ve never done debit card.

    @Ken – Yes, you can import. You still use your usual TurboTax login.

    @nave – Perhaps, it may be due to their identity verification system wanting to do some more checks to make sure you’re you. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, maybe you moved recently or something. They asked for my driver’s license number, forgot to add that.

    @Alexis – I’m not sure. I think so. I believe the download version lets you do multiple state returns, at least the print-and-mail method.

    @tj – It only requires $25 for the Free Checking currently. I think in the past it might have been $100.

    @Maiko – That’s a nice credit union! Mine only gives a 20% discount or so like Vanguard.

  12. Thanks for the info. I am curious, will the information/report be stored at Intuit server? Will there be a charge for accessing it? I think you said that if you have used TurboTax in the past you can transfer the info automatically. Will you be charged for Efiling for both the federal and state? I was looking at TaxAct which is also quite cheap, and I not sure which one is best. Happy New Year to you and thanks for all the good information you always provide. ciao

  13. I have State Farm insurance but don’t use their bank. I checked, and in fact they are also offering a discount for their insurance customers, though it looks smaller – they say $20 off but the price shown for Deluxe was only $10 off.

    I have a brokerage account thru Fidelity and in the past Fidelity has offered a similar discount for TurboTax – I don’t know if they’re doing so this year, though.

  14. Just spoke to the State Farm rep. They will do a hard pull on your credit score, so think twice if you will apply for loans or credit card soon (even though the effect will be minimal).

  15. No I didn’t have to input my PIN, just the security code on the back of my debit card (in addition to the debit card number). The charge is already processing in my checking account, so I presume it is going through:

    CHECKCARD ADVANCE 01/04 STATE FARM BANK FSB BLOOMINGTON IL

    I’m surprised they will pull your credit report. Seems an odd thing to do when opening a checking account. I guess they don’t want people who will bounce checks. Not a huge deal for me, though.

  16. Most banks will “check” your credit report with a soft credit check (no affect on credit or future credit applications), but only a few do hard credit checks (yes, will affect slightly). Many customer service reps do not know the difference, so always take their words with a grain of salt.

    By chance, I applied for this State Farm bank a little over a week ago and pulled all 3 of my credit reports yesterday. I can confirm that State Farm did not pull from any of the 3 major bureaus. State Farm did a soft pull on TransUnion and that’s it.

    You can get free credit monitoring of hard pulls for your Experian and TransUnion reports here:

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/fre.....esame.html

  17. @dali – Yes, information will be kept on Intuit servers. Import is free, and a reason that many people keep using TurboTax each year. For this offer, e-File is included and free. TaxACT is perfectly fine, I did a review last year of all three which I’ll try to repeat this year if I have time.

    @Cory – Yes they offer a discount to all people, as do many others like Vanguard and Fidelity. I hope to do a roundup of the offers later on as the best deals aren’t out yet since it’s not quite peak time.

    @Taro – See above comment, if someone has actually experienced a hard pull then I would believe it.

    @Andy – Thanks for sharing, the debit card does seem to a good idea especially if you just want the money to sit there and don’t need to link up any other account in the future.

  18. I’m not sure if I like the idea of my info being kept on Intuit servers. If you buy the download version, do they not store it?

  19. In past years, this offer was limited to a certain number of people and thus it was good to lock in the “free” offer from state farm. There are instruction on how to do this based on last year here,
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1246876/

    The instruction on fatwallet were not exactly correct but close enough that I was able to figure out how to complete my registration.

    If someone else goes through the process of registering they can post new instructions for TurboTax 2012

    Thanks,
    Andy

  20. Chase and Fidelity both been giving 35% off for past few years. Am sure will continue this year as well.

    On a sidenote, I can’t start working on my taxes until end of February which is when I get the statements from my brokerage. What a drag.

  21. Thanks for this tip! I am going to use my existing Vanguard account to get a discount on turbo tax. It’s not as big a discount as with State Farm, but I don’t have to spend time opening and maintaining a new account. I never would have known of this discount without your post though, so thank you!

  22. Hi,
    I am having problems with this, and I wonder if anyone else is having them too. I signed up for the bank account and got it funded. Then I tried to start with TTax. I did not get the screen shot you showed, rather I got this page that asks if you want to use TTax. When you click on the link, it takes you to Intuit site. There there is no longer any mention of State Farm Bank. It shows the various deals (all for a fee)that TTax offers. I called both places and they seem to accuse the other of having messed things up (Intuit claimed total ignorance of the deal). State Farm at one point said that the deal was only for the first 25,000 customers and that maybe it was no longer available to me. I did not read anywhere about this restriction, and further I opened the account as soon as I saw your email… Any idea about what is going on? could you see if you still get that screen shot with the different options about the type of turbo tax to choose (a blue scree on your email)? Thanks lots

  23. helpfulhandy says:
  24. helpfulhandy says:

    when you use that link, you first have to login to your state farm account before you can proceed

  25. I’ve tried this and it worked. Only paid $20 for Premier and free state returns.

    It took me some time to get the State Farm Bank account setup. It didn’t give me a screen to fund the account and just ended the process stating that I need to complete the process offline. I got a snail mail a week or so later which I had to complete and returned with a check for $25. Everything was good and I got a welcome packet 2 weeks later but I couldn’t register my account online. Apparently, the initial process never asked me to setup security question and that’s what was messing up the registration process. Called customer service to get it sorted out and voila~ Done with my returns.

  26. Make sure you pay the fee with a credit card. If you pay with your refund, they tack on another $29.99 processing fee.

  27. Was it ever confirmed if there is a hard pull for a state farm checking account?

    • Jonathan Ping says:

      I checked all three of my credit reports and did not experience a hard credit check from opening a State Farm Bank checking account.

  28. Amy Levin says:

    I have a no cost solution. I think it’s much easier just to apply for the free State Farm credit card. Obviously you will need good credit. I got the card when the Free TurboTax became for bank customers only. You can hold the card forever and not use it. And just holding on to a credit card for years helps your credit rating.

    • I understand your point, but while there is no dollar cost, applying for credit card bonus requires a check credit. With many credit cards offering $500+ value in sign-up bonuses, I’d much rather get $500 for a credit check and just put $25 in a State Farm bank account indefinitely while earning the same perks. At the end of it all, I’ll still get the $25 back.

  29. Jonathon,
    When you say turbo tax 2013 Deluxe doesn’t support stock/mutual fund sales do you mean it doesn’t walk you thru the process as well? I’m wondering if I order Deluxe vs Premier whether I’ll struggle with documenting a few stock sales.
    Thanks,
    Barb

  30. According to https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901306-how-many-returns-can-i-e-file-in-turbotax
    You can file 5 returns with boxed version so that’s $14 per person plus 10‰ in Amazon GC if you buy Premiere from Amazon

  31. I’ve been using the State Farm Free Turbotax for years. A minor point:

    You don’t have to access turbotax through state farm every time, just the time you finally go through check out and “register” your tax return within turbotax. If you follow the instructions in the fatwallet link above or here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1326423/
    you’ll be locked in to the state farm pricing and will never need to go through state farm again.

  32. Bad TurboTax. Schedule D not included in the Deluxe online this year (it is included in Deluxe desktop).

    Moving to taxact.com ( $18 for federal+state+efile for both)

  33. Turbotax refund bonus for Amazon.com is interesting. 10% of your refund added as bonus if refund is used toward Amazon.com gift card. If used for regular subscribe and save items, it could be a nice boost without adding to your regular spending.

  34. I just started working on my TT return (2/14/14), and it clearly says that I”m using the version through the State Farm portal, and yet my Home and Business is costing me $57-something and each state is going to cost me $21-something, and I have three states to file.

    This is still better than going straight through TT, and it appears that Vanguard is only giving $10 off, but this isn’t nearly as good as your post said it would be. Is it possible that I’m missing something or doing something wrong?

    (I loooooover your blog, btw. And it’s the only blog of any type I follow.)

Speak Your Mind

*