Paid versions of TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed Online offer the option of adding MAX with audit defense and identity theft protection for an additional fee of up to $69 when you file your return.
So, is it worth the money to add Max? Here is today’s best deal (see all) on TurboTax plus the benefits of Max and whether we think it’s worth the extra cost.
TurboTax MAX: Benefits | Cost | Worth It?
TurboTax Max With Audit Defense:
The only thing I fear more than taxes is the idea of my tax return being audited. Actually, identity theft is pretty awful, too, and also common during tax season. That’s why TurboTax offers “Max Defend & Restore“ which can help assist you with both of these unwanted hazards.
MAX goes well beyond the audit guidance included with LIVE editions of TurboTax. Here is what MAX offers.
TurboTax MAX benefits include:
- Full audit representation: If you have MAX benefits and are audited, a dedicated expert will represent you with any IRS audit and develop a plan of action
- Identity theft insurance: If your identity is stolen you can be reimbursed up to $250k plus up to $1 million in legal fees and expenses.
- Full identity restoration: If you experience identity fraud, Turbo Tax MAX includes a dedicated specialist to help recover your identity for you
- Identity theft monitoring: If suspicious activity is detected online, you’ll be notified promptly, and a resolution specialist will help you quickly respond
- Priority care: MAX benefits also include priority access to a TurboTax specialist
How do I get TurboTax MAX? You’ll be offered the option of adding MAX Defend & Restore when you begin to prepare your taxes, and again before you complete them.
You can also Open your tax return and select Review from the left nav menu. Scroll until you see the MAX screen, and select, Get MAX.
TurboTax MAX Cost:
How much does TurboTax MAX cost? MAX is an optional upgrade to the regular price of TurboTax Online editions including Premier and Self-Employed. Max costs an extra $49-69 depending on which edition you are using.
Can I get a refund for MAX? If you add MAX and then change your mind, it can be removed during the checkout process. However, MAX is non-refundable once paid for.
MAX is only available when you file your return and can’t be added later.
*Related: Who Offers a TurboTax Discount?
Is TurboTax MAX Worth It?
MAX can cost as much as $69, so is it worth the extra money? TurboTax describes MAX as a, “$125 value,” but let’s look at the potential value of what you get and decide.
- Audit representation and defense can cost $100+ per hour but are included with MAX
- Identity theft protection and monitoring from services like LifeLock starts at about $20 per month but is included with MAX
- Identity theft restoration can be a costly additional expense if you are not protected
While you have less than a 1% chance of being audited by the IRS, red flags can trigger an audit. Also, consider that there were over 1.1 million reports of identity theft last year costing victims billions of dollars.
Is TurboTax MAX worth it? IRS audits and identity theft are statistically unlikely, but affect millions of people every year. If you are audited or your identity is stolen then MAX benefits can easily have a value in the thousands of dollars.
When estimating the value of MAX, you should think of it as insurance. Hopefully, you never need it, but if you do it can be worth many multiples of what you paid.
TurboTax MAX Is Worth Considering:
Everyone’s needs and comfort levels are different when it comes to insurance. Some people choose to insure their vacations, computers, and pets while others only pay for insurance when it’s required.
For around $50 TurboTax offers you additional peace of mind in the event of an IRS audit or theft of identity. Personally, I think MAX is worth considering, especially if you have complex taxes and potential red flags.
Either way, I hope your tax year is relatively painless and you don’t get audited. Thanks for stopping by Mighty Taxes!