Turbotax Turbosux!

Not quite a pittable complaint. I logged into TurboTax to complete my rather simple return. No moving expenses, no home office, no business gains or losses, all standard deductions, and some rather small dividends (most less than $5) This triggered an inscrutable error message during the system’s check of the return for completeness and such. It was not in the help database. I checked.

I contacted the help line. It’s a callback service, “no waiting on hold!” the page crows. Yeah right. No waiting on hold to get the “technical” rep who can’t answer this kind of question. She just popped me right over into the “tax” queue. No music, no “your call is important to us” message every twenty seconds. After a half-hour, I hung up. Called in, technical rep, shoved in the tax queue again. This time, music and the “your call” message only once every 3 minutes.

Ninety minutes later, the rep comes on, verifies I’m me, and tells me she knows exactly what the problem is without me saying anything: in the dividends entries are zeroes. TurboTax doesn’t like that. Zeroes cause errors. I didn’t enter the zeroes. TurboTax downloaded the dividend info from my broker directly and should know not to use zeroes. She told me she got this a lot. I guess those MBA’s in the corner office don’t realize their “saving a few bucks on not telling the first-line reps about a pretty widespread problem with a simple solution” and waste a couple hours of my time is making me think about using something else next year.

Oh, but it gets better. I want to print my return and mail it to save the, what, $35 to e-file. I had to keep refusing the “premium package” on every turn. It’s worse than Best Buy had been in the past trying to collar you into buying an extended warranty. I got to the billing page, it had only the prep fee. Great. A few minutes later I see the invoice in the e-mail. They charged me for the bloody premium package! Calling back, they can’t do anything until for 24 hours because the invoice hasn’t posted yet. What? I have to call back tomorrow about this time? Seriously.

I hope they don’t wonder why I’m running willingly into TaxAct’s open arms.

I do my own taxex, on paper. Doesn’t cost me a thing.

Turbotax is what my boss is using now, that’s his business, but when we employees want to see our “check stubs” online we have to keep fending off signing up for TT to do our own taxes.

Turbosux indeed!

Paper? Hmm, I hadn’t thought of it. Now I have a year to think about it.

I have used Turbotax for the last six years. The first five were pretty good. Last year I had a few glitches. I have been buying the “Deluxe” edition and doing my taxes and both of my adult daughters taxes too. Last year I had to argue the Intuit support person into overriding the system in able to allow for any transmission of any of our taxes. In the end it worked out.

I fell for the claim that the errors from last years had been fixed.

This year, my job has changed just a little and I had to file state income taxes in two states. Last Sunday, I was on the phone three different times for a total of about four hours just to get Turbotax to sell me the second state software and get it loaded into my Turbotax.
Once I did this, everything worked, but I am done with them.

I’ve used the free edition for the last several years and haven’t had much trouble with it, and last year a problem I had was answered with absolutely great customer service, even though they knew I was using the free edition, so that’s a data point on the other side.

I just finished a return fr my ex wife and it says she doesn’t owe anything and nothing is owed hers so it will not file. Not sure if there is a need to file if nothing is owed I plan on looking into it further.

I’ve used TurboTax for the past 6-7 years, worked fine. Although the price has gone up lately for the stuff I need.

I’ve used TT Deluxe online for the past 10 years with no problem. I started using it for my parents about 3 years ago too, still with no issue.

I had no idea there was a “print out and send yourself” cheaper option. Is that really a thing??

You’d better. You don’t need to file if you made less than the minimum income, but you do need to file if you made more, even if you don’t owe anything (although there will be no penalty for filing late). See the form 1040x instructions (“Do you have to file?”) for specifics, but e.g. most people under 65 filing a single return need to file if their gross income was over $10,300.

Yes, it’s a thing. From what I remember, it won’t allow you to choose the option when you choose to have the TurboTax fee taken from your refund. You have to pay the fee by credit/debit card. I paid a total of $17.49 to Intuit:* The Deluxe edition is half-off from March 4-8, 2016.

I don’t remember the exact amount Intuit wants for e-file. I do remember is around 2 meals at a decent restaurant. I can wait a couple weeks for that kind of dosh.

  • Once they remove the $39.99 charge for the “Premium Services Bundle” I didn’t order.

PSA: if your AGI is under $62,000/year*, your federal return can be prepared for free with software, state returns may cost. E-file is free. These online programs do basically the same thing as the pay programs.

If you make over $62,000, you can use fillable forms and mail them in. This option may require more knowledge on your part. You can use this if you make under, of course. You can also pay for software
Horse’s mouse link.

*This means taxable income minus deductions such as student loan interest, but not including credits or some other deductions.

I know people in the biz and Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax, is not popular. They have buying up the competition and have some specific headaches and added expense. At the personal level, last year (or 2 years?) TurboTax was criticized for removing crucial features from the more basic levels of its pay software. H&R Block or TaxAct or the smaller options in the link above are better.

I don’t trust any of those computer-based tax forms like Turbo Tax. For every person I know who’s used that or Tax Act and swears by it, there’s at least two others who’ve had major issues with them.

My mother worked for Big National Tax Preparer for years after retiring from the IRS. The “last man literally standing” in her office has been doing my taxes for maybe the last 10 years. Yes, it’s expensive but he gives me a discount. We dont’ discuss my mother very much, but I find it very comforting that they worked together.

She is 70 and her gross income is about $20,000

I’d print it out, have her sign it, and mail it in. Possibly save yourself a follow up letter/inquiry from the IRS and/or issues when you need to file an estate return.

How do you think the Big National Tax Preparer does their work without computer-based tax forms? Semaphore?

Depends on the type of income. She needs to file if wage-type income is >$11,850 (different for other filing statuses). But for many people that age, Social Security is their only source of income, and in that case your income for this purpose is 1/2 SS plus other wages, and that only matters at $25k ($32k MFJ).

I noticed this. Had I stayed in my previous condition, I would’ve looked for another e-file company. Since my current condition is not cookie cutter, I end up using the basic deluxe level. I’ll check the free options next year to check if they offer more and if they are worth the free-ness in my current situation.

I own a small business and although I pay a payroll company to prepare W2s and 1099s for my employees TurboTax will not let me do my own taxes without purchasing the small business version which costs about $130. I must add that I have a professional prepare the taxes for the business, because I want him there with me for any potential audit.

The last two years I’ve bought the super deluxe version only to be stymied and told if I want to enter a K1 I have to buy the business version. I always call up give them he’ll and tell them that I ain’t using TT again. They give me the state version for free to mollify me. In my state, though (Ohio) tax is based on federal AGI. There’s a state website that is free that should take most people 15 to navigate. TurboTax charges $25, I think, for an extra state program. “Highway Robbery,” said Miss Daisy.

Here’s the interesting part of the story. I love TurboTax and recommend it to everyone who asks. I’ve been using the product since 1996 when I worked for Intuit in Tucson as TurboTax support. It was the best job I’ve ever had working for someone else. The company was professional, generous, fun and diverse. On April 16th, I was one of the few asked to stay on. Instead, I decided to go back to graduate school. That’s a decision I wish I could rethink.

TurboTax is a very solid product. One of my employees went online this year with nothing but W2s and racked up a $72 bill. This drives me nuts. I love the company, but I think Intuit is beginning to fall into the bait-and-switch ethos so common to the emarket. Someone over there should try to regain control.

After TT hiked their prices last year and switched the features of the versions, I called support telling them I wanted to buy the upgrade via digital download but I had purchased a physical disk originally. They couldn’t figure out how to do it. I wanted to pay them, but they couldn’t figure out how to let me.

I switched to HR Block software. About 40% cheaper and they imported my prior year TT file. TT lost me as a customer right then.

Depends on the type of income. She needs to file if wage-type income is >$11,850 (different for other filing statuses). But for many people that age, Social Security is their only source of income, and in that case your income for this purpose is 1/2 SS plus other wages, and that only matters at $25k ($32k MFJ).

6,000 is from a part time job, the rest is social security. about $1,000 from a small pension.

Me, too!

I tried the electronic kind 20 years ago. They were awful and just didn’t work. Over the next several years I tried and tried. I finally tried doing them on paper and then just “e-filing.” Same thing. Didn’t work.

I use electronics for EVERYthing in my life…except taxes.