In 2002, when the IRS and the tax-prep software industry created Free File, which gives consumers with simple tax returns the ability to file electronically without being charged, the IRS agreed to not provide its own “free, online tax return preparation and filing services to taxpayers.” That arrangement is expiring, so some lawmakers (with a bit of money from tax-prep companies in their pockets) are seeking to make it permanent. [More]
Here’s something to keep in mind as you wait in line at 11:30 PM on April 15th: filing your taxes could be so, so much easier. Bills have been put before Congress that would let taxpayers choose to have the Internal Revenue Service calculate their taxes due for them, and send them a bill or cut a refund check accordingly. Only there are companies lobbying to keep things exactly as they are. The biggest spenders aren’t accounting firms, or even Big Tax Cat. It’s Intuit, the maker of popular tax-filing program TurboTax. The company has spent more than $11 million lobbying to keep tax returns around forever. [More]
When Brett’s dad bought a new computer with a shinier operating system, he had to purchase a new version of the accounting software Quickbooks for use on more than one computer. No big deal: Quickbooks comes with multiple licenses so users can install it on more than one computer after buying only one copy. There was no mention of needing multiple licenses for multiple computers in the sales documentation. That’s when Brett learned that you can’t make purchases based on how a product’s specifications used to be. A second license actually costs more than a single copy of Quickbooks. [More]
Well, that headline is a little disingenuous. We know exactly why. K. filed his federal return using the free e-file service through Intuit’s TurboTax. It nagged him to upgrade to the paid service here and there during the process, which you expect when using any free service. What he didn’t expect was a pop-up with Lisa the Friendly Accountant acting like a public radio host during pledge drive week. “Intuit is a multi-billion dollar corporation,” he pointed out in his e-mail to Consumerist. “I just found this a bit greedy.” [More]
Lawsuit Claims Technology Industry Bigwigs Had Secret Anti-Poaching Pact To Keep Employee Salaries Low
The ability to play employers off bids from other companies seeking to snag the best in their fields is an important one. So much so, in fact, that workers in Silicon Valley have filed a lawsuit alleging that some of the industry’s biggest players were involved in a secret anti-poaching pact that kept salaries down and workers stuck where they were. [More]
Here’s a story about TurboTax that is at least a little bit heartwarming. Tyler filled out all of his tax information on the TurboTax website, and paid for an extra upgrade to save himself some data entry for his investments. But somehow, the TurboTax servers ate his 2010 return, and the information was nowhere to be found. He steeled himself for a long wait on the phone and a vicious fight with rude Intuit representatives, but that’s not what happened. [More]
You depend on the company that makes your tax preparation software to actually be good at math, but Kevin is a little confused when looking at the pricing scheme for TurboTax this year. It doesn’t make any sense, he points out, if you need to file state income taxes, or if you’re filing returns for multiple households. [More]
BankAtlantic, based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, launched a new online banking system over the weekend. Everything went just fine if you don’t mind your new online banking system not actually working. Glitches in the system prevented many users from logging-in and apparently caused a panic among online gamblers. [More]
Quickbooks from Intuit is a very popular piece of accounting software used by accountants and non-accountants alike. One of its more annoying features is that customers must call to register their software after purchase, or it won’t work. Brian writes that his problem with Quickbooks came when the registration code for his new copy of QuickBooks wouldn’t work, and Intuit wanted him to pay $40 for technical support in order to get help registering the software he had already paid for. [More]
Are you up-to-date with all the tax code changes this year? The TurboTax blog rounds up some of the newest tax credits and highlights deductions that people sometimes sleep on, like the long-term resident credit and unemployment and job search deductions. More coin in your coinpurse means you can buy all the churros you want this year! Update: Looks like we broke their blog. Here’s a cached copy of the post in question. [More]
It didn’t take long for Intuit to start ruining a great product. They’ve begun upselling Mint.com customers to two “free” credit report sites that are anything but. UPDATE: Turns out Mint was already doing this pre-Intuit. Bully for them.
When news broke back in September that Intuit, the company behind Quicken, was buying personal finance website Mint, everyone wondered how the two services would co-exist. The worst case scenario was that Mint would be absorbed somehow into Intuit’s in-house competitor, Quicken Online. Thankfully, it looks like the opposite will happen.
I blanched when I saw the subject line, “Mint.com to be acquired by Intuit, maker of Quicken.” More like “Mint.com to be acquired by Intuit, makers of crap,” I thought. Judging by your comments, I don’t blanch alone.
Today we posted a Morning Deal for “free” LLC/corporation filing from MyCorporation, a company owned by Intuit (TurboTax, Quickbooks). A one-time “customer” from MyCorporation—he never actually went through with their free service, but filled out the initial forms—contacted us with his own story of how he’s been bugged by spam and free offers on a weekly basis ever since he dealt with them.
Got a Federal tax question you can’t figure out? Input your question at FreeTaxQuestion.com now through Jan 31st and they will call you back within 24 hours with an answer or guidance. Limit one question per person.