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]
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]
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]
Using TurboTax to file his taxes last month, Sam chose an interesting new option for his refund: a TurboTax-branded Greendot prepaid debit card. He doesn’t have a bank account at the moment, and wasn’t receiving a huge refund, so this seemed like a good option. He tried to use up the card soon after receiving it in order to avoid the monthly “maintenance fees” that come with prepaid debit cards. What he didn’t know was his account really began on the day that he requested it online, so he was paying monthly fees when he had the card for barely a week. [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]
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]
Dan spotted the pictured address bar as he filed his taxes and the free version of TurboTax propositioned him to download the state version of the software. [More]
Cindy says TurboTax sped her through a filing session that ended with her paying about $30 to upgrade to the deluxe version, even though she didn’t realize she’d made such a purchase. These are the sorts of issues that make Tax Cat purr in quizzical contemplation. [More]
Turbo Tax told reader I’m A Super that he needed to fill out an extra form to complete his state tax return, but wouldn’t tell him which form. Just to be safe, I’m A Super re-downloaded Turbo Tax only to get the same error message. When he called Intuit to ask about the mysterious form, he was that it was solely his responsibility to call the State Tax commission and to review his tax forms to make sure nothing was missing.
We have gotten a few emails that inform us that Turbotax’s new online application, the suitably named “TurboTax Online”, is down. Anyone else having a problem? Let us know in the comments. [Thanks, Numerous Tipsters!]
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.
Reader Elijah is glad he gave his taxes a manual check before sending them off. Despite accidentally inflating his cross-country moving expenses from $1,635 to $1,635,335, TurboTax’s audit check said Elijah’s return was “green” — meaning that he was at low risk for an audit. Now, Elijah’s wondering: If $2,000 error on his tax return wouldn’t put him at risk of an audit, what would?
A roundup of places to find deals on TurboTax products. [ProBargainHunter]
“We are getting calls from people who are saying that they used some kind of an electronic software program to file their tax returns and that they did not check the box to donate their kicker,” said Rosemary Hardin, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Revenue. “When we bring up their tax return, that box is checked.”