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on January 8, 2007
I have purchased TurboTax for years. For the 2006 tax year, the premier version is $64.95 at Amazon plus $29.90 for e-filing. (No rebates for e-filing this year.) The Taxcut 2006 is 49.95 for the same features and the e-filing is included! TurboTax with e-filing is almost twice as much (94.85 vs 49.95) as compared to TaxCut with e-filing included. I am switching to TaxCut this year.
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on January 31, 2007
This was the first time in about 5 years that I used Turbo Tax. I was impressed with several aspects of the product:

- Very easy to use interface and interview style questions

- Incorporates Its Deductatble to make donations easy to track

- Allows you to look at the actual tax forms as you answer the questions

- Allows you to import from Quicken

I did find this product a little disappointing though. Turbo Tax is good if you have a relatively straight forward tax situation (w2s, 1099s, and itemized deductions). Once you start getting into some more unique solutions, Turbo Tax does a lot of behind the scenes calculations that may or may not be what you are thinking. As a result, I spent a lot of time reviewing and correcting my 1040.

I also found that the state component of the software is not very strong. Turbo Tax provides limited support for questions on state taxes, and I also found that they do not support some of the forms that I am required to submit. So my state taxes are only partially completed by Turbo Tax and I have to manually fill out the remaining forms.
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on February 17, 2007
As promised, the Federal portion of the program is nearly flawless, well balanced between ease of use and topic assistance. The State portion, however, leave much to be desired. The State portion did successfully extract the information from the Federal side. However, State-tweaking was non-existent. I hope that this side of the program will be addressed in future versions. Electronic filing was flawless. So too was the importation of Fidelity Investment portfolio download.
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on March 8, 2007
I've used Turbo tax for slmost 10 years after getting fed up with it main competitor. When I switched in the middle of doing a tax return I was immediately happier with TT in a side by side comparison with the other one. I don't know if I would still feel the same way, but after using it for a few years and using Quicken even longer, I have been satisfied with the duo and the way that TT sucks in the info from QUicken. This is especially valuable if you are pretty systematic and consistent about doing your finances in Quicken. I just finished my 2006 fed and State return - took a little over half a day. For interpreting this statement, we have two incomes, several retirment funds and plans and a brokerage account and a couple of kids. What really helps here is combination of keeping good paper records during the year together with keeping all inflows and outflows within Quicken and making sure that all expenditures are put into appropriate budget categories which Turbo tax then pulls in and puts in the appropriate place. The paper trail serves as a check (eg letters from charities acknowledging contributions).

My pluses and minuses are the highlights from the tax returns I just finished but are characteristic of the past few years:

Plus: Automatically deals with Alternative Minimum Tax - otherwise would be a horrendous mess. TT caught the fact that I had overpaid my social security withholding which I might not have caught otherwise. Easily dealt with mutual fund purchases and sales. I really like the fact that you can go in and change ANY number and immediately see the effect on your bottom line. Unfortunately, this is a rather depressing exercise when you are subject to the AMT and see that it essentially none of your deductions except for charitable contributions do anything to reduce your tax liability.

Minus: there is no obvious way to look at a form as it will be submitted unless you save the file as pdf and then look at it. If you go to "forms", "my return", you get forms with a whole buch of worksheets interspaced, etc. Perhaps I have missed something, if so let me know! The whole menu sturcture could be improved and made more specfiic. There doesn't seem to be a zoom control so that you can adjust what fits on the screen depending on your monitor size.
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on April 13, 2007
TurboTax has what looks like it would be a geat feature -- the ability to import data from your financial institutions so that you don't have to enter all of your stock sales by hand.

Some of the cost basis (how much I bought the shares for) was empty, so I had to go in and enter them manually. No big deal, just took a few minutes.

However, when I went to e-file, the program had flagged these changes as "overrides" to computed values, and refused to let me e-file the return. Equally bad is that if I just leave the fields empty -- as they came from Charles Schwab, then it looks like I got the stocks for free, and have a huge tax bill (that is incorrect).

So, after many hours of trying to see if I could change the field so that it would not be flagged as an "override", I determined from other upset users of TurboTax in the forums on intuit.com that I was out of luck. I'd have to print it out and mail it in.

As a special reward, TurboTax doesn't even tell you what attachments you need to include on the return that you are now forced to mail in. The help screen says that what it prints out will tell you what to include in the return. That's wrong.

So, the main reason I got TurboTax was to e-file. Now, I get to print it out, find out all of the crap that I have to attach to the return, mail it in, then wait for weeks to months to get my return.

Thanks, Intuit!!!!

The saddest part is that H&R Block had sent me a free copy of TaxCut before I bought TurboTax. I should have used that before I spent $30 on a piece of crap like TurboTax. Won't do that again.
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on February 8, 2007
This software is very friendly, and very thorough. Unfortunately, it can't calculate the basis of a mutual fund. Example: fund purchased 6/1/06 for $10,000. Fund sold 9/1/06 for $11,025. Turbotax takes this information and determines a short term capital gain of $11,025. The only way to override this behavior (on a number of transactions) was to manually input the gain myself in the form fields. What a waste.
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on April 3, 2007
This is my 3rd year doing my taxes with TurboTax.

I encountered some bugs with non-material stuff, but I didn't go and hand-check the entire return so I don't know if there would have been any material bugs that would actually affect the dollar amounts.

The bugs that I encountered were the following:

- When asking me for changes to my address which it imported from last year's return, it didn't provide phone numbers. One of those phone numbers had changed. Later, when doing the state taxes, it asked which phone number I wanted to use. At that time, it provided a choice of the old phone number but didn't allow me to update it.

- It seemed to import all the information from my financial institution OK and it reported the dollar amounts of the net proceeds and cost basis correctly. However, on the worksheet, even though the description said it was a sale of 50 shares, the quantity field said one share.

Little bugs like these make me wonder if all the math being done underneath is OK. I'm also worried that if you run the program in a different order, the results might be different. But who knows? With a cursory check things looked OK.

One thing that I was bummed about was that when entering the buys corresponding to a stock sale it allowed me to enter things in reverse chronological order (and in fact didn't prompt me otherwise) and yet at the end of the program when doing audit checks, it wanted me to reenter the data in chronological order. I didn't bother since it only affected a worksheet.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are no material errors! Unfortunately, it looks like other tax products also have these kinds of weird bugs.
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on February 2, 2007
I have used Turbo Tax for several years and found it very satisfactory . . . however, last year I decided to save money and use cheaper TAX CUT. What a mistake. I am back with Turbotax even though it is more expensive. Here again, Amazon helped me over this hurdle by giving me the best bargain, which was below the manufacturers list price. I am a happy camper.

Kiffin Gilbert
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on February 11, 2007
The product basically does what it's supposed to, but it makes assumptions about things (like whether you want to make estimated payments for next year or not) and it's very difficult to change these back. You shouldn't have to fight with your software. Also, it imported charities from the previous year that I didn't donate to this year, and removing these was difficult. Finally, customer support has apparently been moved out of the country. The response I received from email was clearly from someone who didn't have native level English ability and absolutely failed to answer the actual question (gave a stock answer that was irrelevant). The automated online support also has very limited options. If TurboTax is in fact the best tax prep software out there, I may have to go back to doing it by hand next year. In short, don't bother with the program if your taxes are easy, and, from reading the other reviews, don't trust it if your taxes are complex, either.
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on February 20, 2007
I normally have a very basic tax form. I had some 1099's this year. TurboTax literally walks you through it with questions and completes the form for you. I would use this software over hiring an accountant ANY Day!!
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