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on December 17, 2007
As a longtime Turbo Tax user (as long as I can remember), I was not so sure when the De Luxe version was no longer good enough and I had to upgrade. I have been entering deductions and credits thus far, as well as income items or estimates of income, to try this version out and to get ahead of the rush next year. This year's version is better than ever, easier to use, and well designed for novice or experienced Intuit product users. Turbo Tax is still the best tax preparation software on the market, and it gets better and easier to use every year. For novices, the interview is comprehensive, guides you through the process, and is not too painful even if it asks the occasional "stupid question" as it looks for nuances of income or deduction. For the experienced "old-timer", it is easy to get to where you want to be, and you are still prompted to think of all of those income and expense items that matter. This is software that is worth what it charges (and don't forget it is tax deductible!) both in terms of ease of use and savings it will help you find. And the free link to "Its Deductible" is a nice additional feature.
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on December 30, 2007
I have been using Turbotax since 1989. Back then the company was called ChipSoft and the program came on floppies!
Obviously I like the program.
Pros: Easy to use from year to year with importing features.
Can import data from your broker 1098/1099. (way cool!)
Can import w2 data (sometimes-I cannot as my employer does not support that)
Well organized.
Cons:
It can be hard to find specific special things to work on.
I have some odd rental stuff and the help for this is very poor.
The search to find special items is not good.
The only "help" seems to be excerpts from the IRS tax booklets.

Overall though I like it and have used it for years.
Considering that one of the big tax companies messed up my taxes the last time I used them and got me audited and was a mess. With TTAX I also got audited once but passed with a PERFECT score.
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on February 23, 2008
This product worked really well until I got to the California return. As other reviewers have stated, the program makes a significant error calculating California taxes when it comes to employee stock options. The program double-counts profits for AMT purposes, and so it calculates that you owe more tax than is correct.

Even worse than the software having the bug, the response of Turbotax support has been very disappointing. I emailed them with a description of the bug on February 1, and then I discovered a workaround to the bug on my own and emailed them with that solution on February 4. They sent me an email back thanking me for my feedback but said they couldn't guarantee that a patch would be issued.

They have a live community forum, to which I also posted a description of the bug and a workaround. But this only produced a few replies from other people who are also seeing the same bug. And the search engine for the forum is so poor that it is nearly impossible to find the post that I wrote, even if I type the exact title of my posting in the search engine window.

Other people on the community forum (as well as other Amazon reviewers) have reported this bug as well. I found one post on the community forum stating that an update would be available on February 15, but as of today (Feb 23), the error still exists. Also, once an Intuit employee answers a posting, it seems to be marked as "solved" and no follow-up postings are allowed (even if it is not really solved.)

Had I not carefully reviewed the forms this program generated, I would have paid thousands of dollars more to California than I owed, so I cannot recommend this program despite the otherwise superior user-interface. In past years I have always used TaxCut, which is more difficult to navigate but has never produced an error like this.

For anyone else in my situation, here is a workaround to the problem:
-----------------
On the Federal forms menu, on each Capital Gains Worksheet, line 38 gives a choice to report the transaction as single-line or multiple-line. Multiple-line is selected by default. By selecting single-line on each transaction, my California AMT and my total California taxes were reduced substantially.

The fact that "single-line reporting" shows a different result than "multiple-line reporting" proves without a doubt that this is a Turbotax bug. There should be no difference in the tax calculated due to the reporting format.
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on January 5, 2008
First off, I need to disclose that I worked with Mike Chipman (who designed and created TurboTax for his company called ChipSoft) to help him build his company - starting in the mid-1980s. I did the first comparative review of tax software for PC Magazine; and I picked TurboTax #1 way back then. And, what I have seen (I no longer work for the company producing TurboTax) is that each year TurboTax just keeps getting better and better.

From the very beginning, when TurboTax was one of the few tax prep packages that didn't have any problem printing to pin-fed pre-printed tax forms. Now a days, printing is a snap. Well, actually everything with TurboTax is close to effortless. The only "hard part" is digging out everything you need to "find the numbers" and info to "plug in."

The on-going question about tax software is "Yea, but can I really do taxes with my computer?" Oh, yea, you most certainly can ... and you should be.

Not long after TurboTax first hit the streets, we started hearing from people about how TurboTax kept them from making dumb mistakes and also how TurboTax helped them find additional deductions. One year we based the advertising campaign on "love letters" we got from people who used TurboTax to "double check" the work done by their accountants and CPAs. The bottom line (no pun intended) was that TurboTax found hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of additional or overlooked deductions that the tax preparers had completely missed. The key point here is that TurboTax won't let you miss anything. There is a "down side" to that in that the "interview" process of TurboTax does take some time. But, after you go through in and "plug in" the data, your taxes are pretty much done.

The final check for mistakes or missing information is flawless, too. TurboTax really does DO IT ALL.

I can't say enough good things about TurboTax. Over the years, my wife and I have tried other tax prep programs ... we always come back to TurboTax. This year I was lucky enough to participate in the beta testing process for this year's version of TurboTax ... I was even more impressed with the company, because they listened to ALL of the input we beta testers provided ... and that made the program even better. And, let me tell you, it is no picnic testing TurboTax ... they push you to try just about every feature (and rightly so), so you learn even more about just how great TurboTax is.

You can't go wrong with TurboTax ... after all this time, there still isn't a better tax prep package. Oh, yea, one other thing, next year when you do your taxes with TurboTax, it imports in all of the data from this year, so you don't have to worry about social security numbers and a whole bunch of other stuff. Also, TurboTax has tax planning built into it, so after you file your taxes, you can keep track of things (and changes in your financial situation with respect to tax consequences) right in TurboTax, too ... you can't beat this product. For anyone who thinks he or she has to pay someone to do you taxes, FORGET ABOUT IT. TurboTax is the only way to go!

If you still aren't convinced, go ahead and let someone else do your taxes. Then, buy a "close out" version of TurboTax in April or May. Then "run the numbers" to see if your tax preparer missed anything. Odds are, you'll want to file an amended tax return (which, you guess it, TurboTax can, indeed, help you with that, too!).

Bil. Alvernaz (bil@alvernaz.com)
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on February 10, 2008
I purchased TurboTax on 2/9/2008, installed it, and downloaded all the updates. I got through the program without difficulty. When finished, I glanced at the numbers, and for fun, I decided to check TurboTax's "this is your tax" against the IRS's tax tables. Big oops----the IRS tax tables say the tax on my taxable income is $706 MORE than TurboTax says it is. Yikes. That's a big error...an error the IRS would not like. I've sent email to TurboTax to inquire about this, and I discovered how to over-ride the TurboTax number and enter the correct number, if necessary.

In the meantime, I suggest that users verify that their "total tax" shown in TurboTax is accurate by checking the amount against the tax tables.
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on February 15, 2008
I have been using Turbo Tax for over 10 years now, mostly the Deluxe version. This year I'm using the Premier version because of the stock option trades.

Big mistake.

Perhaps I should have stuck with the Deluxe version.

Everything worked as expected, albeit getting slower and slower every year. When I completed all the data entries, I was somewhat shocked by the amount of California AMT I owed. "Calm down," I told myself, as I was expected to pay AMT. It is just that the amount is a lot more than I expect. "Take a deep breath..."

But the amount was so out of whack I got curious, so I began digging around. After a bit of googling, I started to suspect there's something wrong. But I never doubted TT's calculations.

Was I wrong.

I opened the California AMT form (Schedule P) in TT and noticed a suspicious line called "Adjusted gains and loss". It turned out that my stock option proceeds were double counted, once in this "Adjusted gains and loss" and another in "Taxable Income". This double counting resulted in an inflated AMT income, and eventually AMT tax I DO NOT HAVE TO PAY.

I have contacted Intuit support but so far I've only received template replies. In fact, the response is so template I wonder if they even understand the problem.

Luckily, I can still enter my stock option trades in the dumb mode (i.e. figuring out all the cost basis myself, like you have to do in the Deluxe version) and I haven't filed yet, so damage is minimal, except for the extra $20 I paid for the Premier version over the Deluxe version.

But you have to wonder if they've made any other calculation mistakes.

If I have to double check all the calculations myself, I may as well do my tax return by hand.

If you're in California and you have stock option trades, do yourself a favor and double check your numbers to see if you have the same problem. And if you haven't bought this product, either stay with the Deluxe version or get something else.

The Premier version, in the current state, is useless for filing in California if you have stock option trades.
22 comments|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I've been using TurboTax for years (on Mac) and it's VERY easy to use. Doing my taxes just takes an hour or two with no accountant or other help. After you use it a year or two, it grabs most of the data from your previous returns. Also it goes online to get data from your brokerage, your W-2. Very quick. This year I bought Premier because it was advertised as applying to stocks and so forth - but it turned out to be unnecessary. Unless you are running a lot of rental properties, the less expensive Deluxe version would have done everything I needed including stocks, home office, etc.
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on February 25, 2008
I reviewed TurboTax last year and used it to do my 2006 taxes. In general I liked the 2006 edition except for a bad experience with the "It's Deductible" feature. This year, Intuit fixed that and the program worked flawlessly.

There are basically only two tax software programs specifically for the Mac, TurboTax (five versions) and TaxCut (four versions). There are some online and/or free solutions that tend to be very basic and work fine if you're using the 1040EZ form or have few investments or deductions. Most free versions require that the user have a limited gross income. Visit the IRS website at [...] for more details.

TurboTax Premier 2007 features a totally revamped interface and is much easier to navigate than the 2006 version. My 2006 return was automatically imported, saving much time entering information.

TurboTax works with Quicken and Quickbooks, which are both Intuit products as well. Manually entering forms and numbers as I did worked flawlessly and TurboTax clued me in to tax considerations that I might not thought of. Users having more or less complex tax situations can choose which version to use. The Premiere version reviewed here is smack in the middle of the bunch.

The Premier version also includes a free download of Audit Support Center, a program that helps you in the case that, heaven forbid, the IRS conducts an audit of your return. Let's just say I'm hoping that I don't need this product, but it's nice to have this as reassurance.

If you're like me, you're always looking to maximize deductions to minimize your taxes owed or your refund. This year's version of TurboTax uses a much simpler deduction finder and doesn't have to go out to the internet like last year's version did.

TurboTax includes error checks and IRS flag checks, which are fairly common in tax applications. After the checks, you're ready to file. This year TurboTax includes free efiling in all of its versions, including the free version. This is a vast improvement over last year's version I reviewed which required an additional $15 for this service.

Intuit hit the mark this year with a product that is easy to use and doesn't feel like a mere port of the Windows version. The price is right and the program does the job. I would recommend this software to anyone.
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on January 26, 2008
TURBOTAX is everything it is advertised to be.

I started using TurboTax in 2002 and have used it every year since. As my tax situation has grown more complicated with investments and a business, it has more than met my needs. It is easy-to-use, complete, and hassle-free.

I take comfort in knowing that it doesn't overlook deductions, credits, or expenses. Once I have gone through the interview process (which is ridiculously simple), I know I have touched all the bases.

Its Deductible is so good I bought it outright a couple of years ago. For charitable donations of clothes, mileage, and money it is excellent. To have a software package that properly values a short sleeve silk women's blouse in good condition is worth its weight in gold.

TurboTax has saved me money on taxes and given me peace of mind.
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on March 26, 2008
Turbo Tax was pretty easy to use, however, if you do not know a lot about taxes and might need some help, their phone in line had over an hour hold in early February. I can't imagine how long it would be closer to April 15. And if you email them a question, you have to wait 24-48 hours for a response, and it doesn't answer the question at all. They pick a key word and cut and paste a standard answer. I had some NUA issues and they know nothing about what it was, let alone how to report it. They also charge to efile, it was around $35 to file both federal and state. So the software combined with efiling costs matched what I paid an accountant. If you have a resource to answer questions, it works well and you can get your taxes done in a day. If you don't know much about taxes and don't know anyone who does, you probably should still have someone else do them.
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