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VINE VOICEon January 28, 2012
Yes, what took me about half an hour last year from download, install and data entry is still not done after at least six times that long and I am ANGRY. I am trying to create 1099s, a simple programming function compared to the rest of the tax needs I am going to have as I prepare our full taxes and THE SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK. 1099 and W-2 is now forced to be online and the system is horrible, doesn't work and each successful data entry takes at least three attempts. And then you aren't sure if it is successful because instead of freezing your computer, you get this message:

Houston, we have a problem...
Luckily, we're not in space. Rest assured, our programmers are on it.

That may work if you sign out, sign in and try that again.
If you see this again, please contact us so we can help.

I am not amused. NASA wouldn't have ever gotten to the moon with TurboTax 2011 Software. They'd never gotten to the launchpad. Or the rocket built. We'd still think it was made of swiss cheese.

Then, of course, when you go back and try again, your data is often correct--after all you just entered a four digit number! Why would that break a system?

So, yes, believe the reviews. I haven't even started the individual tax return and I am worried. I might be buying TaxAct or whatever I can find before this tax season is over because my trust level is kaput. I could do 1099s online at the IRS site or handwrite them, they are the easiest, simplest form I will deal with over the next few months. But I bought TurboTax to make it even easier. And if it can't handle these, well, I shudder and I worry.

And if you are in the same boat as me and bought early before the reviews and WANT to try this anyway, well, the functionality is slightly better in Google Chrome over IE 8. Not much but at least I got a file to transfer on my sixth attempt on Chrome. So my names were imported from last year's file. Never mind that it said it didn't and then it transferred the file twice and now won't let me delete the duplicates without that lovely Houston message I shared above. I finally got one to delete after 8 attempts. I may not be so lucky with the rest of them.

So yes. Crap. Utter, useless crap. I want a refund but it is software so that's not possible since I've ripped open the box and loaded this simulation of a tax preparer.

This is my 9th year using TurboTax and by far the worst experience I have ever had with it. Phooey on Intuit.

UPDATE on 1/31/12:

After countless attempts at data entry in the online 1099/W2 Reporter system, I finally got my 8 1099s completed. It took me 6 hours of repeated attempts to get the data entered. Yes, I was foolish. I could have done it somewhere else in less than an hour. Then I read in another review here that there is a backend way to do the reports through the software.

Click FILE in the upper left hand corner menu and select NEW TAX RETURN and the selection like previous years. For kicks and giggles I decided to do that after finally printing up and mailing the 1099s today, a few days past when I intended. The whole process took me 15 minutes, what it has done in previous years. Why did Turbo Tax not give us the outright option? Why did they release extremely flawed online software? (Even selecting a state doesn't work in the drop down boxes unless you hit a hard enter after selecting, otherwise it clears out the field when you move to the next one. Nevermind the inability to process submitted info, the forms can't even handle data entry such as 5 digit only zip codes, etc.)

So this is too little too late for me and for you, but perhaps someone will be saved the headache.

And do save that return for the 1099/W2s in the software (the work around) because even though you save it, it doesn't not come up as an option for your ongoing working returns in the open file page. You have to browse for it on your computer--know where you saved it!--if you need to access it again.

Pure idiocy...
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on January 25, 2012
I have used Turbo Tax for years. Two or three years ago I began using their transfer function to transfer 1099MISC information from the prior year to the current year, so that all one needed to do was fill in the correct dollar amount and not have to retype all the names and addresses. It worked fine in prior years, just as you could transfer your tax information for the 1040 from the prior year.

BUYER BEWARE!!

This transfer function DOES NOT WORK in the 2011 iteration of Turbo Tax Home & Business 2011. In its infinite wisdom, Intuit moved this transfer scenario from a simple file to file transfer and
put it instead, on line. It does not work. I am unable to transfer the 150 or so 1099MISC forms from 2010 to 2011 AND no one at Intuit/Turbo Tax seemed to know it doesn't work. I lost three
hours on line and then on the phone trying to get this function to work, speaking with tech specialists at Turbo Tax.

All you learn in the program itself, when you try to make the transfer USING THE FILE TYPE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO USE, is the infuriating message "Houston, we have a problem ... but don't worry we are not in outer space."

Well guess what, you folks at Intuit are indeed in outer space if you think it is acceptable to not have this function working as of 1/25/11 just six days before the IRS deadline to send the
1099MISC forms to their recipients.

THIS IS A DISASTER.

Do not buy Turbo Tax Home & Business if you need to transfer your 1099MISC information from 2010 to 2011.

Shame on you Intuit.
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on November 29, 2011
I have been using Turbo Tax for about 10 years. In general it is an easy to use program and I have never been audited. I only enter legitimate data that I have a receipt for. If I was to be audited it wouldn't be a big deal.

6 years ago I had gone through the process of filling out all my forms but neglected to save the data prior to entering the E file area of the program. When I saw the state fee for E file, I tried to back out of the E file program section. All of my data prior to my last save was lost. This was about 6 hours of work. I know it was my fault for not saving my data, but I thought that the E file was included in the price of the program. I felt the program should require you to save the data prior to entering a section where the data would be lost if you backed out of the E file section. I called Intuit to let them know what happened and found the response to my issue underwhelming.

The Federal E file is free but the states may charge additional fee of about $20 to E file.

The next year I used an accountant which turned out to be a big mistake. It cost several times the price of the software package and all of my carryover deductions needed to be manually entered. I spent more time putting my information together for the accountant than I had spent in previous years doing the return myself. The accountant just made the deadline and repeatedly called asking for clarifications on deductions.

I learned my lesson from that experience. Now I always use Turbo Tax Home and Business but make sure I save my data throughout the entry process.

I'd give the product 4.5 stars if I could. I find the statement of E file to be slightly deceptive. The state filing is not included in the price the program. Intuit is much clearer about this now than they use to be. You just need to be aware of this and include that cost in your purchase decision. I print and file my state return to avoid the fee. There are also areas of the business deductions that require research from the IRS's website which can be tedious.

The program allows business deductions carry over to future years which save a lot of time and helps maintain accuracy. If you are going to use this program it pays to be a repeat user.
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on January 28, 2012
OK, I have no one to blame but myself. The reviews say very clearly that this product is a disaster. It is. I have always used TurboTax, so I thought, "How bad can it be?" Well, bad. I just spent 30 minutes online trying to prepare TWO (2) 1099-MISC forms. The product has a new feature which forces you to do this online (it used to be very easy on the desktop software). The site is like something from 1997. I almost expected a Lycos search box to pop up. After many long, painful attempts to make progress, I hit a random error message -- which had some kind of cutesy warning like "Houston, we have a problem" that made me want to reach through the internets and throttle someone. Now I find myself in search of another software product that can actually help me! Please, innocent tax-filer, I beg you, don't make the mistake I did...
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on February 13, 2012
I have been a Turbo Tax user for about ten years and have never had any major problems. My only criticism has been the large amount of unnecessary screens that users have to go through to enter a tax return. That's an annoyance for experienced users but good for beginners. I have a small business and enter 1099s for independent contractors that work for me. In the past, this information was saved on my computer with my other tax records. This has always worked well since I save the records onto a flash drive that I work on at home and in my business. I also back up the records daily on both computers and feel that I have the situation under control.

This year, when I purchased TurboTax there was no option to save 1099 information onto your local drive, only on-line. Once you put the information on-line, the tax return won't show automatically when you go into TurboTax. Normally, you get a screen that says "Continue your 2011 tax return" and you can click on your tax return. This does not work for on-line returns. If you want to access your on-line returns, you have to click on "Start a new return" even though it's not a new return. Choose "Prepare W-2s and 1099s..." and then enter your password information.

Once you're on-line, you need to enter everything before printing. I used the "Print All" command and got the following message: "We're Sorry... We're not ready to print yet. Error check found the following: Unknown Error".

The unknown error turns out to be that I had not entered income for one of my contractors. Unfortunately, I was still following up on the amount that I had paid that contractor and would like to have printed everything else out. Therefore, I had to put a disputed number into the field, complete the printout, and remove the number.

I started this review today while I had called TurboTax customer service and was waiting on hold. After finding the customer service number which is buried deep in TurboTax, I was on hold for over 9 minutes before I spoke to "Nicole" in customer service. She was able to answer one question fairly easily and within a few minutes. However, the second question, regarding how to transfer the information onto my hard drive instead of leaving it on-line put me back onto the hold pattern. After 30 minutes on the phone, most of the time on hold, including the last ten minutes, I gave up. At one point, Nicole even told me that on-line 1099s were new for customer service and they didn't have all the answers available.

This part of TurboTax is not ready.

The good news is that TurboTax must have realized this at some point and now has an option to enter the W-2 and 1099 information and save to disk. It still recommends to save on-line. Don't, you will be sorry. I am going to reenter my data onto my local drive and stop using the on-line option. Unfortunately, the option came to late for those of us who tried to file on time. TurboTax disappointed me this year.
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on February 29, 2012
I've used TurboTax for decades to keep the CPA honest and more specifically to understand what the CPA tells me. My taxes are complex because the regs and laws are like hyper-complex as I have to consolidate `S' corp entities.

So my CPA sent the final package to me this week and I compare it to the TurboTax 2011 that I've scratch-papered while the accountants work away. A couple entities don't use Intuit based accounting. I have to manually transpose the #'s to TurboTax. For the QuickBook accounted entities, it's like magic to import into TurboTax.

2011 was a complex year as I plumbed the `loss' side of the tax code. I have a good mental image of the code as it applies to `profits'. I've never had a loss to account for. I expected to find a difference in the `quality' of TurboTax's underpinnings for the increased number of forms that accompany `loss' reporting (it costs CPA $ to account for a `loss' ... indeed an irony if there ever was)

The score between TurboTax and the high $$$ CPA? To $mall to mention. TurboTax adroitly managed the correct new forms. If I didn't worry about IRS and state biz audits and wanting someone sitting beside me, I'd not pay the outrageous CPA fee.

The folks at TuboTax are masters of discovering tiny ways to improve the product. The TurboTax price goes down year over year while the IRS complexity goes up. You can learn a lot using TurboTax yourself. Such a deal! ... 5-stars.

update 3/20 ... I don't get the download problem reviewers are citing. This particular product version I'm reviewing is the hard disk and not the download version. I just checked again. There can't be any confusion. Amazon says only 10 left at this moment. Is Amazon combining reviews?
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on February 4, 2012
I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I am convinced that RSUs (or Restricted Stock Units) are a secret conspiracy between accountants and the US government. RSUs replaced stock options at most companies in about 2008.

The interface in Turbo Tax requires you to accumulate at least three different documents, the monthly statement from your broker, your 1099-B, and the End of Year Statement from your employer. Turbo Tax proceeds to ask you questions that aren't on any of those documents.

[insert primal scream here]

I almost gave up and went to H&R Block, but instead turned off the Guided Tour in Turbo Tax and entered the information manually.
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on January 2, 2012
I have now completed three of the five family taxreturns I expect to help file this year. This product becomes easier to use every year. I have uploaded a screenshot that shows the most important screen in the program: where you check off the items that apply to you: change of marital status, adoption, running a business, selling a house, investment income, for example. And then the software runs you through those items, without bothering to ask you about other issues that might not be relevant. Since each member of my family has different issues, Turbo Tax asks a different set of questions for each of us. This is a vast improvement over earlier years, where you had to go through large sections of questions wondering why you are being asked those questions.

In all, I complete returns for two sisters who run their own businesses, one of whom also receives W-4s, one semi-retired brother, and two sons, one a student and one employed. The employed one was delighted to find out that all of his withholdings would be refunded because of his age, low income, and lack of student status. Even though I am somewhat tax savey, I didn't know of this refund, and I am delighted that Turbo Tax found it for my son.

I have used Turbo Tax for years, and the only year I had difficulty was the year a house was sold. Since that was some years back, I expect that Intuit has fixed that problem. Overall, though, I am delighted with this product and the way it helps me help my family with all of their tax issues. It gets to be better and better every year. Highly recommended.
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on May 9, 2012
I have used Turbo-Tax probably from the day it was created. It is a known solution for getting my taxes compleated. In other words it gets the job done and I don't feel I have left any refund on the table. However, it is not the tax preparation software that makes the money. You had to have paid in excess to begin with.

Running several home businesses as well as a real day jobs means there have been times my wife and I have had to pay Uncle Sam, then make quarterly payments. TurboTax helps figure out what to do. That last few years we have come out on the excess side and a return always makes us feel we are planning well.

The decision for me is where to make the annual purchase of TurboTax. A new one is required each year. I generally grab a hard copy at an office supply or other "bricks and morter" and just pay at or near retail. This year I thought to check Amazon and realized what a great price was here. I am going to do the same thing next year.

One caution is the buyer needs know exactly which version and edition he/she wants. There are many versions and Amazon is also offering editions from previous years. The wrong year can be a big "oops". I have to remind myself that in 2012 I am doing 2011 taxes. I am dealing with reporting history not predicting the future. That's a comment of a user problem, not of TurboTax, ha! No, I wasn't looking (yet) for the 2012 edition...
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on February 20, 2012
Please don't have your accountant or the IRS call me, but this tax software at least appears to be so good, and so easy, a monkey would have a hard time getting their taxes wrong!

I am an independent contractor and after being charged up to $1,500 for my accountant's receptionist to do my taxes (did she use TurboTax?) and for him to check it, I decided to give TurboTax a try.

Following what appears to be complete and certainly thorough directions, I entered all my information, just like the account had done in past years, and out came a complete tax return with all the forms filled in just like I had been paying to have done.

Now, I suppose that you could run into problems (You already know some tax companies advertise that they can get you more money by fixing what other paid professionals missed or screwed up on your return, right? And, they get paid for it!) if your information changes, or if you enter items in the wrong places, but the TurboTax software does check for mistakes, points out areas where you may be audited (according to statistics) where you can also look for mistakes, and you can ask questions, search help, or join forums to get more information, PLUS you can also sign up for tax audit assistance and representation.

I am one of the most skeptical people you'd want to meet, but I feel comfortable in my third or fourth year of using the software. Good luck!
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