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VINE VOICEon December 23, 2011
I have never had any issues with TurboTax. I've used the product for at least a dozen years, even to do the taxes for a home based business. There is no issue with using the tool or the effectiveness. (Still puzzles me how Tim Geithner couldn't figure it out.) I have a few serious issues that do not affect the use of the product, just personal gripes. The first, is selecting the "right" version for you to use. Effectively, the most basic one will work for everything you need. The pricier versions provide you more "hand holding" through the process rather than just quoting the IRS language. It is a bit annoying as you enter different areas in the software, how they try to get you to "upgrade" online, with veiled threats of what might happen if you don't take advantage of their support and the IRS finds an error. Another, is the need to buy a "full version" every year. Seems to me, once you buy TurboTax, you could pay a lower fee each year to upgrade to the next year's version. Finally, there are situations such as mine where I live in a state with no income tax, yet to get the version I need, there are only versions with the State Income Tax software included. If I bought a lesser capable version, it can be bought for several dollars less without a State form as an option. These are just annoying things I am reminded of every year when I buy what I need to do my taxes.
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on March 19, 2012
I abandoned Turbo Tax a few years back over something they did (can't remember what) and went to H&R Block. This year I tried Turbo Tax again. Although it transferred much of the information from my 2010 return, it would not transfer the rental depreciation. I spent several hours with live chat support trying to overcome this. Ultimately they told me I could get a refund AND a free download. So I tried to do the import with the download and had the same problem. Then I actually called Intuit. The service rep said it should work and didn't know why it didn't.

Another issue was in the past the interview would ask me if I wanted to import from Quicken. This year it only asked that about my rental income and expenses, not anything else. I had to search around to figure out the command is under the Tool box at the top of the screen. Another waste of my time.

The plan for Sunday was my husband was going to take the kids out so I could do taxes. It rained so that meant museum admission. He got home while I was on live chat. He watched the live chat while I put the little one down, then I was back at the screen. I was still on live chat when she woke from her nap. The person was friendly, she just had lots of other customers to take care of at once.
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on August 15, 2016
Have used Turbo Tax every year since 1997. It covers everything, gets all the deductions, calculates, saves as you go, gives a running refund or amt you owe. Covers investment subjects & the more you use it, the better you understand what you need for next year. Not the cheapest out there but the best available. I can save all of the calculations, worksheets, forms to print if any questions arise plus my return. I did my Mom's one year & it found stuff her accountant missed & she paid $500 for him to do her taxes. After that I did her taxes free. No problem. I use it, I trust it. I'm not a computer whiz, just a regular two finger typist working guy who knows a good value.
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on August 1, 2012
First time using TT and it was mostly painless. However, there are bugs in handling sales of mutual funds.

1. All of my sales were based on average costs, so purchase date was always "various" , which I dutifully entered for each one. However, when I reviewed the forms, the 8949 form was showing a specific purchase date for 5 out of 8 sales. I had to go back and RE-ENTER "various" for the purchase date.

2. To make matters worse, the purchase date the program put in was the SAME as the selling date -- which makes no sense and should have raised a RED flag (even if I had accidently put in a date). But the program ignored it.

3. Some of the sells created a small "wash sale" component which the broker showed on the form as "disallowed loss". There seems to be a box on the step-by-step form for this correction, but when I put in a number, it was IGNORED every time.
Finally, I had to go into the actual 8949 form it had generated and put in the loss adjustments MANUALLY.

4. And even with these corrections, the final 8949 form was not completely correct. The numbers were correct (after my manual corrections), but in column "b", there is supposed to be a code to explain the adjustment (in column g) -- in this case a "w" for "wash". However, there seemed to be no way to enter the codes for column b in 8949.
I ended up filing it without the codes and hope the IRS isn't too picky.

Even though the program assured me it was 100% accurate, if I had not caught these errors, it would certainly have NOT been 100% accurate.

By the way, I double checked that I had all the current updates.

In handling rental property (Schedule E), the program assumes that if a given % of the property is rented, then all the expenses can be prorated by that % -- which is NOT always true. For example, the amount of mortgage (if there is only one) can be different for the rental portion, depending on how the mortgage has been paid.
The work around was to tell it to use 100% factor and then HAND calculate the portion of each expense item for the rental part.

As a plus, it did seem to handle K-1 forms and entries correctly and also form 8582 passive loss and worksheets.
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on March 27, 2012
If you used H&R Block program last year and want to migrate to TurboTax, BEWARE! TurboTax promises that it can import last year data from H&R Block tax preparation program, but when I try it with my tax file, all I get is an error:
"The selected file cannot be transferred. Select another file for transfer."
Not very helpful since THIS is my last year file and I do not have another one. The file itself is perfectly OK and it can be opened in the last year's copy of H&R Block without any issues.
TurboTax attempted import produced a few error files in its directory, but they are all empty. So, it gives no clue why it failed. From the technical point of view (I'm a software engineer myself). if the file is not corrupted, the program should be able to read at least SOME of the data. If it reads nothing, it just means lousy engineering. I will ask for a refund.
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on February 19, 2012
I've been using Turbo-tax for years. I've tried three times to use accountants, and all three times I've regretted it. Why? Because usually they screw up my taxes. At best they don't get all the deductions I'm entitled to, and at worst, well, they screw things up, or don't get my tax forms to me in a timely fashion.

Turbo Tax puts control into your hands. It does a good job dealing with fairly complex tax situations, at least according to me. Its 'guide' feature walks you through all of the common (and some of the less common) sources of income and deductions, which is great.

+ Easy guidance for a dizzying array of income sources and deductions. Even with complex taxes, I was done in 4 hours.
+ Automatically imports data from the previous year, very useful for potential deductions carried forward
+ Online filing, handy! And, you can save a PDF to print at your convenience for personal records
+ You can fill in forms manually as well as through their wizards
+ A popular product, so you can often find answers to questions related to your taxes in their forums.

- For extremely complex taxes, it can be a bit convoluted to fill things out just right (.e.g. form 2555 for foreign-residing expat)

To give you an idea of the sort of stuff it can handle: I lived in the UK for 7 years, but am a US citizen so I had to file both UK and US taxes, and claim tax credit for foreign tax paid. Although there were a few hiccups, Turbo Tax was able to handle this, despite having both US and UK reported income. I also have property in the US (in addition to my house) managed by a property manager, with costs for repairs, maintenance, homeowner dues, etc. The rest of my tax situation is equally complicated.

Nevertheless, once I have my various tax forms (1099, W-2 or W-4, etc.) for the year, Turbo Tax works pretty perfectly.

Overall, great software and I plan to continue using it. I thought about using their online service, but when I couldn't figure out how to import the previous year's taxes, decided to stick with the software. Nice!

Without Turbotax, I'd be at the mercy of accountants. I'm glad they're still making this software!
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on December 4, 2012
Since it works well, seems able to discover deductions you never thought about and, unfortunately, you don't really qualify for, why not marking it with five stars? Because it still gives such low control to the user, it is a little above just a black box. I don't work in programming but I understand syntax and definitely could move some files to different folders. You feel you are not the 'master' of your tax file, as it floats somewhere in your computer and produces those tens of pages of pdf files only at the end. Plus when you want to make a change, you rather have to start from scratch, otherwise the program remembers things from the previous attempt and mixes things up royally. It is a product that wants the user to adapt to it, and not the other way around.

Just treat people as thinking human beings. Not everyone wants colorful screens. An excel based format would be better. Please do not say I should just do it by hand.

Still, I highly recommend since it is the best. Microsoft Money (at least a few years ago, last time I tried it) was much worse in terms of transparency. Has some features that appear only in the Premier tier, which may not be that useful if your investments are basic. Electronic filing (I used it but seems to be free directly from the IRS) and the option (not included but about $30 more) to have an accountant vet your tax file are interesting (did not use) and probably add value to the package.

About pricing, there is a catch 22 in that it appears that Costco sells it cheaper without a coupon than many retailers, even after the coupon is deducted, but not for all tiers. Between versions and tiers (basic, home, premier, de luxe) Amazon was the best with free shipping, at least at the time I purchased it in March. Plus, many times, when the difference is small, I would still prefer buying from Amazon for its convenience, return policy, fast delivery and to reward the fabulous product review and information platform it provides.
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on February 20, 2012
I've been using TT for many years, mostly the Premier version due to rental property. Like any program, it's nice to have the records on my computer for reference and transferring. I don't miss doing it all on paper, but my dinning table is overflowing with paper at tax time still. After all these years, I still have trouble navigating it. I often start the program early and don't have all the figures and receipts at hand. I then find it tedious to navigate back to fill in the blanks. The search function doesn't help. The partnership is intrusive and useless for me. I do not see the necessity of giving up all my bank account access just to calculate potential tax savings. While filling in blanks during the error check/ final review, my return shot up over $2K on a completely irrelevant question. It just as mysteriously dropped back down after answering a question about how many vehicles I use for my rentals.
[soap box] The federal government should pick up the entire tab for the program. Really, what a hassle!
Next year, I plan to hire an actual human for tax prep and advice. I need more than just number crunching and record keeping now.
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on April 11, 2012
I've used Turbo Tax for a very long time (Maybe 20 years). This by far the worst. The problem is the navigation through my tax return. First of all, when you start Turbo Tax, it comes up with the form to start a new return. I've been working on mine for several weeks and this becomes annoying. It would be nice to remember where I left off. Second, when I open my return, it doesn't take me directly to where I left off. This forces me to start browsing trying to remember where to go. Third, it doesn't give a clear view of what I've visited. When I visit a topic, but have nothing to enter, the summary page still shows it as not visited. So I end up looking at something multiple times when I don't need to. Forth, I bought the Premier because of the mutual funds, stocks and IRAs I have. When I revisit an investment, it doesn't remember all the check boxes I entered the from before. Fifth, especially on the investments, when I revisit them, there are many screens that have to be navigated through just to change one item or to just check on an item.

Summary: The navigation needs a lot of work. Summary pages are confusing and getting to where I need to go is not clean. The mutual fund, stock and IRA pages were confusing and the help was limited.
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on March 17, 2012
i have been using Turbo Tax (Premier) since 2005. i like their data entry format, clean report and program algorithm based on the most up to date tax laws. however Turbo Tax is becoming over priced. if your tax filing is simple, straight forward, Turbo Tax is OK. however, for more complicated tax reporting, Turbo Tax is not for you. just a few inadequacies....

no "go back" key to correct operator error, you have to "start over" to correct even the most rudimentary data entry error.

no "file delete" key to remove wrong data file for prior or current year tax file. if you loaded a wrong prior year file for capital gain carry over functions OR if you make mistakes in current year tax file, Turbo Tax has no file delete function. to start over, you have to uninstall your program then reinstall to correct the wrong data file error.

data file is not backward compatible. if your prior year tax file was created by more expensive versions (e.g. Premier) your tax reporting becomes simpler (e.g. retirement, job loss) where Turbo Tax Basic (free version) will meet your needs, your prior year tax file cannot be carried over into the free or cheaper versions. you are locked in to the Premier version even you only need the Basic version in order to capture old data files created in the past.
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