Why I'm switching away from TurboTax this year

This year I lagged compared to my usual approach to taxes. It seems like every year the date that I receive all of my tax forms gets pushed back further and further. I swear that I remember getting my taxes done before January 15th once but now it seems like I can't even attempt to complete my taxes until mid February anymore.


Ryohei Hase
His only wish was to touch by Ryohei Hase
This year I'm glad I waited on it though. Normally, every year I purchase TurboTax and plug away at it myself for a few hours and then "voilĂ !" I'm done, and hopefully a refund will be coming in a few weeks (except not last year) and not an audit. But this year I have to take a new approach, and if you are a TurboTax user then you might want to reconsider too! You see TurboTax did something sort of sneaky, they changed their software so that the deluxe version no longer includes the forms necessary to enter your schedule D forms for capital gains and losses.

Many loyal customers of TurboTax didn't read the fine print on the boxes about the changes that were made to the software so now when they are in the middle of their taxes find out that they have to upgrade to the next level up of the software. So instead of paying about $48 for the version they thought they needed they end up upgrading to the premier version which costs them $75 instead. The other option they could do is purchase another program from somewhere else and start the whole process over again which is also a bit absurd, no one really wants to go through that all again.

The response from Intuit (the owners of TurboTax) has been that they clearly labeled their packaging - which in all fairness they did. But for users like myself that have used TurboTax for the past decade or more it's like going to buy a Happy Meal and suddenly they say that the Happy Meal does not come with fries and a drink. Sure it may be labeled that way on the menu but when you have been ordering the same thing for forever you kind of just expect it to be the same.

So this year I'm making the switch. I've always wanted to try a different tax software... Well not really, but I did have a little curiosity of what would happen if I did a side by side comparison, not that I want to do my taxes twice in one year. So this year I'm switching to H&R Blocks software to give it a spin. It's actually cheaper than the usual version of TurboTax that I would use coming in at $42 and everyone online says that it's basically the same and that the only reason they never made the switch was because they were loyal to TurboTax. I should also be able to import last years version of my taxes from TurboTax into their software so getting my previous information should be just as easy as before.

So how are you doing your taxes this year? If you are a TurboTax user are you going to stick with it or are you going to jump ship like many others? Is now a good time to invest in H&R Block?

14 comments:

  1. I'm a Canadian and I usually use a free software program that's certified by the government. I don't usually do my taxes until the absolute last minute! Hopefully I'll be on top of it more this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CheapMom,

      Ha, well I suppose the free version beats them all! I remember doing my taxes when I was younger with my dad. It was just paper printouts at the time so you couldn't do it by computer. I remember the process for him being a full well after work project.

      I'm glad the days of writing everything in by hand is over but at the same time now I'm just paying for convenience!

      I usually like doing my taxes as early as possible though. Most of the time I get money back so there's an incentive to do it. Last year wasn't the case but I think that this year I might have balanced things a little better. Also once I have completed my taxes for the year I will be able to learn how I need to adjust my withholdings for the next year.

      -Zee

      Delete
  2. Wow....that's pretty shady. I get the idea of labeling the package, but as you said, if you've always used the Deluxe version and nothing has changed in your life to require getting another edition, why wouldn't you? I'd probably just pick up the Deluxe version too!

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think it is still early in tax season to have it blow up in their face, but I could see it. I used to use TurboTax, but when things became more complicated, I hired a pro and haven't looked back. I do have friends that use TurboTax and will pass on the information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think it's a pretty crappy move that they did this year. I'm just glad I noticed it before I got burned by it. I do think that this could be a blow to TurboTax and probably next year they will feel the full consequences of their decision.

      Delete
  3. I've been using H&R Block for a few years now and I like the price point (they have a few choices) and the software. I'm not quite ready to do my taxes yet (I still haven't received most of my tax documents), but I'm sure I'll have them done by the end of February. Taxes for me usually aren't too exciting because we don't get a refund, instead we usually owe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little House,

      Well, owing money is technically better than getting a refund. If you get money back then you're giving the government a free loan! I can't start my taxes yet either, but I was trying to get prepared for when I finally got all of my documents in the mail.

      -Zee

      Delete
  4. Clearly labeled or not, I think it's pretty shady for them to pull that. It would be enough for me not to buy from them again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephanie,

      I think they are going to lose a lot of customers this year... Or perhaps next year when everyone remembers how bad things went this year after having to do an extra "upgrade" to get their taxes done.

      -Zee

      Delete
  5. Wow, that is sketchy as hell. I know some people that use TurboTax, so I will let them know to be careful this year. I use a CPA myself, and seeing how things like this happen make me glad I do :) Even though I pay more, I know there won't be attempts to nickel and dime me, and there's much less risk of auditing, and that peace of mind is worth a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DividendDeveloper,

      Spread the word! I would hate to not have known this before I started my taxes this year. I've always wanted to try going to a tax specialist just because I always suspect that I might be missing some deductions but can't bring myself to pay someone else to do something I usually have no problems with on my own!

      -Zee

      Delete
  6. Did they announce the changes? Nevertheless, it's not the smartest move from them. I also just checked it on Amazon, and never had I seen rating this bad on a product. Also, I've read complaints about on other blogs as well. Seems like they're losing a lot of customers...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if they made a big announcement about the changes. I think that if they did it would have been like cutting their own sales in half on their own. I'm sure that they will be losing lots of customers this year because of it.

      Delete
  7. I use freetaxusa.com, they have business form for rental. Walk you through different tip to save money. At the end, I pay 6$ for audit assist. I've paid it every year, I consider it my donation for their good work to keep the site going. I've used turbo taxes before, they claim it's free if you have the soft ware, then they make you pay to download state tax software. After that if felt like I got robbed. No more turbo. Freetaxusa is great. User friendly. You don't miss anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a great alternative, I'll have to check it out.

      Delete