Rated 3 out of 5 by cattleSchF USDA grant: Cost-Sharing exclusion needs help
I have used Turbo Tax for many years and consistently have to go online to research items on the Schedule F for details. I would really like to see an improvement in the help section on certain items pertaining to Schedule F. For instance, the complete instructions for USDA EQIP grants and the Cost-Sharing exclusion is not explained. In recent years, farmers are receiving these larger EQIP grants and it would be a shame for them to include these amounts in other taxable income without knowing about the possibility of them reducing the amount of income using the Cost-Sharing Exclusion (IRC 126). Turbo tax puts these in the taxable grant section but this should be on Schedule F, lines 4a and 4b. Even the questions section from another cattleman asking a question pertaining to USDA grant was unanswered on your webpage. Maybe Intuit should invest in a tax expert regarding Schedule F and it's many special circumstances that come up each year.
Since we are going to be required to upgrade to access Schedule F next year (this year was free#, please consider investing in an expert#s) for Farmer's tax guidance.
February 15, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by ANdrew40324 I still like the product, but if there are the same problems next year with the updating, I am going to go through the pains of transferring information and using a different product. I understand that software can have problems, but when there is an entire year to get the system set up to allow the software to update, there shouldn't be a problem when software is purchased off of the shelf and brought home and wont update.
I also think that for the options where information is entered or a check box is entered, that should remain checked unless it is changed. It might seem trivial, but when going back through to check or verify information it is an inconvenience to have to recheck a check box or enter information again regardless of how insignificant the change or entering information may be.
I would also like to see the addition of a outline format of the options or steps that are next laid out to the side so that when going back to recheck information, it could easily be referenced to see where I am at in the process of completing the tax return.
Thanks for taking the time to review my feedback.
February 14, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by NicknameRon Several years ago, 17 at least, I sent for and received a free tax accounting CD. Just for fun, I took my last years tax return and used the CD to fill in the information my accounting firm had provided, making the CD return look like the actual tax forms I filed. I realized that the multiple page document my accounting firm would send as a questionnaire, and wanted me to fill out, was nothing more than the same questions as posed to me in the CD. Why pay them the huge fee when I have done most of the work for them? They don't have the receipts or records, only we do. As a former Accounting major with 2½ yrs of college accounting behind me, I also knew that the accountants could only work with the information I provided them. Leave something out, they don't know about it. So they can only depend on the information I provide. So I started using Turbo Tax, and answered their questions as the program progressed. You answer them honestly, and by using Quick Books I have fine tuned reports so that all I have to do is click the report I needed to give me the figures for input to Turbo tax. Print off any supporting documents, and soon your tax return is done. I love it, especially when I'm done for the year.
March 23, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by TaxTrix Frustrating Experience
I got all the way to clicking the transmit forms and spent the next 4 hours trying to accomplish that task!
I use a MAC and my first failure was "validation". After looking up help on the TurboTax page I saw other MAC users had this problem. The fix was, Close program, Empty Trash, Reboot. No fix for me. May have to try several times says help. On the third try it work! Now I get "transmission failed". Back to the help and I'm given three fixes that may work alone or in concert. Close program, Empty Trash, Reboot. Nope, next try. Open from Apps, Update, Close program, Empty Trash, Reboot. Still nothing. Clean uninstall, Empty trash, Reinstall, Update, Close program, Empty Trash, Reboot. Nothing. At this point I am ready to just mail the taxes in, but I think of one more thing. No one has this documented anywhere, the help people never mentioned it, but what the heck do I have to lose?
I sent the Federal in separate from the State - Not Usually Done TurboTax tells me - but they BOTH go thru individually, first try! Man what a process to go through! I will still use TurboTax next year, but remember to transmit them separately!
February 10, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Attai Excellent Software
I've been a TurboTax user for more than 15 years. Prior to using TurboTax, I manually prepared my return, then I used various other packages on the market. I found TurboTax to be the most accurate. In 2011, I became ill and remained so until the end of 2014. During that time, I did not file any returns, and requested a transcript from the IRS for each year. Due to reactions to medicines, my memory is not what it was, and TurboTax has been fantastic. Of course, I was forced to use the step-by-step interview (whereas I never used it exclusively unless there was a new tax situation) to complete each of my returns. Without the step-by-step assistance, I would have forgotten so many deductible items. Thank you TurboTax. After completing so many years in a row, it seemed as though TurboTax got better each year. It included the new tax laws that were put in place during the respective years and it prompted me for information. While I have always recommended TurboTax to others, I have really shared with others how TurboTax's step-by-step assistance was invaluable and removed my confusion about tax preparation for each of my undone returns.
February 18, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by MENIT information highway with cruise control
I always prepared my returns by hand on paper with a carbon sheet (anybody know what those are in today's world?) in between forms. Yes I'm serious! In the past few years Turbo Tax has made this time of year so enjoyable. Not because we are fortunate to receive refunds, but because the software DOES the WORK basically for you!! If you become confused, it doesn't last due to the "help" icons. If you forget entering info, simply click on the correct tab and presto right where you need to be! If you want to observe the form currently working on, just click on "switch to forms" check out info, then back to "step by step" & continue filing. Once you've completed "guide me through everything " personal income & deductions
if you need to edit a figure or make a change, simply click "I'll choose what I want to work on" and correct the source. I so enjoy preparing my returns now. Of course I still make mistakes, but guess who catches them during "run Review"? Yup, I recommend Turbo
Tax to all, even the most apprehensive computer fearing individual.****Will use until no longer need to file**** or, God forbid...they no longer make the program James M
March 9, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by AviatorGuy The most efficient way to do your taxes for the $.
You spend all your time getting all your records together and organized to take them to a guy who says he'll get you the "most refund" only to find it costs you $300-$600 because every form is extra beyond the 1040EZ. Getting all your stuff together is 90% of the job. TurboTax does what your guy does for a fraction of the price.
The downside to the program is if you run into a tax question you can't answer you have little recourse. If you don't understand the answers in the pop up boxes or the IRS instructions, which are written for CPAs to understand, all you have left is the Community Forum. Unfortunately, due to it's nature, it could take days to get an answer when you need it now. I had the same question as someone else on the Forum and he hadn't had an answer in 16 days. TurboTax needs a better solution to this.
The program also needs an Auto Save function that saves your data every 10 minutes or so. I spent 6 hours working on my return and the program crashed. I had to start all over again. You can probably imagine how happy I was about that.
I absolutely hate doing my taxes every year but TurboTax makes it a little more palatable.
February 24, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Bryansix Mostly positive but still incomplete
TurboTax is still the best option out there for filling taxes. However there are some things that need improvement. In addition, there are some things that Intuit just needs to stop doing.
I bought the Home and Business edition which is the most expensive edition for filling personal returns. Since this is the case, I would expect it to handle the entirety of the tax code. This is not the case. There are still tax situations that came up which Turbo Tax did not handle and actually forced me to go to the IRS website, download the form, fill it out myself, and attach it to my return.
Specifically Turbo Tax gets confused dealing with Trusts and Royalties. These used to be uncommon but now are very common types of investments that are widely held by the public and traded on public exchanges.
Intuit also needs to stop offering for people to be able to pay for the next year's version in advance since they know very well that they charge more than the going rate of the software from major retail websites. Why would anybody want to pay more than they would have otherwise AND have to shell out that cash a full year in advance? If they are going to continue this offer, at least give a discount of 15% or more.
March 22, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by BABT5678 Need version for retirees
I bought deluxe and was very disappointed to discover a tiny royalty check required me to consider myself a business and file using Home & Business at an additional $40 - more than the royalty! Almost all questions and steps are geared towards people currently working rather than retirees - I highly recommend you develop a package geared to retirees and that would include publishing royalties as a minimal thing and not a premium cost version. Even your list of "life changes" on this survey do not include "retirement" as a job change...it should be included in the examples.
I was also very disappointed this year not to be able to see and print before starting the e-file process...I'm asked to confirm all the forms are correct before I get to a step to see or print or save the forms - had to jump around (with great difficulty). I also miss the nice navigation abilities from previous year versions - this year was terrible for navigating. Each year I am finding TurboTax less and less user friendly, much to my dismay.
The wording on the final steps is very misleading, as it sounds like the e-filing is happening way before it actually is.
Enough for now.
March 10, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Nder 2014 - :-/
The home office deduction feature changed from 2013 and 2014 didn't allow inputs of office areas, utility cost etc...and I couldn't determine how it came up with a deduct, which was twice the previous year. I assumed it used the standard $5.00 / SF allowance, but no obvious way to determine how it calculated the deductions...so have fingers crossed.
Here is how I would recommend making the product better.
Start the process by importing previous years information. Ask a few questions to determine if there have been any major life changing events that would impact tax forms.
For those who have already used the product it would be so much easier to start by calling up last years forms and just inputting the new numbers in the old forms. Then have a method of get detailed assistance at each cell if needed.
I believe most peoples tax situation doesn't change every year and to go thru the long drawn out hand held process, although nice the first couple of times, becomes too slow and inefficient in this fast paced world.
Even with it's clumsiness, still so much better than the old method of getting the forms and IRS documents and trying to figure it out yourself.
March 14, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by chrisjc123 Could probably do it faster on paper
It seems like every year the product just gets further and further away from being 'easy' to use. I find myself spending more time on the forums trying to find out why the program is behaving in a particular way. My 2 biggest problems this year where; 1) the program incorrectly reports the amount of my previous year's state refund. Just to be clear, I'm importing last years return to start and also importing data from Quicken. So the correct information is available, just not being used my TT. And this is the second year the same problem has existed and not been corrected; 2) the program doesn't prompt for you to import your regular income items. It prompts to import your business income, but never for your personal income.
So those 2 items are pretty important. Then there's general wonky performance issues like not being able to click into certain imported fields to adjust them if you've realized the imported data wasn't up to date. Some forms just won't let you edit a value, even though they are supposed to be user entered, it forces you to go back to EasyStep to change it.
I think this is the last year for me using this product. There's too many alternatives out there now that are worth of consideration.
March 22, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by pat2008 Smooth and easy
Turbotax is a nice, easy-to-use program that makes filing taxes very efficient. I do not understand how anyone can spend hundreds of dollars on an accountant when you can just do it yourself in a short time with Turbotax.
I used to do the "interview" where they ask every question necessary and I just gave the answers. But now I know what is coming, so I prefer the self-selection of topics: They give you a list of all possible sources of income (W-2, dividends, etc) and you just select each one and fill in your details. And you can ignore the stuff that doesn't apply to you, like lottery winnings. Of course, it can contact essentially all your financial institutions and get the information, although I prefer to hand-type.
The bugs that never go away: I was ready to file and once again it told me that I need to answer a question on Form H, which it never mentioned before. It doesn't say what the darn Form H is, or even what the question is. So I have to figure out how to show the form, figure out what question needs to be answered, and then go back to the "check for errors" page. (It turns out that was the Household employees form, even though I usually have no household employees.) The other difficulty is if you have a second property and want to claim those taxes as a deduction. For some reason, that can only be put into the form itself, although this year that was easier.
March 24, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by ReviewerNo44 Pretty good
This was my first time doing my own returns since ages ago when I was in college and could file 1040EZ. I decided to try out TurboTax this year because I had heard so many good things about it and I am never excited to pay the accountant his fee. This is moderately easy to walk through, but time consuming. There were a couple of questions that I thought should have been automatic (for example, Did you pay any student loan interest?), but instead I had to search for them and the section wasn't apparent. The tasks/steps required to report local tax paid that is NOT withheld on your W2 was very clunky and a little confusing. I also think this should be streamlined right up front. When you're asked about the withholding entering in the W2 information, I think TurboTax should be set up to then branch off and ask, Were you required to pay local taxes out of pocket? and then allow the person to enter the amount paid. I was panicking about being able to enter this and had to find a way to do it using the help feature. Overall, my experience was good. The software (I bought a CD from a retailer) was easy and quick to install, the UI is clean and easy to navigate and I didn't run into any glitches.
February 28, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Anonymous2015 Made the dreaded taxes easy
I have a pretty challenging tax situation with a W-2, lots of 1099s, my own small business on top of a regular job, itemized deductions and the sale of stocks, mutual funds, etc. I used to do my own taxes, but it just became too complicated to understand all the new tax laws and changes. I consider myself "thrifty", so I didn't want to spend a lot on tax preparation by hiring a CPA or a tax firm to do my taxes for me. Besides, there's satisfaction in "doing it myself"! TurboTax makes it easy because you don't have to understand tax law or high finance to be able to do your own taxes. The program gives you the choice to let them walk you through each step or if you know what you are doing, it allows you to pick only the sections that you know you need. It also has a reference section if you have questions, or you can chat with live assistance if needed. I love that it shows your tax refund or what you owe as a running total as you complete various sections of the program, so you are not surprised at the end. My state has a state income tax, so since TurboTax incorporates all information from the federal to the state return, there is no duplication of work. TurboTax also accesses past returns' information, so again you don't have to retype the basic information year after year. I'm hooked! I'll use it again next year!
March 23, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Momma06 Shocked Me Refund
Over all I love this software for preparing my tax. It breaks down the new tax laws and answers most tax questions very well. As an accountant I recommend Turbo Tax to first timers because of its ease of use and clear, concise explanation of tax questions. However this year I received the shock of my life when I completed my tax return only to click one box and have the whole thing messed up and my refund disappear. I literally lost my appetite and my peace. It took me two days to ensure everything was correct so you can image how I must have felt. It turns out that the problem was a box that needed to be unchecked or checked when verifying profit or lost in your business but the box that needed to be checked was under a different heading that most business owners or seasoned program users of TurboTax would just pass over. Cuz it doesn't apply to most businesses. I found the answer to my problem through TurboTax Blog and I wasn't the only one having this problem.
I would not recommend TurboTax Online for anybody doing business and personal tax together. Access to forms and the need to correct them is limited.
I was happy with my refund and very glad that TurboTax made filing information from Obama Care very easy.
February 26, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by DaveAx TTHB Mac 2014 Review
Overall, the product -- which I've used for over a decade -- does exactly what I need in an efficient and well-organized manner.
It is especially good when used in conjunction with Quicken, once you have set up the latter in terms of tax categories so that data flows properly into the return.
There are three issues I've noticed:
1) On the first page, the program offers a link to the Quick Employer Forms website for generation of 1099-MISC and related forms. This link needs to be available elsewhere in the program, especially when working on business expenses for Schedules C and E. If you have forgotten where it's located, it's very hard to find, and is not referenced in the program's help system or documentation.
2) Once you have begun to enter and edit data for a return, the program takes an exceptionally long time to quit -- over five minutes. This is true even if the user has saved all data prior to entering the Quit command.
3) The links with Quicken need improvement in terms of the ability to assign tax-related categories so that Quicken data will properly flow into Turbo Tax. In particular, there needs to be a way of flagging expenses in Quicken so that they can be easily entered as depreciable expenses on the tax return.
February 5, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by DilbertDan Another year with TurboTax
I've been using this since about the third year TurboTax started. It has done well for me. The more recent versions are getting confusing about which version to use for a particular situation and it is getting expensive. Business expenses get confusing in that it asks for business entries in both the business and personal income and it's confused me a few times and I've had to be careful to not double list income or have double count of business deductions. A couple areas that are very vague in definition did not have a TurboTax help option. The State Taxes have more of this issue then the Federal. In some fields if you need to get rid of an erroneously made entry it does not have a "delete". If you blank the field and continue in it at least two cases that I had, it comes up as a review error. The only way to clear it for me was to go to the forms view and delete the entry. Also in the business section it pulled an business expense entry from 2013 and put it into 2014 that was only for 2013 and it showed up in Federal Review as an error. Had a real challenge finding it and finally just deleted it in the forms view. Despite these, TurboTax has been good and is much better than either trying to do it manually or paying for a tax preparer.
March 6, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Bob3406 Software Issues - Deluxe + Home & Business 2014
Started with the Deluxe version for WIN (CD mailed to the house) which I've been using for years with no issues. For 2014, Fed Schedule C was not part of the Deluxe version, but TT offered a free upgrade to Home & Business to cover this. Had issues with downloading Home & Business (wanted to charge me for it), so I had to go to the help desk for assistance to get the free download. Help desk pushed the download and walked me through install. Once downloaded, I was able to finish Federal OK, but couldn't start PA state. Program was stuck in a loop. Went to help desk for assistance again, who had me try several things. (1) Installed patch - didn't fix, still had loop issue; (2) uninstalled and reinstalled software - didn't fix; still had loop issue; (3) tried to push me PA State download - unsuccessful, told me to wait 24 hrs. and try again; (4) got email receipt with order number for PA download, but nothing my account downloads after 6 days, so called help desk again. Tried to push PA download again with no luck. Shared screen to verify I was looking in the right place for the download, still no luck. Finally had me open a new account with different userID and password. That finally worked and I was able to get download and complete my taxes. Total time on the phone with the help desk was around 4 hours over 3 separate calls!!
March 21, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Dennis66 TT could use use some improvements.
I like TT overall. Once all of the forms have been completed, the actually filing process with the IRS and state is smooth, easy and carefully explained at each step.
TT is available in 3 versions; online, by CD download, or online download. But, it is NOT clear that the 3 versions are slightly different. These differences should be explained. E.g., the online version doesn't have the Easy Forms.
What you are committing to when buying next year's version is VERY UNCLEAR. Just ask, do you want to buy next year's version? Then make it clear how that is done, step-by-step and when you will be charged and how - and include the pros/cons of each of the 3 options discussed above. And once someone has committed to buying, just send a reminder that they have purchased, or committed to purchase, next year's version. DO NOT send requests to purchase, download, etc. TT's promotional material, reminders, notices, advertising, etc. makes it VERY confusing. I have had to check my cc to be sure I haven't overpaid!
Using the Home & Business version allowed for getting help from a CPA on the phone at no charge. That was very helpful. Make sure people know, however, that these people are NOT giving legally binding help, i.e., the taxpayer who is filing is still responsible for the return, even if the CPA told you something wrong!
February 27, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by MomInIowa Thorough and fairly easy to use
I've used Turbo Tax for 20 years. The foundation has stayed the same so I am very familiar with how it works. I have a BS in accounting but have been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years, so each year it gets a bit more challenging for me to self-prepare because it's hard to keep up on all of the IRS rules. TT does a good job of asking you questions, but you still need to have a good understanding of what is applicable to your circumstances or not. TT has many wonderful features and is user friendly. However, the cost is beginning to outweigh the benefits so I may have to consider using a professional in a couple of years. It was extremely disappointing that TT changed the Deluxe version this year so I had to use the Home and Business version which cost a good chunk more to purchase. My tax circumstances didn't change but they removed Sch. C from Deluxe which forced me to have to upgrade. Fortunately, I think TT received numerous complaints about that and realized that was a mistake and offered to upgrade me for free this year, which was very nice. However, I hope that they will reevaluate how they will do things in the future. If I have to buy an $80+ software version and go through the pain of doing it all myself, then I will soon be taking my taxes to a professional and let them deal with it and pay them instead. It will cost me more, but it will be so much simpler for me.
March 22, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Rocinante Turbo Tax Home & Business
A first-time user of Turbo Tax. I "test drove" 2014 Home & Business to compare with competitors' software and with major free-file on-line programs, using a basic individual return with Schs A and B and with one "wrinkle" - pension income without a 1099R from foreign payer that had no EIN. The step-by-step process was easy and clear, and the ability to easily change between step-by-step and "forms" mode useful. Preparing the basic individual return was easily accomplished as was the e-file process.
The software did not easily handle the one "wrinkle": the pension income from foreign payer with no EIN. A lengthy review of the FAQs provided some ideas on entering foreign address and working around the absence of an EIN. However, some FAQ answers clearly applied to earlier versions and not to 2014 version. Two calls to helpful customer service resolved the issue sufficiently to allow for e-filing. Competitor software dealt with the situation more easily, although absence of EIN is always problematic for e-filing. One free-file program dealt with the situation more easily with a separate income category for foreign compensation that was then subdivided into categories "earnings" and "pension." Perhaps Turbo Tax could incorporate something similar into its software to facilitate the reporting of foreign compensation, a situation that is becoming increasingly common.
March 9, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by POPES Long Time TurboTax User
I have been a long time user of Turbo Tax - over 10 years and generally find it to be a great, easy-to-use tax prep service. However, my biggest gripe, and the reason why I gave it 3 stars rather than 4 or 5 stars, is it's Retirement Contributions schedule.
In Turbo Tax's desire to maintain simplicity, it limits the user from properly entering and adjusting the IRA and/or Roth IRA contribution information. In my case, I needed to make an adjustment for Roth IRA contributions that were in excess of the maximum limit. Further, I needed to complete Form 5329 to report the minor amount of gains associated with the amount I took as a distribution and recharacterized as a contribution for 2015. While the gain associated with the distribution/excess contribution was small, I still had to complete Form 5329. But no matter what I tried, I could not get that form to be generated in Turbo Tax.
This is not the first time I've had frustrations with the retirement contribution schedule of Turbo Tax. They need to provide more flexibility or account for more complexity associated with retirement contributions/distributions so that people can properly complete their tax returns rather than spin their wheels and waste countless amount of time trying to get Turbo Tax to generate the proper form. In the end, I became so frustrated that I ended up filing my return without completing the form.
March 7, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by John986735421 It only took two hours
I did a Sch C business return with a large family with medical deductions and business depreciation/amortization and it took only two hours. I do this every year so I know what I'm doing but a professional could do this in 1 hour I bet so why do they charge hundreds of dollars (800.00) to do what is obviously so easy for them to do when it does not require a 6 year degree to do this.
That hardest part of doing taxes is having the numbers at hand - the 1099 Misc, 1099-Int, Mortgage papers, insurance, Auto expenses and interest on loans and the new 1095-A and you have to do all that for the Tax preparer anyway so all he's doing is inputting the numbers for an fat fee. You still have to review what he has done.
Granted you have to be somewhat familiar with what it's asking - you have to know what a 1099 is and what depreciation/amortization is so it will take a lot longer if you dont know what the words mean and it's your first time but it's nothing a high school graduate cant figure out if you have a 12th grade level grasp of the English language and an above average IQ (no one thinks they are below average do they?) ;-)
I say just buy the program and give it a try and if you just cant hack it then ask for help but it's easier than you might think once you get into it. It's more productive than playing other dumb computer games. :o) And it's psychologically rewarding when your done.
March 10, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by PismoBeach Keep it simple
We are retired. We live a simple life. We own our home.
We own a farm with basic, simple inputs. We don't need Schedule C, or "Home and Office".
We have simple investments. We don't need "Professional".
It took over 2 hours with help from customer and technical service to download these "free" upgrades.
Many forms on the Mac program go too low on the page so that clicking on the "Continue" button is hidden behind the tool bar.
Overridden data on worksheets should NOT be flagged when E-filing; it was done for a good reason where the assumptions built into Turbo-Tax are not valid.
Why not provide all forms in the basic version of Turbo-Tax, even if you feel you must remove program capabilities? They are free at the Post Office.
In the future, I may elect to fill out Schedule D and F manually, then append them to my Turbo-Tax return with Overrides.
The "It's Deductible" portion of the program is quite valuable. However, it used to allow both automatically valued items and manually valued items in the same list. I often find several items on the "It's Deductible" list but then have 1 or 2 for the same donation on the same date that do not appear on the list. Of course, there are "work arounds", but then the inputs do not match what was actually done.
Overall, despite shortcomings, Turbo-Tax is best choice. Just try not to get too cute by complicating forms, options, etc. too much.
March 13, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by MCSC Much poorer than previous years
Continue to like the way the program walks you through sections that may be confusing, like being able to import data from financial institutions, like state and federal reviews.
Had the problem of needing Premier due to investment income - that should never have been pulled from Deluxe. I will be claiming my refund, but I think that should have been done automatically for long term customers.
I had a lot of trouble being able to edit sections that needed revisions this year, including investment details, business expenses (specifically business use of vehicle section), and navigating to sections I wanted to access individually. Also, I hate it that when you do want to go back to a section the program does not hold on to answers previously given, so you have to input them all over again.
Finally, I could not find any information on the security provided when storing returns in the Cloud but had to answer the question whether I wanted to store my return in the Cloud. I did it, but I am still not sure it was a good idea.
I have used Turbo Tax for almost 2 decades, and every year I like it less. I am knowledgeable about taxes, and the way the program is designed now, it is harder for me to check to be sure I think the data and the way the program handles it are accurate. Frankly, if it weren't for the ease of pulling in prior year data, I would probably have looked for a different option this year.
March 19, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by RamonW Business & Home
Have been using turbo tax for a number of years and the 2014 for Business and Home was the worst ever. It does not provide instructions and what instructions are provided are unclear. Links files that should not be linked and does not link some information that needs to be linked. For in-kind business sales or transactions, there are no explanations or instructions at all. Regarding Part A Medicare deductions you must visit IRS to find instructions or definitive guidance. When you get to review you should run review several times to make sure it has caught any errors. Ran review 4 times and got 4 different responses each time. Still not comfortable that it properly reviewed return. Turbo-tax advertises on-line assistance and help.....don't believe it. The help mostly offered by Turbo-Tax comes from a blog of users with opinions, some answers no better than mine. Need expert help here, not guesses or opinions. We all know you cannot use logic when dealing with IRS and the tax code. All in all this is the worst software Turbo-Tax has ever produced. Cannot recommend it to a new user. Will seriously consider using a tax accountant for 2015 and forego the headaches I incurred this year. Took about 18 hours in total to enter everything and once had to go back and delete information that is entered up front and then asked for a second time. If entered the second time, all bets are off on what you get.
March 14, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Lars0099 TurboTax did the Right Thing
As a long-term TurboTax (TT) user and advocate, I was pretty unhappy to find out that TT was charging an upgrade for services that were in prior years part of TT Deluxe (one-person business, and capital gains, for example). TurboTax did the right thing, however, in reversing this policy and offering - at no additional charge - all capabilities that I have been used to in the TT Deluxe edition. I very much hope and anticipate that all capabilities will be resident in the 2015 TurboTax DELUXE edition.
This year, I had several once-in-a-lifetime situations, which TurboTax unfailingly guided me through. Significant medical expenses, first year of retirement and Social Security, paying off the mortgage early, and selling an inherited house were several of my 2014 situations. The TT help database was very helpful in filling in the details.
The proper place to input our long-term care insurance premiums has always given me fits, but TT instructions seem to have improved for LTC this year.
I also like the capability to pull down year-end statement (1099) data directly from our financial institutions. This really minimizes the chance for error.
I am a little disappointed that TT did not import data from our 2013 file, r.e. a POST-tax IRA contribution that I made in 2013. This impacts the IRA's basis, of course. Since I converted this IRA to a ROTH IRA in 2014, I had to refer to my old printed returns to compute the basis of the IRA. This seemed a bit more manual that it needed to be, if TT had simply imported the IRA data from 2013.
March 10, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by danw40aaa TT2014 & 2013 return - awesome above & beyond spt
I have used Turbotax for many years now.
I had a serious problem downloading updates in 2013 and what was happening was that the downloads would go to 60-80% and hangup. Intuit went the extra mile to help me spending several hours on the phone with me to attempt to troubleshoot the issue and finally offered me the online version to allow me to finish my taxes (successful).
It turns out the problem was not with the Turbotax product or their website after all (what I suspected); my Linksys router had a software bug that manifested most obviously with the TT updates. Eventually I noticed the problem with other large downloads as well.
Once I was aware of the problem, reflashed my router firmware and the problem went away; I was able to download updates to my 2013 tax return after that.
The problem did not manifest on my 2014 return (thankfully!) and I finished my fairly complex return inabout 6 elapsed hours, including gathering and organizing all the paperwork.
My only criticism would be that my state return did not have same level of prompts and helps that the federal had. I could figure out most of it but there were a couple places where I was unsure about my entries. The rest of the experience was fine.
Bugfixes and updates are very smoothly performed and easy for the end user.
I am taking the time to write this detailed account of my experiences as a way of thanking Intuit in return for their
excellent support. Spending a few minutes doing this is the least I can do in return for their efforts last year on my behalf.
Good job Intuit!
February 14, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by JEFFinWISC Occasionally Confused
I've used TurboTax for many years and am not unfamiliar with accounting and finance. I do admit to being "challenged" when it comes to doing certain taxes especially in the finer details of "what are they thinking and what is the point of all this". With that said and knowing that my personal taxes can be and are complicated, I'd like to see more examples in the "Explain This" area with the associated math and, many times, showing the source of these numbers that they are alluding to. I think TurboTax is lacking here.
In another area, I'd like to see the name of the tab page that I'm working on to match or somehow be cross referenced to the name in the Topic List. This would be useful when I want to go back and check on something that I've been through before but would like to review. It's a "from" the Topics list to the Page more than from the Page to the Topics List issue. It would have saved me lots of time instead of the hunt through the list and then hunt again until I found what I needed but oftentimes under a somewhat different title. Minor issue?...Maybe, but I sure killed a lot of time looking for the right pages/tabs.
Example 1: Topic List says Cars and Personal Property but when selecting and going to the associated page, the title becomes Cars and Other Things You Own.
Example 2: Topic List says You and Your Family but associated page is titled "Money-Saving Credits Related to Your Family.
Some or many times they are the same but why not always?
I think most will agree that taxes are not always simple or straightforward but anything that can clarify and simplify would get my vote and that's why I can only give TurboTax a "Fair" rating. Prior years I would give it a Good to Excellent rating but this year I can't justify it.
March 9, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 I wanted to scream
I truly wish that I had a viable alternative to this program. Intuit is becoming the new MS, in my books - after you've bought into their SW world, they deliver lower and lower quality.
PROS: TurboTax fills in a lot of information from past years. That saves a lot of time, especially in figuring depreciation etc.
ItsDeductible feature allows you to easily figure out valuations for donations of goods.
CONS: Requires updating Mac OS each year. However, Quicken no longer works with the new OS. So much for using Quicken in conjunction with TurboTax.
There are numerous little errors that occur. For example, my wife and I both use our two cars for business. TurboTax ends up entering the property tax fully on both of our Schedule Cs, as well as on Schedule A, rather than simply reporting the proportional amounts on those forms as appropriate. The only way to correct the over-reporting is to go to the forms (I have been on the phone with TurboTax before about this). If you use online, you cannot access forms (at least I could not the last time I tried to use online) - apparently you have to accept whatever mistakes the program makes.
Another error: TurboTax asks if you have any educational expenses such as reported on 1098-E (student loan interest). Even if you have loan interest, you must answer "no" and then add the interest later. Otherwise, TurboTax assumes that you are a student and requires you to fill out other forms. You cannot back out, and failure to fill out the erroneous forms will lead to a later error message.
At one point near the end of filling out the entire return, TurboTax decided that I no longer existed. My income was mysteriously transferred to my wife's name. There was no way to fix this. Four hours wasted. I had to start over. About half way through the second try, TurboTax crashed. Fortunately, this time very little was lost.
March 11, 2015