Sunday, February 04, 2007

Goodbye TurboTax

After using TurboTax for 10 years, I've had enough. This year's version is terrible. I tried to start my taxes this morning and had nothing but trouble:
  • The automatic updates failed. Had to download the manual updater. Reviews on Amazon indicate this a common problem.
  • When I tried to import some information from a brokerage, I got a "not available right now, try again later" message. I tried again and it worked. I think I mistyped my password the first time. The error messages should tell you the real problem.
  • The basis calculation for mutual fund sales is completely broken. I had to enter it 3 different ways to get Turbo Tax to recognize the basis is not zero. The "Assist Me" option seemed like the easy one but it does not let you enter the data in the form you get it from brokerage. It insists on a date for each purchase lot which is a nightmare with reinvestments then it wants the average cost basis per share. My statement has average cost for the entire sale. It's easy to convert but I shouldn't have to when I plunked down $75 bucks for the program.

    Even after conversion, the actual tax form still showed 0 for the basis. I noticed this problem since TurboTax's mistake was causing the tax bill indicator to be way to large. It's disturbing that if the amount in question had been smaller, I might not have noticed and paid too much tax. So I tried enter it myself and if you tell TurboTax the shares were purchased on "multiple dates" and enter the information for costs, it still marks the basis as zero. I finally got it take the basis if said one date purchase datawhich would mean I was submitting bogus tax information. What's even more infuriating is that entering "various" for the dates doesn't work even though my understanding is that the IRS is fine with grouping multiple purchases into one sale if you respect the long term / short term boundary.

After all this I've lost confidence in TurboTax and am switching to TaxCut. The last think is I need is audit because I used piece of tax software that is very buggy. The good news is that TaxCut is much cheaper and I don't have spend half hour trying figure out which the zillion different additions I need like I do with TurboTax. I very glad TaxCut released a Mac version this year.


Bob Meighan said...

Thanks for your feedback on using TurboTax. I regret that you had a difficult time, but I can assure you that your experience is not consistent with other users.

I've reviewed the Amazon reviews for this year and do not find any pattern of issues with regard to product updates.

As for computing basis, since you have what seems to be TurboTax Premier, I would have suggested you use BasisPro to automatically determine your cost basis. Nevertheless, I am not aware of any issue with using Various as the purchase date and then just entering your average cost basis.

Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

Roundhead said...

As for those that claim they were offended, too damn bad. Free speech means someone will offend you. If you think a violent mob response is justified, virtual or otherwise, because your faith is offended, you are a pathetic excuse for an American. This country was founded on the ideal of freedom and if you don't like it, you should find somewhere else to live.

Roundhead said...

[above is what Monkey-man posted on Salon, to which I respond...]

Hello Monkey man (or woman),

I had read your letters posted in sympathy of the two individuals who resigned from Pretty Boy Edwards’ campaign – after complaints from both conservative and liberal Catholics (you seem to forget).

With regard to their free speech rights, they haven’t been violated. One of them is free to publish in Salon, and I wonder if that’s a liberty granted to her opponents?

But since you are so enraged by about what you call “religious bigots”, I’m sure you were at the forefront of the campaign to ensure that certain cartoonists in Denmark to have the freedom to, as you put it, offend anyone they wish to?

Just wondering.

mfisher said...

I had the same issue that no cost basis transfered this year. Other years it worked.