Why do I do it to myself? Every year I buy TurboTax again, so I can import my previous years’ data. No longer. Next year, I swear to break the chains of this bondage.
What’s that? I’ve grown to hate TurboTax. Once, in the deep dark ages of tax software, I used Parson’s Taxedge and the the software was a dream to use. Easy, accurate, simple.
Then Bob Parsons sold out to Intuit. I bought TurboTax because it swore it could import my previous yea’s data seamlessly.
The next few years were slightly better, but every year for the past five years or so, TurboTax has gotten progressively worse.
Last year, it stumbled on importing data from its own format from the previous year.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
First thing out of the chute, it refused to install un;ess I installed Microsoft’s abortion of a browser, Internet Exploder, the World’s Crappiest Browser.
Then, TurboTax wanted to update itself. Fine. Except… unlike ALL other internet-aware applications I have installed on the computer I installed TT on, it alone could not find an internet connection.
Quit TT. Opened it again. NOW it finds a connection! Stupid Intuit piece of crapware.
So, started importing/inputting data. Came to my Wonder Woman’s W-2. “Import!’ said I. Nope. TT can’t find an internet connection. WTF?!?!? It found it for updates, so what’s the deal? Called Intuit. Oh, had to
1. register to obtain an incident number.
2. get an email with a link to my incident number/telephone support number.
Kinda lame, but OK.
Called. 35 minutes on hold, switched to a support person and… CLICK… dropped!
Meanwhile, I’d finished my return. Hmmm… something funny. Several hundred $$$ more than I expected in a refund (I aim for having just the right amounts witheld, if possible).
Reopen TT. Wants to update again. Let it. Can’t find a connection.
Open TT (By now I’ve learned). Wants to update. Let it. It updates.
Open return. WTF?!?!? MANY hundreds of $$$ OWED, now (OK, within $7 of $1,000. You do the subtraction.)
From more tha expected in REFUND to nearly $1,000 OWED after a second update of the software.
Saved return. Closed TT.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Started a NEW return. Input same data. Now owe $115. Not bad. In fact, more in line with what I was expecting to begin with (a little, wee, tiny boost in income from non-witholding sources over and above what I’d allowed for leading into 2007).
OK, move on to State.
WTF?!?!? $1,100+ OWED? This can NOT be right!
Downloaded the interactive pdf from the state. Figured taxes in 10 minutes using data from my federal return. Nice REFUND (hadn’t figured some changes in state law into witholding plan in 2007, so we get some non-interest-paying money back from the brigands at the state capitol *heh*).
Never really figured what was going on w/TT, but after closing/reopening/(no internet connection for updates)/closing/reopening/updating/back in state return, finally TT agreed with the interactive state return.
If you’re doing your taxes with TurboTax 2008 and have more than one or two sources of income, you had better recheck your results with several different tools, several different ways, IMO.
Yet another reason to get behind The Fair Tax. Imagine: no more TurboTax! *heh* Almost as wonderful a phrase as “No more IRS!”
(Update & Aside: my state has done something right. If income taxes must be levied, at least make compliance easy. Just so: well-designed, fill-in-the-blank, auto-calculating pdf files that can be saved with the data one inputs, printed, mailed. Sure, I could have used one of the IRS-approved (or so it seems to imply) “free” tax sites to do my state taxes (my fed is too complex for any I looked into), but why, when I can get the material straight from the horse’s mouth? Good stuff. Well, about as good as income taxes *spit* get.)
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