Photo (cc) by MrGuilt
Millions of Americans turn to TurboTax to help them prepare their taxes. But a change in this year’s desktop version of its best-selling TurboTax Deluxe has angered many users.
ConsumerWorld.org founder Edgar Dworsky said this year’s TurboTax Deluxe edition, which runs about $50, no longer includes the questions necessary to fill in Schedule C, D and E, which deal with self-employment, investments and rental income. If you want the forms, you’re forced to upgrade to other versions of TurboTax at a cost of $30 to $40.
What a clever ploy. Yank out key parts of the program that people have used for years, and then charge them more money to get back the missing pieces. Imagine the reaction of perhaps millions of regular TurboTax users who may learn partway through doing their taxes that they have to pay an upgrade fee just to get the same functionality they’ve always enjoyed. They are not going to be happy.
Dworsky is right. Many TurboTax customers are irate. Check out some of their comments on Amazon here, where 486 of the 598 reviewers give the program a dismal one-star rating.
One particularly vocal customer, who calls himself “M in SC,” titled his one-star Amazon review of TurboTax Deluxe, “I hate being gouged, and I hate weasel word explanations even more.” He said he has been a satisfied TurboTax customer since the 1990s, but he would give the 2014 edition of TurboTax Deluxe zero stars if it were possible.
According to NBC, Intuit said the changes were necessary to provide “consistent product functionality” across its various platforms. The online version of the program had the change in place before the desktop version.
TurboTax spokesperson Colleen Gatlin told NBC News the company has been “very proactive” in letting people know what’s going on. “The majority of the customers who understand the changes are OK with it,” she said.
SavingAdvice.com said H&R Block is offering a free copy of its deluxe tax software to consumers who have purchased TurboTax and are frustrated with its changes. Many of the forms and schedules that are missing from this year’s TurboTax Deluxe version are still included in H&R Block’s tax software. SavingAdvice.com said:
This isn’t an official offer which can be found [on] the H&R Block website, but an email campaign. For those who have already purchased TurboTax Basic or Deluxe and who would like to try the H&R Block tax software, they can email H&R Block at [email protected] – the following information must be included to get the software:
• Name, address and phone number.
• Type of operating system in use (Windows/Mac).
• A photo, scan or email showing proof of TurboTax Basic or Deluxe purchase.
A TurboTax spokesperson told CBS Philly that TurboTax has provided free upgrades to some of its customers who complained.
Do you use TurboTax? What do you think about its changes to the desktop version of the new TurboTax Deluxe? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.