Is Trbo Tax Deluxe 2008 a dud this year?

maryland_irismanFebruary 11, 2009

Is it me or is Turbo Tax Deluxe for 2008 loaded with errors and problems this year? I have used it in the past and it loaded, got me my updates and downloaded the State version with no problems. This year, it won't get updates, won't download the state version. When I call them, I have to wait 45 minutes just to get someone in India I can't understand. To top it off, they can't reolve the various problems...anyone else?

Thanks

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hendricus

I go with TaxAct, nary a problem and only $20 for the deluxe version with state and a free e-file.

I used to use a tax program and checkbook program from a company in Iowa. Then Intuit bought them out and placed restrictions on what kind of check formats you could use, only theirs. So, I dumped the whole works and never looked back. In my opinion Turbo Tax only wants to place as many programs with as little work as possible.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:03PM
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randy427

I had no problem with TT2008 updates. Even faster than the past two years. Maybe you tried at a time when their system was bogged down with a lot of traffic.
I haven't gone for the state version or tried their help line.
YMMV
R3

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 6:03PM
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rivkadr

We had no problems with Turbo Tax Deluxe when we used it last week. It ran the updates quickly, and downloaded the state version in a matter of seconds.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:40AM
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maryland_irisman

Thanks for the feedback!!! You may be right, the servers may have been busy at the time. I'm still a bit apprehensive about the support issues but I guess that's a norm these days. I'll be working with it this weekend so we'll see what happens. I'll look at TAXACT also to see if it will do all my stuff. I also bought a version of TAXCUT and we'll see what goes with that too. I'm not in the tax prep business but it seems the whole family (big family)has me doing theirs. I'm either doing a good job getting everyone refunds or, a bunch of people are going to get locked up after a tax audit :) My stuff gets pretty complicated with lots of different forms and schedules and TURBOTAX has always been great pulling the forms and populating them. I was audited last year and IRS determined there were no discrepancies or errors...all without need for representation. The only question they really had was how I came up with various figures. When I explained TurbTax did the calcs, a week later I rec'd the letter from them all was ok. With that said, you can see why I lean toward TurbTax.
Thanks again fo your feedback!!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:28AM
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annie1956

I've done my own for years with Taxact - last year I decided to try TurboTax since everyone was talking it up. And came up inputting it all in TurboTax & HRBlock - all with different results. I don't remember which one I ended up "picking" but here I am trying it again. (BTW - I'm starting with the free one).
Taxact is coming out my Fed refund is $1672, TurboTax Fed refund $1710 - the state refund's are farther apart Taxact $1359, TurboTax $1456. I am pretty basic here - 1 w-2, DH SSDI, mortgage interest, 2nd mortgage interest, real estate tax, minimal 1099-int, charitible contribution & medical expenses $5286. Total income $85k. The only thing I can think is that they are looking at the medical deductions differently though I put them in the same way.
So???

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:14AM
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marzhere

Annie1956,

Best thing would be to print the forms from both applications and compare them line by line. Thus, you may be able to identify where the difference(s) are.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:56AM
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steve_o

Best thing would be to print the forms from both applications and compare them line by line. Thus, you may be able to identify where the difference(s) are.

And realize that even human accountants will interpret the rules differently and come up with different numbers. :-p

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 6:20PM
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jlhug

The "big names" in tax prep software are "vetted" and approved by the IRS to insure that they conform to current tax law. If your return is as basic as you say, there shouldn't be any gray areas subject to interpertation.

Do what Marzhere says, print all the various tax returns and compare them line by line to your original documents and each other.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2009 at 1:37PM
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annie1956

Well, Turbo won't let you even "see" the forms until you file, Taxact will let you see the forms but not print. So I tried to do a line by line as best as I could jumping between windows. Funny thing is - Turbo has me with LESS itemized deduction total than Taxact and that's the one giving me the better refund. I checked each and all of my entries are the same. In the medical deduction Turbo didn't list DH hearing aids in with glasses & contact lenses like Taxact so I put the cost in with "medical equipment & supplies"? So I'm sill at a loss.
May I'll try H&R Block & see what I get.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:37AM
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annie1956

OK - just did H&R Block (Taxcut) with an even LOWER $1695 refund. Itemized deductions totaled out the lowest (go figure). So now I'm totally confused. I don't see how they can possibly be this different. I'm actually waiting for one more piece of paper to come in before I file. So after that one comes in we'll see - but right now I'm going with Turbotax for the more money.
-One thing on the "human" interpretaion - it's pretty hard when they try to make it pretty user friendly with question and answer, block 1, 2, etc - All I have is W-2, SSA-1099, 1099-int, 1099-div, 1098-mortgage interest, charity & medical (I keep a spreadsheet for that). That's it. Nothing big no big numbers.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:41AM
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punamytsike

"Well, Turbo won't let you even "see" the forms until you file"

Not sure what version you use, but I can see any form any time I want. This year they have added a split view when you can see both the interview and form corresponding to that at the same time. So in essence, there are 3 different ways you can see your tax forms while working on your return.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:38AM
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bethesdamadman

hendricus: "I go with TaxAct, nary a problem...."

I go with a calculator & a Number 2 pencil.

Nary a problem here either. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:54PM
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annie1956

Geez - maybe I will try it the old-fashioned way. (My DH is laughing at me but really challenging me to do it). Will post back with the results.....(this may take a while)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 4:32PM
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zone_8grandma

I've just finished filing with TT Deluxe 2008. No problems and the e-filing went faster than it has ever gone.

"Well, Turbo won't let you even "see" the forms until you file"

Sure it does as already pointed out.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:28PM
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maryland_irisman

I've heard others say the on line version of TT doesn't let you see the forms until you efile, as the PC version does allow you to see them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 10:14PM
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hendricus

bethesdamadman: I go with a calculator & a Number 2 pencil.

Nary a problem here either. ;-)
________________________________________________________

I used to. Took up the dining room table for a month. Computer is so much easier, fill out one form and it places it onto any other form that is needed.

We're into standard deduction now, no mortgage, no interest and good health coverage so not enough to deduct from that. Makes life a lot simpler but it was fun. I liked it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:06PM
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jlhug

If you are taking the standard deduction, don't forget to calculate the increase in standard deduction that is allowed for real estate taxes this year.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:49AM
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hendricus

I was gonna say "huh" but I found it. Must be right after it asks if you own or rent then it asked for your property taxes. I filled it in but didn't look any further. Must be getting old and don't care anymore.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 11:25AM
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victory_tea2085

jlhug, My wife does the taxes on TT- what should she look for
concerning the increase in standard deduction? Is it easy to overlook? Regards, Paul

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:33PM
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jlhug

Sorry, I only know the software I use. I have no idea where the entry is made on other programs.

Standard deduction for married filing joint if both the taxpayer and spouse are under the age of 65 is $10,900 for 2008. The standard deduction is increased by any state and local real estate taxes you paid in 2008 up to $500 for single or $1000 for married filing jointly.

Check to see what's on line 40 of your 1040 if you take the standard deduction and are curious to see if the program calculated the increase correctly.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:08PM
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equinecpa

Two cents from a CPA: To file a return without being able to review the output is ludicrous. Even I, a professional that does many returns with high end software find data input mistakes. Just the inconsistencies in results tells me you are making input erorrs -I'd count on it. The programs are not calculating the return differently -you are somehow inputting it differently.

Seriously can you not figure out what your itemized deductions should be manually? If you can't, I think you should take your return to a professional and have them do it, and I don't consider those that set up in Walmart (Jackson Hewitt is it?) professionals. I'm not blowing my own horn here. You might be surprise how little an EA or CPA would charge you for your return. If someone brings me a couple of W-2 slips, itemized deductions and maybe interest slips, I'd probably do the return for $75.00 or so. Wouldn't the piece of mind, time savings be worth it?

Just my 2 cents worth.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:43AM
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jlhug

Add my two cents to Carolyn's two cents. I'm an EA. I just had to help someone who made an error on a self prepared return. Penalities and interest are far in exess of what I would have charged them to do the return.

So if you have ANY doubt that you have done your return correctly, call a pro. It may be cheaper in the long run.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:35AM
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maryland_irisman

Just to follow up, Turbo Tax sent me their latest and greatest updated CD. This was after continually escallating the issue. I loaded it and it's as smooth as silk. TUrbTax and TaxCut are within a few dollars of the final calculations. Based on what some of the experts here suggest, I'll go back through and see where I probably entered different info. The more I talked with TT the more I wouldn't trust the online version. I would be skeptical of putting all my personal and critical information on a server based in India...too unstable over there. To be fair about it, I wouldn't trust my personal information like that on a server here in the U.S. !!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:44PM
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raee_gw

If the difference is only a few dollars, it may come from the different ways that the programs handle your entries. I figured this out a few years ago--one of the programs rounds every entry (in a category), the other one only rounded the final total for the category--and that led to different results--but in my case the higher number took me up a step on the tax table.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 10:39PM
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maryland_irisman

raee,

I got a raise one time that did that to me, put me just into the next tax bracket. Made less money that year than if I hadn't gotten the raise!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:28PM
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mxyplx

equinecpa: You wrote:

>>Two cents from a CPA: ..... Just the inconsistencies in results tells me you are making input erorrs -I'd count on it. The programs are not calculating the return differently -you are somehow inputting it differently. ==========================================

That is not true. Compare TaxAct with TaxCut where you've bought and sold both taxable and tax-exempt bonds with acrued interest. You will find TaxAct understates the final income and therefore the tax.

Several years ago I went thru the calculation line by line with both using identical input. (Both on computer and paper). I pinpointed the exact mistake TaxAct was making. I wrote it all up clearly and concisely and sent it by US Mail to TaxAct headquarters which was in Iowa. They acknowledged my analysis; said they'd fix it. They never did.

A couple years later I checked it out again and this time emailed em. This time they denied the error. The wording of the reply showed that they did not understand the problem.

I wouldn't trust TaxAct with anything beyond simplest of returns; ie wages only with a standard deduction.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 11:32AM
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