Saturday, January 17, 2015

TurboTax Triggers a Revolt / Increased Charges Rattle Some Customers. Here Are Issues to Weigh.

Laura Sanders for the Wall St. Journal writes: Intuit , the maker of the popular tax-preparation software TurboTax, has infuriated many longtime users by requiring them to buy more expensive software to do their 2014 tax returns.

Starting this year, people who prepare their taxes on a personal computer can’t use TurboTax Deluxe if they want to electronically file common tax forms, including Schedule C for a business, Schedule D for capital gains and losses or Schedule E for rental property. Instead, they must upgrade to the Premier or Home & Business versions—which cost up to $30 more than the $50 Deluxe version as of Friday.
Customers with simpler returns face a similar issue: They can no longer use TurboTax Basic if they want to itemize their deductions on Schedule A, such as mortgage interest or charitable donations, instead of claiming the standard deduction of $6,200 for a single filer or $12,400 for a married couple. Now, they will need to upgrade to TurboTax Deluxe, which costs up to $30 more than the $20 Basic.
People who use TurboTax to prepare their taxes online faced similar issues last year.
As news of the change spread last week, longtime users took to the Internet to express their outrage, flooding websites with angry reactions. On Amazon.com , for example, reviewers posted more than 1,200 negative comments, complaining of “bait-and-switch” and “price gouging.” (Journal readers sounded off incomments on a blog post about TurboTax.)
“The company seems intent on fleecing the customer by increasing the price with no product improvement,” says Don Rickelman, a retired entrepreneur in Naples, Fla. In the past, he says, he has used TurboTax Deluxe to report his investments, but now, like many other users, he is considering alternatives.
TurboTax spokeswoman Julie Miller says customers surprised by the change can call the company at 800-445-1875 and “we will work with them on a case-by-case basis.”
Several who have called said they were given instant free downloads of TurboTax Premier. SNIP - the article continues @ The Wall St. Journal - click here to continue reading...

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