TurboTax and TaxCut Are Crap

I do my taxes on my computer every year.

For the past two years, I have used TaxCut. This year, I had several unpleasant surprises:

1. It would crash hard at a particular screen in the program, every time. I finally figured out how to skip that screen. Fortunately, it didn’t pertain to me.

2. It refused to let me file because it didn’t have charitable giving ready to go yet, saying I should run the automatic update procedure. Guess what — I already did, and it installed its latest updates.

3. The state tax program for Kansas is available for Windows, but not yet for Mac. So I can’t even try to file my state taxes.

Fast and easy? I think not.

I originally switched from TurboTax because:

1. It was more expensive than TaxCut and provided no extra features

2. TurboTax would charge $10 more simply for the privilege of getting the same product for Mac

3. TurboTax tried to write to your boot sector as part of its copy-protection scheme, often rendering machines unbootable.

4. TurboTax tried to restrict how many returns one could prepare with it, even though there was no technical reason for that.

5. Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, have been known to intentionally break features of their software such as Quicken simply to force people to upgrade.

So it seems there is no non-crappy choice out there. I could go with TaxCut and get a product that is apparently unintentionally crappy. Or I could go with TurboTax, and give my dollars to a company that intentionally handicaps their software.

Either way, I’m displeased.

Perhaps I should get a slide rule and quill pen and do things the old fashioned way.

One thought on “TurboTax and TaxCut Are Crap

  1. The past three years, my wife and I have been doing things on the computer, yes, (with TaxAct, which doesn’t have a Mac version), but before that we did it by hand. (Okay, our first year we paid someone else to do it by hand, but that was because we had three different states to deal with and had to file separately for one of the states but were filing jointly the federal return. It was weird.)

    And it really wasn’t that bad. The IRS has done a very good job of simplifying their forms, even if you go through the whole 1040. Yes, you do have to take the time to read through all the directions once, but once you do, most of the burden for completing taxes (by computer or otherwise) is getting all the necessary forms and paperwork in order. Also, you can get your refund directly deposited even if you use paper filing (at least with the federal taxes), so you’ll get your money reasonably quickly so long as you drop it in the mail before the early-April rush.

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