Last year (2014), TurboTax Deluxe got slammed with bad reviews. This was mainly due to the schedules C, D, and E forms that Intuit removed and forced people to upgrade to the more expensive Premier to get them back. Basically, these forms were for people who are self-employed, independent contractors, have non-investment capital gains or losses, or own real estate that was rented out to tenants.
Intuit claimed the removal of the forms wasn’t to force Deluxe customers to upgrade to Premier, but to synchronize the desktop version with the online version. Regardless, customers viewed it as a bait and switch prompting over a thousand 1-star ratings on Amazon. If that wasn’t enough, TurboTax stopped transmitting state returns for a time due to fraud concerns; criminals using stolen identity information to hijack refunds. The company tried to make up for all this by sending out several apology letters and offering free upgrades and rebates, but the damage was still done.
This year, thankfully Intuit learned their lesson. They brought back Schedules C, D, and E to the TurboTax Deluxe version. According to Intuit’s website, the online version of Deluxe only supports schedule C (not D or E), but the download/CD version supports all three. A quick glance at the vendor’s product image on Amazon also confirms all three (C, D, and E). If that wasn’t enough, I checked the software by going to Forms > Open Form and expanding the list. Schedules C, D, and E all came up. Whew!
As for myself, I didn’t need any of those forms in 2014, so it wasn’t a problem for me. I have been using TurboTax since 2005 because it makes doing taxes much easier than printing and filling out forms manually. Sure, the direct-to-forms method is free, but TurboTax not only makes it easier and quicker, but it helps prevent mistakes (which could be way more costly down the line). I love how information is retained from the previous year and easily inserts into the new one. Work at the same place as 2014? You don’t have to mess around with retyping the 10 digit employer ID or mailing address (that is assuming you used TurboTax in 2014).
My biggest gripe, however, still remains: you are given one “free” state download, but still have to pay $20 to efile it. The Federal efile is free, but not so for state. To get around this issue I enter all my state information into TurboTax, but then print out the forms and snail mail them. Sure, I still have to pay for postage, but it’s quite a bit less.
I have yet to receive all my W-2 and giving statements, but so far the information I submitted into the desktop software has worked like a charm. 2014 data is transferred and easily comes up for reinsertion. The layout and process is nearly identical: same personal summary, refund amount status, information wizard, etc. — there’s even the same blue bar design at the top of the screen. For me, I will gladly continue using TurboTax to help minimize the annoyance of this yearly cumbersome task.