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Monday, March 11, 2013

TurboTax steps in bucket in Minnesota

We got into it with the people who make the TurboTax tax preparation software a few years back, over the way that program handled the Oregon state income tax "kicker." The company, Intuit, defended its work tooth and nail, but it was clear that it spends a lot more time and effort on the federal tax return features of TurboTax than on the state. As well it should, from a financial standpoint -- each state represents just a small fraction of the number of federal returns filed by TurboTax customers. Still, we thought Intuit ought to increase the attention it paid to making the state programs work seamlessly for the paying customer.

Now comes word that TurboTax has made so many mistakes in Minnesota that that state is actually warning its taxpayers not to use TurboTax for state returns. And some people's refunds are being delayed. Now, that really stinks. Come on, Intuit, get off the cheap on those state programs!

Comments (5)

Be fair - I have no idea how someone could figure out a program that can stay current with all the tax games govt plays.

Since moving to Texas I don't have that issue any more. Oh, and I already did my taxes, did use TurboTax and already got my refund - but that's just me.

The real solution is for each state and the Feds to send each paying unit a draft tax form, filled out, that contains all the data they have about you already (W-2 earnings, 1099 forms, student loans, HSAs, etc) and the you review it.

If it's all correct, you sign the return, request your refund or enclose a check, and send it back.

If there's missing info, you add it, revise the numbers, and proceed as above.

And if you want to start with a clean form, just ignore the draft and file your taxes the way you like best, as now.

The Feds would go first, making their data available to the state revenue departments in January so that the states (like Oregon) who base their taxes on the federal returns can compute the drafts.

For a vast number of returns, this would simplify and speed up the process, and save billions of hours.

I think you have this backwards. Isn't it up to the states to conform their laws to what TurboTax calculates?

I dropped TurboTax this year as they stopped supporting older macs. Trying my luck with H&R Blockheads. Wish me luck!

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