TurboTax Deluxe 2009

TurboTax Deluxe 2009

Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
2.0
out of 34 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
Not available
File Size:
Not available
Date Added:
February 24, 2010
Price:
Purchase; $59.95 to buy
Operating Systems:
Windows XP/Vista/7
Total Downloads:
32,558
Downloads Last Week:
46
Product ranking:
#9 in Tax Software
Additional Requirements:
Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Adobe Flash Player 9, Adobe Reader 8

Editors' Note: The Download Now link takes you to the site, where you can purchase and download the software.

Editors' review

Every year, Intuit adds something new to its online and desktop TurboTax tax prep software from the previous year. Since the online and desktop versions of TurboTax Deluxe 2009 are so similar, we're reviewing them together. We'll make a note when referring to just the online or just the desktop product.

Installation and setup

As with most desktop DIY tax software, TurboTax can take from 10 to 15 minutes to install, scan for updates, and download those updates before you can get started. If you're filling out your taxes online, you'll need to only wait for a secure connection to go ahead with the online product. Also as with most tax prep competitors, TurboTax can import previous year's returns from a variety of courses, and provides forms for filing amendments and extensions.

Features

One noteworthy addition in 2009 is the capability to flag a page to return to later, for instance, if you need to look up a Social Security number, but aren't ready to interrupt your work flow to get up and find it. These flags came in handy, especially in the desktop version where they're visible at all times. Flags were hidden in a drop-down menu online, making a fine feature less accessible than it should be.

TurboTax also introduces error reporting as you go. You can ignore the error flag, of course, but tending to potential problems as they arise in the interview process can make the final error check smoother and shorter. In addition, Intuit has wrapped up numerous smaller enhancements, including a tweaked interface that adds more visuals (thumb's up), a few more risk indicators in its Audit Risk Meter, and all-new recommendations to help you plan for next year's tax return.

Much more obtrusive is a summary screen that appears after you finish each segment. Having to scroll down the increasingly long list of modules you've already completed just to move on interrupts work flow on the desktop and online. (We appreciate being able to revisit sections of the tax interview, but TurboTax could just as easily add a button at the top of the summary page or use a drop-down list to fit this recurring section summary sheet on one page.)

The capability to import forms has long been a TurboTax hallmark. The program can grab W-2 details from employers using participating payroll processors, investment information from banks and brokerages like Charles Schwab (there's a long list), and data from programs like Quicken, QuickBooks, or another program that uses the TXF format. H&R Block's app can now do this too, though TurboTax continues to import forms from far more financial institutions, making it ultimately more effective for a greater number of taxpayers.

Help and support

TurboTax's peer-driven Live Community continues to supplement the FAQs, help files, and videos. The online version also gives you Tina, a digital automaton who is supposedly available for live chatting, but instead, skirts specific questions and channels you back to Live Community and Help instead. Her one use seems to be in defining error codes.

Help from the pros will cost you. Live tax advice is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST on weekdays. It costs $30 for the first 20 minutes of phone time, and $20 for each additional 20-minute block. In addition, for $40 a real person can comb your review for mistakes. While those with more complicated cases may see value in this, TurboTax's self-service prep software should be good enough on its own to obviate the need for additional eyeballs.

In case of an audit, TurboTax's free downloadable audit support center is a well-designed guide to the four audit types, and includes some templates you can send to the IRS. Or, you can pay Intuit about $40 to represent you if Uncle Sam looks askance. One-on-one audit assistance comes free with H&R Block's already cheaper application, though Intuit claims that the vast majority of audited taxpayers receive the same letter and will do fine with TurboTax's audit wizard.

Bottom line

TurboTax certainly isn't the cheapest option, but it remains the clearest-worded interview with the most broadly beneficial tax-info importing abilities. Its bundled tools make it worth the extra cost for those who don't anticipate needing personalized help.

A note on online versus desktop prep: While there's no rule, we tend to think of online tax prep as ideal for those filing individually--it's sometimes less pricey for singletons and stores your encrypted return on the provider's server. Linux users may also prefer online prep, since most makers of tax software don't program downloads for the Linux platform. Desktop prep may be better suited for families, who can file up to five Federal e-files as part of a single software license, or for those who would rather store their data locally on their computers.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    2.0

    out of 34 votes

    • 5 star: 5
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 3
    • 1 star: 22
  • Current Version:

    3.0

    out of 5 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 16

  • 1 stars

    "Cannot resell (or give away) Product after you buy it!"

    May 13, 2014   |   By ReachAMR

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    Very nice retail package and commercials

    Cons

    The user agreement prevents selling or giving away the retail store bought product! When I buy a product I own it... not the company. I cannot support a product where the company wants to own it AFTER I buy it. what is Apple did this and blocked the resale of phones?

    Summary

    Avoid - and fully read End User agreement before you purchase!

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  • 1 stars

    "It USED to be easy"

    April 19, 2014   |   By ruby2zdy

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    None anymore.

    Cons

    It doesn't let you see what you're doing. In the end it told me I couldn't e-file because certain forms (1040, Sched A, B) were being updated by the IRS. On Apr 14????? It made several mistakes in addition.

    Summary

    I hate Turbo Tax now. It used to be dependable but this year it apparently had a nervous breakdown.

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  • 1 stars

    "Absolute garbage"

    April 11, 2014   |   By nataliereid

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    While the software does not make mistake, the "user interface" is absolute garbage and tries at every other screen to trick you into storing your information with Turbo Tax

    Cons

    Terrible customer support, at times they simply stopped answering or even just said "ok, bye" and disconnected the chat. I chatted with them about 5 times and not once was my problem taken care of.

    There is a lot of PR around Turbo Tax and they try to present an image of being there. They are not, they will try to rush you through to paying for their software as quickly as they can.

    Summary

    Do not use, use a different company if you have the choice. A lot of power selling and trying to trick you into giving them information or buying a product from them.

    Do not make the mistake of filing with Turbo Tax.

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  • 1 stars

    "Big problems with entering contractor income."

    March 03, 2014   |   By pmacdonell

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    Okay if you fit easily in their predetermined categories. Oh, and don't make any mistakes or don't let them define your situation incorrectly because the software does not allow you to correct things easily.

    Cons

    This year I received income from a contractor job. I received the 1099-MISC form from that employer. I made an error in the TurboTax form and attempted to correct it. I just wanted to change the name of my contractor job. For some reason the software re-categorized me as having a home business. I do not have a home business. I cannot reiterate this enough. I was forced to upgrade to the home business version of TurboTax so I could look at what I entered. I finally did this (without paying) because I needed to look at what I entered into the form. I correct my own mistakes as well as the wrong categorization that TT made. Afterwards I was unable to downgrade without chasing down some online help. So I gave up and decided to file paper forms this year. (The 1099-MISC screwed up the H&R Block software also for other reasons.)

    Summary

    I am doing my tax returns using paper this year because it doesn't seem like the software can handle the 1099-MISC thing. Figuring this out took an entire day and I don't want to waste any more time. I'd be more than happy to pay for software that actually worked.

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  • 1 stars

    "If you use this product, you will be sorry."

    February 13, 2014   |   By radmangi

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    Ease of use

    Cons

    Intuit is hard core spammers
    Bad customer support
    Unethical business practices
    Use your personal information in fraudulent manners

    Summary

    Non-stop, relentless spam! I have asked three times to end the spam. They just laugh with a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Worse yet, we made the mistake of ordering it online two years ago. Since then, they have placed three charges on our card. They claim that we opted in for all future products and updates they deem necessary. I asked to see where that happened, on what page, what check box, where was my authorization. I am very aware of little scams like that and would have never opted into a "charge me what ever you want, when ever" attitude. They were never able to show me where I opted into this. (They call it a "service", most people call is credit card fraud). We finally had to change our credit card number to stop the fraudulent charges. We filed complaints with the Attorney General and FTC last year but our tax payer supported consumer protections serviced don't seem to work.

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  • 1 stars

    "not a honorable company"

    February 07, 2014   |   By raurod

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    agree easy to use

    Cons

    I received via email message from their Marketing department offering a $125.00 gift card If I filled out their survey, I understand fully I need to pre-qualify, other surveys I have done only have 2 - 3 questions for pre-qualification, but Intuit had me answer over 30 questions that took almost 45 minutes of my time and then they disqualified me. I answered many personal and business related questions including how turbo tax could be improved etc etc. I wrote the marketing director as well as the President of Intuit and they personally refused my payment

    Summary

    i feel cheated by a multi million dollar company that has no respect for their customers

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  • 1 stars

    "Bad customer support"

    February 03, 2014   |   By Pal_new

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    Simple return might be easy

    Cons

    There are lot of software bugs and you need to spend days(I spend 3 hr/ day for 15 days to get my money back) to get refund

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  • 1 stars

    "with turbotax i have been audited EACH year"

    April 15, 2013   |   By zydeco12

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    easier than by hand

    Cons

    since using turbotax i have been IRS audited each year. the problem always ends up with no fine no added amount...it is ALL about turbotax seeming not to do a good job on pensions and annuities. the IRS audit always says they have no record of the individual pensions or annuities. thus they audit me. they also do not recognize turbotax use of the General Rule

    there is no way to add comments to the turbotax submission which might head matters off. i wish turbotax did a better job of listing each pension and each annuity along with the individual amounts in sucha manner as to be recognized by the IRS. I wish they also used the general rule application so that it too was recognized by the IRS.

    while i HATE this aspect of turbotax, it seems the only game in town for me to use...all i have to do is bear up when i get those audit letters showing no reception of pension money, no general rule and thus a HUGE underpayment fine, interest fine and the gut wrenching IRS audit process.

    Summary

    an annual IRS audit using turbotax !!!!

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  • 1 stars

    "Want a bad time? want to be ripped off? good choice!!"

    April 14, 2013   |   By modkva

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    - Filed my taxes, not quickly, but at least THAT happened.
    - I was kept in the dark about what I was filing.
    - Pretty fluid flash animations, wow!!!

    Cons

    - Customer support? right...
    - No serious information about taxes ever displayed

    Summary

    Do you enjoy walking down a dark corridor heading to the slaughter house while being told you are doing great? Well this is your type of place!!! Turbo tax is made for the commonly found inept man who thinks there are better things to do in life besides properly filling out a form that is, well, a legal requirement for basic life in the U.S.
    You will find yourself with very pretty flash animated menus, clicking away to the most "convenient" answer to the most utterly useless questions while the software decides your choice of path down the filing way, just to find yourself paying for what should be an otherwise free service. I filed what should have been a free 1040EZ only to find out they decided I should fill a 1040A, free? I don't think so. Should I know why I am getting charged? I wish! Should there be somewhere where the criteria for each form is specified? yeah right!! Just pay online because we know best and you know nothing. Oh btw, shut up, we don't like to hear your complaints.
    They willingly omit information that is vital for you to know what your are doing, it's a blind point and shoot and you can't find out what form you have filled until you have paid in full and e-filed.
    My federal filing should have been free, it was no different as it has been for the last 7 years and I could talk to NO ONE about it. Turbo tax, booo. Two thumbs down and a flaming doodie bag on your door step.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1 stars

    "Cuts off address too short on State Returns"

    April 06, 2013   |   By smtips

    Version: Not Found

    Pros

    I have nothing good to say about an app that has such a glaring and unbelievably HUGE FLAW.

    Cons

    Unforgivable bug, the fed form was just fine, but the state form, TT automatically cuts off over 24 characters in the street address field. The last two numbers of my street number were cut off on the AZ return but just fine on the Fed return, I didn't notice til I called the state after it was taking too long.

    Summary

    This is an unforgivable bug from a company who has continued to provide consistently ATROCIOUS support to Mac users for literally YEARS. They should be made to pay fines for delays of peoples' tax returns with a bug like this.

    Reply to this review

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  • Results 1-10 of 16

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