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TurboTax Deluxe 2011

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CNET Editors' Rating 4.5 stars

Outstanding

Average User Rating stars

out of 32 user reviews

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Frustrating..."

    December 15, 2012  |   By simplemark

    Pros

    syncs with quicken
    relatively easy to use
    walks you though the process

    Cons

    accuracy...their mistake doubled one item in my taxes
    thoroughness...doesn't cover many common tax situations
    instructions inadequate and wrong
    customer service help
    price

    Summary

    TurboTax is the only tax software I've used, mainly because Vanguard Flagship clients can download it for free each year. And each year I encounter problems and frustrations that surprise me the TT engineers haven't corrected them before release.

    This year my big problem was finding out how to enter K-1's (form 1065) that have figures in more than one of the first 3 boxes. This isn't unusual, many real estate investments require a figure in at least 2 of the 3 boxes. The instructions say to create separate K-1's for each of them, but doesn't explain how to do it. It took me hours of trial and error and reading help forums to figure out how to do it without seriously skewing my tax results. (My tax DOUBLED when I did it the way TT recommended way...an obvious error). No where in the instructions or the online help does it give a clear description of how to go about it. I'll bet lots of folks waste much time figuring it out or probably don't...and getting erroneous results. It was INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING.

    If you encounter this problem, here is a page with the solution: https://ttlc.intuit.com/post/show_full/dpGFUEDs8r4AgJeJfaacN5/k-1-1065-with-amounts-in-both-box-1-and-2?p=1&ppid=17079118&q=k-1+type+of+activity&s=3

    A further frustration is that it's difficult to find where to download your data file after finishing your taxes. If you have to amend your taxes, you will be glad you saved it, or you will have to re-enter all your forms from your paper printout. TT encourages you to download a pdf of your tax forms and that's all. They should make saving the data file a standard part of finishing your return. It's a MYSTERY why they haven't. I'll bet every year this effects thousands of people who need to amend their returns. The way you do it is to "save as" from the file menu at the top of the page, and select the data option.

    Another issue is that TT makes it almost impossible to download your data file from the prior years online version. I finally found a way here: (http://blogs.computerworld.com/19377/how_i_got_my_turbotax_data_back) there's no rhyme or reason why they don't have this same info posted for the other online versions. It works on other versions, but it says it's only for the online free version.

    All in all, it may be the best tax software out there, but I'm amazed at the mistakes, the lack of thoroughness, and missing instruction on such a widely sold and expensive piece of software.

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