TurboTax 2011 Review

TurboTaxI had the opportunity get a demonstration of the new TurboTax 2011 online tax preparation package and I came away very impressed with the level of automation they included. Last year, the most impressive new additions was the ability to flag certain parts (which would’ve prevented me from having to file an amended return after I put in a placeholder value) and their audit scanning feature (looks for red flag mistakes like mismatching numbers).

This review of TurboTax applies to the software used to handle Tax Year 2010 returns.

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Your Take: How Will You File Your Taxes?

When it comes to preparing and filing your taxes, there are a variety of options. You can prepare your taxes electronically with software like TurboTax and efile for a few dollars. You can prepare you taxes on paper, double check with software like TurboTax, and then mail in your return (for those keeping track at home, this basically means you prepare your taxes twice). You can work with an accountant, either at an independent CPA firm or one associated with one of the tax preparers, which still gives you the option of efiling or mailing in your return. Whatever method you choose, the only rule is that you file by April 15th (or April 18th this year).

How will you be filing your taxes and why?


TurboTax Deluxe and Premier Giveaway

TurboTaxFor those of you who didn’t believe I bought a watch for ninety grand (even if it could deflect cruise missiles) or a sixteen hundred dollar ripped t-shirt, I salute you for recognizing it’s the first of April. For those who didn’t, if you exist, I apologize for so deftly deceiving you on the most frivolous of days. In return, I would like to assure you that I am not deceiving you right this moment. I have two keycodes to giveaway from our friends at TurboTax, one is a code for TurboTax Premier and one is a code for TurboTax Deluxe. The codes are redeemable at and good for one free federal and a free state preparation plus e-file using TurboTax Online 2009.

How do you win? State your favorite tax deduction and why, plus which version you would like to win. TurboTax Deluxe will be the one you want for most people and Premier is the one that lets you handle investments and rental property. We will choose two winners next Tuesday and you will receive the code you mention.

Void where prohibited and good luck!

This contest has ended.


TurboTax Tax Year 2009 Review

TurboTaxLast week, Rich Preece, Director of Product Management for TurboTax, gave me a quick run through the new features of TurboTax for the 2009 tax year. Since I haven’t been using TurboTax to prepare my returns (I use an accountant because of the business), I wanted someone at TurboTax to walk me through the features that were different from last year. While the bulk of tax preparation doesn’t change from year to year, features change, move around, and in order to capture the important ones, I’ll need the help of someone who plays with it everyday.

To Rich’s credit, it was a very straightforward demonstration of the features with an explanation of why things were done a certain way (for example, why they added flagging/bookmarking) without any cheerleading or attempt to paint things more favorably.

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 Your Take 

Your Take: How Do You Prepare Your Taxes?

Busboys & PoetsLast night I had to pleasure to finally meet some of the DC personal finance bloggers and some PR folks at a happy hour (or three) hosted by TurboTax at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Street. It was a fun event that was really casual and it was nice to meet people I’d only been emailing, instant messaging, or twittering with these last few months and years. Many thanks to the most awesome Chelsea (@TTaxChels) for inviting me!

In talking with both Scott Gulbransen (@prgully) and Dave Donohue (@davedonohue), I was surprised to learn that most people prepare their taxes the same way their parents did. If your parents did their taxes online with a service like TurboTax, you were more likely to use TurboTax. If they always went to a tax prep place like H&R Block, then you would be more likely to go to H&R Block over trying to do them yourself.

At first I was a little surprised to learn our tax preferences are influenced by our parents, but then I realized I was influenced by my parents. When I first decided to use TurboTax, I didn’t compare it to TaxCut or TaxAct or going to a tax preparer. I chose it because that’s how my dad did our taxes when I was younger. So I shouldn’t have been that surprised because I did the same thing!

So the Your Take for today is a two parter – How do you prepare your taxes and how much do you think your choice is influenced by your parents?

(Photo: daquellamanera)


Tax Filing Procrastination is Expensive!

1040 Tax FormsDid you know that forty million people don’t file their taxes until the very last week (April 8th to 15th) before the tax filing deadline? I was astounded when I read that statistic. When you consider the average 2008 tax refund will be around $2,975, that’s $119,000,000,000 in refunds sitting in the Treasury until the very last minute. By waiting until the last week, you’re not saving yourself from dealing with taxes, we’re costing ourselves a lot of money!

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File Your Taxes Now or Pay More Later

1040 Tax FormsI’ve been blogging about personal finance for four years now and I have a little tip for anyone out there who hasn’t filed their taxes yet (which may not be that many, because I went through half a dozen “winners” for the TurboTax Deluxe free filing card before I found someone who hadn’t filed their taxes yet, go pro-active Bargaineering readers!). At the end of March, most of the tax preparation companies will increase their prices.

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 Personal Finance 

Intuit Quicken Premier & TurboTax Giveaway Reminder

Have you entered the Intuit Quicken Premier 2009 & TurboTax Pack giveaway yet? The contest ends on Tuesday at noon so you still have a few days to enter if you haven’t already. As a reminder, there are three ways to win and we’ll be giving away three packs worth nearly $150 a piece.

The original post has only 39 comments, leave a comment there (joke not required, but kindly encouraged for our mutual amusement) and you’re entered to win the first one of the packs.

If you’re reading this in an RSS reader or via email, just look at the bottom of the article because you’ll see the secret phrase right there! Just copy that into an email to contest at bargaineering dot com and you will join the thirty other entrants for the second pack.

Finally, join the forums and chat with 130+ other denizens of as we talk about everything, from actual personal finance to dream interpretation. Just remember to leave a post on the official contest comment thread. With only 13 entries there, that’s your best shot at winning a pack.

What are you waiting for? Three easy ways to enter and you only have a few more days left!

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