TurboTax Raises Prices, Punishes You Lazy Bums

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Procrastination usually doesn’t usually have concrete and actual added costs in your personal life. You put off rolling over an IRA or changing your 401(k) contribution, you don’t feel any costs (you may lose potential gains or avoid potential losses, but it’s never that concrete) However, in the case of tax preparation there is a real cost to putting it off.

TurboTax does this every year (as long as I can remember) so you have absolutely no excuse. Silver lining finders will say that they incentivize people to file their taxes early by increasing the cost to file two weeks or so before April 15th, cynics will say that TurboTax is gouging people. Either way, it costs you five bucks more you lazy bum. The new prices are (price doesn’t include state filing):

  • Free: Still Free!
  • Deluxe: $49.95
  • Premier: $74.95
  • Home & Business: $99.95

Fortunately, you can’t increase the price of FREE, so their Free Edition is still free (here’s the full rundown on all the free tax filing resources).

Doing your taxes is unavoidable. Almost everyone has to do it (you should file even if you don’t have to this year because of the economic stimulus check) and everyone has to do it by April 15th. In fact, since most people get a refund, you have a vested financial interest in doing your taxes as early as possible so you can get your own money back as soon as possible; so why do people avoid it? They avoid it because it’s a pain in the you-know-what.

Think of all the other things that you wouldn’t do willingly but that you still do because it’s good for you… like get up early in the morning to go to a meeting at work. Like run on the treadmill to shed a few pounds. Like not eat double stuffed Oreos because they make your butt look fat. Like wake up early to dress your kids and make sure they eat breakfast. Like go with your spouse to Bass Pro Shops/Gander Mountain (or Ann Taylor/Macy’s/MAC). Like watching The Little Mermaid every single day for two months because your daughter loves Ariel and Sebastian.

See how many things we do that we don’t like to? (or don’t do but would love to?) Taxes are like those, except instead of a spouse/child getting upset, it’s Uncle Sam and he holds a serious grudge. If you were going to do your taxes on TurboTax but didn’t because you were putting it off, it’s too late; just don’t make this mistake next year! There’s no reason why you should give TurboTax your money when you can use it to buy your kid a new Disney movie to love every single day for two months. 🙂

(by the way, you have less than two weeks left!)

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “TurboTax Raises Prices, Punishes You Lazy Bums”

  1. Will says:

    I do believe it’s gouging, but I don’t blame the company. They’re in business to make a profit, and if you’ve been procrastinating then it sucks to be you and you’ll have to pay an extra $5.

    By the way I don’t have any solid data to back this up, but I do think tax preparers raise their prices too, not blatantly in most cases, but they just tell you they have too much on their plate. Desperate clients will then offer extra $ for “rush service”

    Not a big deal, if you ask me. People should know better 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    I didnt recieve my K-1 until yesturday! I had to put off my taxes this year. Anyway, I don’t mind paying the extra, Its the stupid LLC that I am pissed at.

  3. Tameika says:

    I think they are all doing. HR Block’s site kicked up the price too. I’ll know better next year. Never put off today, blah, blah! LOL!

  4. saladdin says:

    Perfect example of pricing strategy straight from one of my MBA text books.


  5. Mike says:

    If I were to put on my marketing hat, I’d think that they’re trying to prevent or mitigate the usual April 14th rush that crushes their servers through pricing controls. Free market thinkers should rejoice!

  6. saladdin says:

    Mike, I don’t think they are trying to get people to stop waiting until the last second but instead they realize that some people will always wait so why not capitialize on it. Would you want to stop people from paying more for your product? Of course not. They have a segment of the market that will always wait until the last moment so why not price accordingly. I don’t think they want to discourage them. If they did all they would have to do is charge 1000% more instead of the 20 or 30% premium. That would catch those last minuters attention and next year they wouldn’t wait so long.


  7. jim says:

    I agree with saladdin, it’s not a move to reduce load on servers because that’s not even really a concern. It’s identifying the fact that people who are doing it closer to the deadline are feeling the pinch and are less price sensitive.

    Either way, all non-free filers (who actually, according to statistics that probably weren’t made up, outnumber paying filers) who waited will pay an extra $5, whoops!

  8. Tim says:

    well, you still can get turbotax at a discount. just check your bank, your fund company, etc. i think vanguard had the cheapest for TT premier ($32.45) online.

  9. Tim says:

    oops, it increased proportionally with the retail price. it’s now $48.70 for premier. still better than paying retail.

  10. Carl says:

    Why would anyone waste their money on Turbotax when TaxAct and others do the same job for much cheaper? Turbo is way too proud of their product, which is basic math and filling out forms.

  11. MitziMo says:

    There is also a hidden version called “Basic”. It’s between “Free” and “Deluxe”. If you click on “Free” it will show you three column comparison between Free/Basic/Deluxe versions. You can also click at the beginning to upgrade. I was contemplating going from “Free” to “Basic” but hem hawed so much that the price went up from $12.95 to $19.95 without warning! There are some differences but one of the main differences is the loss of previous data of your PIN and AGI.

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