Having just reviewed all the Black Friday ads at http://bfsavings.com/ I was
somewhat disappointed at the lack of deals on TurboTax this year. Used to be
able to get Quicken Deluxe, TurboTax Deluxe, TurboTax State, Norton AV and some
other throwaway software for around $40.
This year all that seems to be available is TTax Deluxe with State and the demo
(basic) version of Quicken.
The annual "Free Stuff" offers are in effect at Staples starting Black
Friday and running through Sunday. TTax Deluxe (Fed + State) - $40 ,
Quicken Deluxe, NIS, Shredder free.
http://staples.shoplocal.com/staples/Default.aspx?action=browsepagesingle&storeid "78362&rapid 0639&pagenumber=4
does anyone know if the online versions of TTax are the same as what is on
the CD? I recall filing on Vanguard website last year for my kids, and
efiling was free for me but saved my joint return for the cd version. The
online approach actually was pretty good
The interview is basically the same, but the online version lacks
a number of capabilities that the CD version has. Here are some
that I am aware of. This list is based on last year. The online
version for 2005 isn't available yet, so the list is subject to
TurboTax Online can do only one state return.
Online has no forms mode. You cannot work directly on the forms,
or view the forms. This also means that there is no "Data Source"
function to trace where a number came from. There are a few
choices or inputs that are not covered in the interview and can
only be selected on the forms, so you cannot use those.
You cannot transfer data to the online version from the return
that you prepared last year with the CD version.
The online version will not import from Quicken 2002 or earlier.
Online does not include the IRS publications, videos, and tax
strategy books that are in Deluxe and Premier on CD.
The online version is only available for the current year, and
only until October 15. After that you can no longer work on your
return. The return is completely inaccessible for about a month.
Some time in November a PDF copy of the return becomes available
online, but the interview is no longer available. Among other
things, this means that you cannot amend a return online after
Here's an update on TurboTax Online vs. CD. This year TurboTax
Online will do returns for up to 3 states, and you can transfer
into TurboTax Online from a return that you prepared with the CD
version last year.
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 00:26:22 -0500, Bob Sandler wrote:
Actually, it more than sucks. The IRS "Free file" program ended this year, and
they are trying to nogotiate a new one. Unfortunately, our friends at Intuit are
trying to force everyone to pay them to file:
Bill Would Curb IRS E-File Plans
San Jose Mercury News
By Mark Schwanhausser, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.
Oct. 22--A two-sentence amendment backed by Intuit and the tech industry was
slipped into a broad Senate funding bill that would block the Internal Revenue
Service from developing new electronic-filing or tax-preparation services.
The issue comes at what could be a pivotal point in the contentious debate over
how far the government can go to encourage taxpayers to file their taxes
electronically before it begins stealing customers from tax preparers and
software vendors like Mountain View-based Intuit, makers of the TurboTax
The amendment, which was adopted without floor debate, was part of an $11.7
billion Treasury Department funding bill approved Thursday night by a 93-1 vote.
Because the amendment was not included in the House version of the bill, it
still could be removed in conference committee negotiations before the funding
bill is sent to President Bush.
The Senate vote also comes two months after California lawmakers used a similar
budget maneuver to crimp the state Franchise Tax Board's plans to expand an
experiment, called "ReadyReturn," to complete forms for taxpayers with simple
The amendment's lead sponsor -- Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., chair of Senate
Republican High Tech Task Force -- pushed for the IRS ban to protect preparers
and software vendors. "The IRS should not be getting into a field where
taxpayers are already well served by the private sector," he said in a
Intuit spokeswoman Julie Miller added that the legislation "is about protecting
consumers." Taxpayers run a risk, she said, when tax agencies "wear the
conflicting hats of tax collector and tax preparer."
Passage of the Senate amendment comes as the IRS is renegotiating a deal with a
consortium of software vendors to offer free or low-cost electronic-filing
services through the agency's FreeFile program. In the past, the IRS has
promised not to develop tax-preparation products and services as long as
software companies filled that role. Private vendors processed more than 5
million returns through the program by April 20.
Some critics fear the Senate amendment will weaken the agency's bargaining
position to expand FreeFile.
In response to you posts about e-filing, FWIW, I refuse to pay (additional
money) to e-file tax returns to save the government(s) data entry and paper
processing work and costs associated with collecting tax money from me.
Before they discontinued the Form 1040PC, I used it. Afterwards, I just
mailed my returns. IMHO, they should give e-filers a discount (lots o' luck)
for saving them expenses, or contract with private providers (e.g., Intuit)
to provide free e-filing for taxpayers.<off soapbox>
FYI, for the past couple of years I have volunteered at one local AARP/IRS
sponsored Tax Aide site and am the site e-file coordinator.
All volunteers go through annual training and testing. We use TaxWise
professional software to prepare returns and e-file free (both federal and
state). We also do amended returns.
Since then I have prepared my own returns in TurboTax, printed them, then
input the data into TaxWise and e-filed that way. While there are
duplication and accuracy of data entry concerns, it also serves as a double
check of data and calculations. I plan to do the same for my 2005 returns.(I
don't import from Quicken anyway, because the actual 1099 and W-2 data are
what matter. I do download/import to TTax year-end tax data from
Although the Tax Aide program is pitched to seniors and low to moderate
income taxpayers, we have never turned anyone away for age or income
reasons. The rare times we have referred taxpayers to private preparers is
when they have overly complicated returns such as certain business or farm
income or some rental property issues. Even in may of those cases we have
some volunteers among the area sites who can handle those as time permits.
IMO, if someone came in a with a TurboTax prepared return and supporting
documentation, we'd double-check the data entry, prepare the return(s) in
TaxWise, and e-file for them. Free of charge. Legally, the taxpayer is
responsible for the content and accuracy of his/her return.
Just some information to consider, FWIW.
The light at the end of the tunnel is the light of an oncoming train
**This message was scanned before sending by Symantec Antivirus Corporate
They did negotiate a new one.
IRS and Free File Alliance Reach Agreement
IR-2005-126, Oct. 25, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service and the Free File
Alliance today announced agreement to renew their partnership,
extending free tax services and electronic filing to an eligible
93 million taxpayers and providing important new consumer
Full news release at this link:
It's actually a $20 price increase -- last year Deluxe was $40
less $10 rebate. This year, no rebate. Intuit apparently has
something on their website that says they got rid of rebates
because customers did not like them. I'll admit that not having
to buy State and file for a rebate is nice (and saves a couple
of dollars in sales tax). But not giving one free e-file anymore
And e-file was $15+tax I believe, so the effective price
increase is $25.
Does anyone know if TaxCut followed suit on the lack of free
e-file this year??
TaxCut Deluxe gives you "free" e-file with a rebate. TaxCut Deluxe
also gives you a free state and no rebate on the program (up $10
from last year). However, I still get the price increase because I
live in a no-income tax state. With TTax I got a free upgrade to Q06
Deluxe and a $10 discount from Staples.
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