Some tax advice from an art historian -- Don't waste your time and money on Turbo Tax

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 15:53.

I prefer to write about the arts, but my experience the other night has me inspired to blog about online tax programs.

This year I decided to try Turbo Tax for my Federal and State tax returns -- it was such a waste of time. I ended up starting over and filing with Free Tax USA.

I fell for the Turbo Tax ads about biggest refund or your money back. Turbo Tax also came highly recommended by some friends and relatives. First thing that annoyed me, it starts out free but then recommends you pay for more service. At one point I received the message that my taxes were too complicated for the free version. I have 1099 income as a consultant as well as W2s. So I agreed to pay about $29.00 to figure my business deductions. Then at the end there was an additional charge to file my state tax, I was up to about $40.00! I might have stuck with Turbo Tax and paid my bill if things did not get ridiculously confusing when I tried to amend my 2007 Federal tax. It was the program that was complex not what I was attempting do on my taxes! For all its hype Turbo Tax is certainly not user friendly! And their live chat support did not help me.

I started over later that evening with Free Tax USA which I have used in past years. In 2 hours my taxes were done and I came up with the same refund that Turbo Tax was offering. Itemizing my expenses on the schedule C was a breeze and I paid only $12.00 to file my state taxes.

I hope my experience might save someone time, money and frustration.

Brave souls

Evelyn, thanks for this valuable advice. I am impressed and I would certainly never try to play chess or poker with you!

I wimped out and had my taxes done by an accountant. I just don't have the energy to wade through the maze. Yet, so many of our local patrons at the library actually seem to ENJOY it. I have never been good at games :)