The Tax Preparation Wars Have Begun

TurboTax Continues on With Its Own SuperBowl Ad

Intuit is the maker of Turbo Tax, a leading tax-preparation software. During the Superbowl, they aired their advertisement with no mention of the recent squabbles with furious customers over their software.

Rather than address the problem, Intuit chose to simply state the benefits of their program, which was being able to file both state and federal taxes for FREE. Their ad displayed a Boston Tea Party reenactment with a small twist to it. While angry American Patriots were swarming a British Ship, tossing large boxes of tea overboard, the British Redcoats were able to stop them by offering them FREE tax filing.

The patriots end up accepting their offer, and then the ad transitions to George Washington, who is reversing his famous Delaware crossing. The voice-over makes this statement – “Alright, maybe this is not the way it actually went down, however, you can still file your taxes on Turbo Tax for FREE !”

Turbo Tax lets it be known that 60 million Americans will be able to file their returns for Taxes 2014, both state and federal, for FREE. Their website states that this offer applies to those who use forms 1040A or 1040EZ. It says there is no charge for filing a state return or the forms used for filing the Earned Income Tax Credit (this benefits the working poor).

Their website also has a list of its competitors charges for the exact same services, like on TaxAct or H&R Block. Their entire campaign ignores the cries of the outraged customers over the Turbo Tax Deluxe package for personal computers. Lots of people were surprised to see that the Turbo Tax Deluxe software for 2014 taxes, did not allow the electronic filing of Schedule Cs for business, Schedule Ds fo both capital gains & losses, and Schedule Es and Fs for rental properties or farms.

What the customers had to do for these privileges was to ‘upgrade’ to a paid version of the software. The cost was $30 over and above what the Deluxe version costs. There were some disgruntled users who already bought software from some of Turbo Taxes competitors (H&R Block and TaxAct), so H&R Block came out with a free version of their Deluxe product to those who had already purchased a Turbo Tax version. It seemed the war was on. All these people had to do was show proof of their purchase and switch over to the other side. Let the games begin!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XTwbgmWRrA

Intuit Expected To Announce Lackluster Quarterly Earnings

Intuit Expected To Announce Lackluster Quarterly Earnings

Intuit is preparing to announce its quarterly earnings on May 21. Recently, the company softened its earnings outlook in a note to shareholders. Investors won’t treat the company very well when it announces lackluster earnings. That doesn’t mean Intuit has lost its value for investors, though. These days, the parent company of TurboTax still has room to grow. It’s already planning changes in the coming years, too. Like my favorite local company, Hollier’s Flooring America in Lafayette, Intuit is able to adapt and offer great products every year. And this last year was no different.

The headquarters of Intuit Inc. in Mountain Vi...
The headquarters of Intuit Inc. in Mountain View, California (Silicon Valley). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Intuit earnings for the previous quarter are likely to take a slight dip. A lower volume of processed tax returns was cited as the cause for the impending dip in revenue. Of course, tax preparation is a huge industry with tons of competition. TurboTax isn’t the only company that offers free and paid returns either. By expanding beyond this industry, Intuit earnings and growth can continue.

Luckily, Intuit is already pushing projects outside of TurboTax. The company wants to appeal to businesses on top of consumers in order to boost Intuit earnings. Payroll services and mobile banking applications are prime targets for Intuit. By moving into these segments, revenue can be boosted with a new segment of customers. Success isn’t guaranteed with this bold moves, though.

Intuit’s quarterly earnings might falter, but the company shouldn’t be counted out yet. Sure, most of its revenue is generated by TurboTax, but the company holds enough resources to branch out elsewhere. Investors should stick with the company while it transitions to other projects. TurboTax will always be its main source of income. In the end, other projects can rake in the money, too.

TurboTax Reaches Goal To Help US Troops

TurboTax Reaches Goal To Help US Troops

Intuit TurboTax recently announced that they have exceeded their $2 million goal to support US troops.  This campaign was launched in part with Mission2Match and Operation Homefront and raised over $1 million from direct donations alone.  The money will be used to support U.S. troops and their families.

Baltimore City Veterans Day Celebration
Baltimore City Veterans Day Celebration (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

Operation Homefront is a countrywide non-profit association.  Since its humble beginnings in 2002, this organization has helped more than 590,000 military families.  With 94 percent of donated revenue going directly to help service members and their families, this charity has a four-star rating with Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog.

Monies were raised each time a donation was made to Mission2Match through online TurboTax.  However, donations went even further with the help of social media.  Each time donors tweeted #mission2match, their donation was matched.

TurboTax has a long been a financial supporter of military members and their families.  They are proud of their partnership with their customers as well as Operation Homefront.  Money raised goes to help families of troops who have been wounded or otherwise unable to work after returning home, such as Air Force Sgt. Angelo Rodriguez who lost his memory after his time serving and could no longer walk or talk.  Thanks to generous donations, Rodriguez and his family now have a place to live and a fresh beginning.   Many other military members and families will directly benefit from the generous donations of Turbo Tax users.  These donations are a very tangible way to express thanks and support to U.S. troops.

Intuit Unveils TurboTax CPA Select

TurboTax CPA Select

TurboTax CPA Select is designed to connect small and medium business owners who require someone to file their taxes with a CPA.  In fact, the unveiling was done just in time for the new tax season. With this system, SMBs will know the amount of tax beforehand.

Brian Crofts, Group Product Manager, insists that With CPA Select, the company is focused on fulfilling their customers’ needs.

The new services will be introduced to its clients in two phases. First at the Small Business VCon on January 23. Second at the Intuit Innovation Gallery Walk on January 29. Intuit’s Mountain View headquarters will host the Gallery Walk from 4 – 8 p.m. PT. Most importantly, the company will also take this opportunity to showcase the company’s newest products and services and allow CEO and leaders to air their technology expectations.

Available CPAs have profiles; complete with pictures, star ratings, and client reviews. Notably, it also comes with educational and professional background information. When a CPA is selected, the user uploads and submits tax return from the previous year. Within 24 hours, the selected CPA responds to the request. Users accept or reject the estimate. If accepted, the tax return is prepared and filed.

To join the online service, complete the registration form or login using Facebook. Users are required to give consent for any documents they upload.

Crofts stated that “it’s an online service, but most importantly convenient, because it helps both individual and businesses find someone to file their taxes.” Customers can view a picture, read testimonials from previous customers and review the professionals’ history in one location.

More so, CPAs who are a part of the TurboTax service, connect their profile to their social media sites. The cost of the service starts at $89.95.

The Benefits Of Using Federal Free TurboTax

Federal Free TurboTax

It isn’t long until 2012 taxes have to be filed. More people are filing online using software like free Turbo Tax. Filing online can make the process easier and it saves time going to a tax preparer. Software such as Federal Free TurboTax does everything for you.

How Turbo Tax Software Works

Turbotax get started
Turbotax get started (Photo credit: wrkng)

Turbo Tax is used by millions of people each year. They comment on how it made the process simpler and faster. This software automatically calculates your refund or taxes you according to the data you enter. You can also save your documents for future reference in case any issues arise. If you can’t finish in one session, it saves your work. Your return is sent to the IRS after completion. Perhaps one of the best features of Turbo Tax is the deduction maximizer. It uses a patented algorithm to figure you optimal deductions. Many users have seen a great increase in refunds.

There are still those who prefer to use the conventional way of filing taxes. However,choosing this route can take much longer to get your refund. It can take the IRS up to six weeks before they send your check in the mail. Federal Free TurboTax software is something you may want to think about for filing taxes in 2013. It works the same as if you go to a tax preparer without all the hassle. You will be able to get your refund much sooner when you file online.

Arizona Experiences Increase In Small Business Hiring

TurboTax 2012

The most recent Intuit Payroll Small Business Index for October revealed that, despite a downward trend nationwide, Arizona small businesses increased hiring for the second consecutive month.

The nationwide figure decreased by 0.05 percent, while Arizona saw a 0.13 percent increase. Overall, small businesses in the United States created 10,000 fewer jobs.

The decline in nationwide figures began in May. Small businesses added 150,000 from the beginning of March 2010 until the end of May 2012

The total recovery amounts to 85,000 jobs after a decrease of 65,000 jobs since May.

Roads and freeways in metropolitan Phoenix
Roads and freeways in metropolitan Phoenix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Inuit, the software company that makes TurboTax 2012, any enterprise with fewer than 20
employees qualifies as a small business.

The data analyzed came from approximately 170,000 customers using Intuit’s Online Payroll. In addition to making Turbotax, Intuit created Quicken software for bookkeeping.

In September, revenue recorded by small businesses decreased 0.3 percent. Of all the industries the Index monitors, none recorded an increase in revenue this month.

The biggest decline  was in the construction industry, which fell 0.8 percent, with accommodation and food services, professional services and retail all showing a 0.5 percent decrease.

Revenues across the nation have fallen 2.5 percent since this past February, which would be a 4.3 percent decrease for the year if the trend continues.

In October, employees saw their salaries decrease an average of $2,791, a decline from $2,794, or 0.1 percent, for September. The period covering August to September saw an increase of $17 in employee salaries.

Hourly employees worked an average of 24.7 hours each week with a total of 107.1 hours for October, down 42 minutes, or 0.7 percent from the 107.8 hours reported in September.