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

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