Turbo Tax Navigation

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Do you know how to navigate to the forms and then to the forms behind the forms to make a correction in Turbo Tax?

Poll ended at Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:49 pm

I have difficulty getting to the forms themselves much less forms behind the forms.
3
50%
Often I find it difficult or impossible to correct errors because of lack of instructions.
3
50%
 
Total votes : 6

Turbo Tax Navigation

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:49 pm

I've been using Turbo Tax for years now but don't find it very user friendly.
At present my main gripe is the forms behind the forms behind the forms that can be very difficult to find. If you need to make a correction navigating to those back forms can be very confusing. First you have to get to the form itself. You can override what is printed on a form but Turbo Tax doesn't instruct you how to do that. Then, if you do override a form, you'll find that at the end Turbo Tax will tell you you've made an error and you can't file electronically because the error must be corrected. To correct the error you must undo the override and find the form behind the form that will enable you to change what is printed on the form. To do that you have to double click on the number on the form itself. But Turbo Tax doesn't tell you that. All these things have to be learned and relearned by trial and error, as there is no guide book available, not even a "Turbo Tax for Dummies" guide book.

I'm sure there are those whose taxes are more complicated but, for me, mine are complicated enough so that the Turbo Tax program doesn't always get it. I have found that it's important for me to have some approximate ideas about what should show up. In my case I pay self-employment tax and I find that Turbo Tax often fails to ask questions in the right way to record the self-employment taxes that I've paid. It has also really screwed up figuring what I owe for Social Security - mainly because the questions it asks tend to assume taxes are deducted from pay checks. [/b]
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Postby Doc » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:09 pm

You can't make "corrections" without overriding the program. The problem is in determining at which point to do the override. Usually if you click on a number it will give you a link to the source and that is where it is best to do the override. But sometimes that link is itself a calculated value and you need to go back another step. Each time I make a "correction" I go back to the form 1040 and make sure the bottom line has moved in the direction I think it should.

But yes TT is not the greatest at getting you to right place the first time but given all the minutiae that changes each year in the code they do a reasonably good job. (Negative OID in 2009 being an exception.) I have never had the problem of not being able to get rid of the "program error" problem although often you have to go around the "step by step" to do it or "fudge" TT rules.
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Postby livesoft » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:14 pm

I use TT. I always read about folks overriding a number on a form, but I wonder if that then affects other numbers elsewhere or just that override.

In every case where I was tempted to override, I found the place in the interview interface to enter the right info and numbers to get the number on a form the way I wanted it. That is, I have so far not needed to override any numbers in TT.
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Postby wts » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:14 pm

Need another option in the Poll along the lines of 'No I havent had a problem drilling down to correct a specific value on a form.'

Usually , theres a magnifiying glass that supposed to be clicked instead of overtyping the value in the field.

My biggest issue this year had to do with reconcilling the values shown in the step-by-step vs on the forms because of rounding.
Where did this $6 come from? Oh its actually $5.51 from XYZ's 1099.
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Postby Avo » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:18 pm

My response is "I always trust TurboTax to get the correct answer."
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Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:30 pm

Always trust Turbo Tax to get the right answer? That may work if you always understand what TT is asking and then give the right answer. I have found it difficult always to know exactly what TT wants by the questions it asks. If I don't guess right or already know what is coming in future questions I will fail to enter the information correctly and then TT doesn't give me the right answer. Yes, I know it's possible to say, "That's your problem." But to be user friendly software needs to be very intuitive about how users think. TT sometimes fails in doing that. There has been more than year when I hadn't checked the major numbers and categories I'd have ended up getting it wrong by thousands of dollars.
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New option

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:32 pm

I'd add the option suggested by wts but I don't see an edit button.
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Making corrections without overriding the program

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:38 pm

Doc. It may be a matter of semantics but TT doesn't consider it an override if you get to the form behind the form and change the data there. But if you change it directly on the front form you'll get an error message at the end and won't be able to file electronically. Most of the time I've found that when I correct a figure on the form behind the form TT will update other numbers as well. Sometimes it will even do so if I make a front form override. But I'm learning that making a front form override doesn't work unless you want to mail in your return. And I have to say, I've done that before as well. But only if the numbers added up. I've never gotten a complaint from the IRS about that. The problem with the program is that if you click on override and erase and then re-enter the exact same information the program only knows that you erased what it put there and typed something again. The program can't tell if what you typed is correct or not.
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Postby aja8888 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:52 pm

So where is the choice for us TT users that have no real issues with it?

I guess I have been a used since it came available. This year we had SS income, income from my business (sole prop.), three partnerships (MLPs), my wife's 1099 income, a retirement distribution from a 401K, bank interest, sales of common stock (taxable accounts), etc.

Had no problem using TT.
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Re: Making corrections without overriding the program

Postby Doc » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:01 pm

Bogmytx wrote:Doc. It may be a matter of semantics but TT doesn't consider it an override if you get to the form behind the form and change the data there. But if you change it directly on the front form you'll get an error message at the end and won't be able to file electronically.


It's not consistent. An override is not necessarily an "error". I just did a test on overriding taxable SS. I could override it on form 1040 or the SS Benefits Worksheet and neither caused an "error" when I clicked the <Error> button. But in the past entering the override in the wrong place sometimes didn't change the bottom line. In 2009 TT said to enter the negative OID directly on 1040 but that caused a "can't electronically file". Likewise you couldn't get it on Schedule B because it had the wrong "sign". I worked around it by netting the adjustment and adding a schedule. So it could be semantics. I don't know. But TT gets it done.

TT certainly has enough idiosyncrasies that I wouldn't change to another program every few years just to same $10 or $20 on the software.

TT became much more friendly when I switched to Quicken for asset management. Of course then you have to learn all of Quicken's idiosyncrasies.
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voting no problems

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:03 pm

I should have put a box for no problems. I tried to go back and do it but can't find a button for editing the options. I'm new to this so I didn't think through the options for answers that well. Sorry. However, for what it's worth, so far I'm getting the idea that most of you who are answering don't find TT to be difficult.
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Override vs Correction

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:23 pm

Hey Doc, I think TT treats a change on the form behind the form as a correction, as if you'd erased and changed it when you first entered the information. But, if you change the number later on the front page by clicking on override, the program treats it differently and assumes it might not work out correctly in the totals, which would undermine the TT guarantee of correctness. My gripe is that I always have to feel my way back to the form and then to the form behind the form anew every year. I just wish there was a simple paper manual that would give instructions about how to make changes. I know you can find it in help, but I also find help isn't helpful unless you know what to look for. Anyway, I'm not writing this for the people who are good with TT. I'm actually hoping maybe Intuit might take notice and make a few changes to make working with TT easier for dummies like me.
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Postby dbr » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:34 pm

I haven't had to make a change on a form, probably from not having any special situation, but I can see that it would be daunting if one had do. It shouldn't happen that there should need to be a correction of something the program should be doing.

It has happened that I have had to create manual copies of forms TT did not include. One was a form for ATM credit for the state, and up till this year TT did not supply the property tax refund computation and form for the state, but this year it did.
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Looking for forms or making changes

Postby Bogmytx » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:41 pm

dbr - You've actually named one of the problems. It's falling outside the mainstream of users. Yours was a form that TT didn't include in the program. Mine have been more about not being in the mainstream of how most tax payers report. Self-employment has a whole different set of issues and I find TT isn't as user friendly for use by those who are self-employed and have to make quarterly payments to IRS. Nevertheless I'm not changing to another program because TT does fill in some stuff for me, like depreciation from previous years and keeping track of IRA's, that would be a pain to start over with on another program.
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Postby Doc » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:01 pm

dbr wrote:I haven't had to make a change on a form, probably from not having any special situation, but I can see that it would be daunting if one had do. It shouldn't happen that there should need to be a correction of something the program should be doing.


I probably use "forms" more than "step by step". Almost everything I need downloads but often needs a "tweak" like assigning taxpayer/spouse or OID corrections to the 1099 or adding ABP and accrued interest to bonds. I find it easier to do this on forms than wade through the step by step. But I've been using TT for many many years since I first got a copy to check my accountant. :lol:
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Postby jidina80 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:16 pm

deleted duplicate post
Last edited by jidina80 on Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jidina80 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:17 pm

wts wrote:Need another option in the Poll along the lines of 'No I havent had a problem drilling down to correct a specific value on a form.'

Ditto. I rarely experience a problem navigating Turbotax, but rarely try to override numbers. Drilling down from a summary form to a detail worksheet I find very easy to do.

Just.
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Postby Dale_G » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:54 pm

I find that TT is better now than in the past, but the interview questions are often cryptic. I think TT vets their software by using tax pros and their own programmers. What they need to do is use about 1000 of us "normal folks".

In particular I've struggled this year with deductions for HSA contributions and health insurance premiums for self employed. Evidently I missed or misinterpreted something in the interview process - and have to wander around to fix it.

I don't expect to see it in my lifetime, but a simpler tax code would be helpful.

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Postby grabiner » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:57 pm

I used TaxAct this year, but I have the same issue. It isn't always easy to find the source of a number if you need to make a correction; this was a problem when I had to adjust some numbers on Form 1116.

But once I have found the correct source, I rarely need to override. I had two overrides in TaxAct state taxes this year, both because of documented bugs in the program (which affect only a few part-year NJ residents and thus were hard to catch in quality control).
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Postby AzRunner » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:36 pm

Doc said,
TT certainly has enough idiosyncrasies that I wouldn't change to another program every few years just to save $10 or $20 on the software.


I think that's the case. Sticking with the same program, year in and year out, and you get to learn more about it. At AARP Tax-Aide we use TaxWise which has its own set of issues, but you get used to them. One nice thing is that it is easy to link to the forms. You do not have to go through the prompt mode and you enter the data directly on the forms or the backup forms.

livesoft said,
In every case where I was tempted to override, I found the place in the interview interface to enter the right info and numbers to get the number on a form the way I wanted it. That is, I have so far not needed to override any numbers in TT.

That's exactly what I've found. My experience is that I didn't understand the TurboTax question initially and that's why I did not get the result I was seeking.

[Just to clarify, I use TaxWise in my volunteer job, but use TurboTax for my own return.

Norm
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Postby allancoleman » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:50 pm

I agree that there are not enough choices on the poll :

I have used TurboTax for years now and have no difficulty making corrections and making a " over ride " does not necessarily cause errors . And I frequently go to " Forms " to do my planning for the future .
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Postby rustymutt » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:23 pm

I believe TT is not as user friendly as it once was. It's like they don't want you fully understand it. I've used it for years.
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Postby allancoleman » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:44 pm

rustymutt wrote:I believe TT is not as user friendly as it once was. It's like they don't want you fully understand it. I've used it for years.


I agree , rustymutt , that TT is NOT as user friendly as it once was . However , because I have used it for years now and understand how to " over ride " any difficulties that I have entering any particular line item , I don't have any problems using it and working around the problems .
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Postby wts » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:33 pm

Its a well known issue that what may be crystal clear to the software developer couldnt be more obscure to a percentage of the users.
No amount of input from focus groups, online forums or beta testing will ever resolve this.

Its not entirely Intuit's fault that TT 2010 had program updates up until two weeks before the filing deadline.

Due to late breaking changes in tax law many payroll systems in the country werent calculating 2011 taxes 100% correctly until late January.
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Postby stan1 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:01 pm

rustymutt wrote:I believe TT is not as user friendly as it once was. It's like they don't want you fully understand it. I've used it for years.


Might be that the tax laws have gotten more complicated? Can't really blame Intuit or even the IRS for that part of the problem.

I'm with livesoft. Every time I've found an "error" in TurboTax over the years the root cause has been incorrect or incomplete data entry on my part. I do not follow the interview from A to Z in one seating. I start data entry as information comes in and I jump around many times before I'm done. It would certainly take less time if I only looked at TurboTax one day per year around 1 April, but that's not me.
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