What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

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chris319
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by chris319 »

chris319 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:16 pm I couldn't remember his last name but I knew his first name is Glenn. A Google search found it.

Here are Glenn Reeves's tax spreadsheets:

https://sites.google.com/view/incometax ... e/download

I'm going to prepare a phantom return and compare it to the one I filed.
After reading some articles about Intuit on ProPublica, I would rather make out my return in crayon on a brown paper grocery bag than ever use TurboTax. Their meddling with the tax system is the height of corruption IMO.

Unfortunately Glenn Reeves's tax returns lack Form 4952 which I sorely need, so I created a replica of the form. I'm going to see if Glenn will incorporate it into his suite.
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gobel
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by gobel »

ipdiddly wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 3:28 pm
teen persuasion wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 2:56 pm TurboTax generates 125 pages of actual tax forms and supplemental internal forms, even for my college kid's pretty simple tax return.
You are correct and it has gotten much worse over the years. TT likes to generate separate forms for everything - from 1099's to individual stock sales to multiple subforms and worksheets.
otoh two of those 100 pages are interesting extras:
- "Five Year Tax History"
- "Compare to US Averages"
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ipdiddly
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by ipdiddly »

gobel wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 10:50 pm
ipdiddly wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 3:28 pm
teen persuasion wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 2:56 pm TurboTax generates 125 pages of actual tax forms and supplemental internal forms, even for my college kid's pretty simple tax return.
You are correct and it has gotten much worse over the years. TT likes to generate separate forms for everything - from 1099's to individual stock sales to multiple subforms and worksheets.
otoh two of those 100 pages are interesting extras:
- "Five Year Tax History"
- "Compare to US Averages"
Yes, I find those pages helpful and save them with my printed tax return.

I am actually a big fan of TT - the pros far outweigh the cons. That's why I've used it for more than 20 years. It has a few nits here and there, but so be it. One thing that drives me crazy is sometimes the follow up questions in the interview process provide no hint how those questions should be answered. I generally know what I'm doing taxwise and those follow up questions drive me crazy. I still can't figure out why, after you enter your pension 1099 info, TT asks if it is an RMD. No explanation whatsoever. I get that an IRA payment requires info about whether you met your RMD requirement. But why ask about a pension 1099? There are several of those types of mysterious follow up questions in various sections.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by CyclingDuo »

teen persuasion wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 2:56 pmTurboTax generates 125 pages of actual tax forms and supplemental internal forms, even for my college kid's pretty simple tax return.
You got off light. Ours was 267 pages this year!!!! :oops:

Starting the returns for our adult children in a few minutes, so hope that theirs are a bit shorter and less convoluted.

I guess I will add the complaint that I hate it when TT says there are too many characters (full name for our brokerage firms for instance, or some of our individual holdings, or the names of the companies in some of our K-1's). I always have to use "override" and shorten up the names for all of those at least a dozen times on the Federal and the State returns or it continually pops up at the end as "errors that I need to fix".

CyclingDuo
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JackoC
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by JackoC »

Finridge wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 2:23 am I have been using Turbotax and have been getting increasingly dissatisfied with it. The last few years there have been quality issues. This year there are glitches in how it handles foreign tax credits that effected the filing. These issues are pervasive enough that to many efilings have been rejected by the IRS that Turbotax has actually put out a software patch that prevents anyone from using the Simplified Method (for AMT) from using efiling. I am actively looking for a better product.
I have also encountered differences in how Turbo deals with FTC year to year, and anomalies. I asked about this one on user forum a couple of years ago but nobody ever answered, the box on 'Foreign Qualified Dividends and/or Capital Gains Adjustment Smart Worksheet',labeled 'Check the box to make adjustments for foreign qualified dividends and/or capital gains for line 1' checks itself automatically if you meet certain basic criteria and can't be unchecked (seems right), but then automatically unchecks itself in response to certain other inputs for no valid reason I can discern, though it allows you in that case to manually recheck it, which I believe is correct in my situation. But nobody ever answered my question why it does that. Not good. No problem with efiling though.
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/tax-c ... /01/819410

Anyway Turbo generally gives me the least clarity and guidance where I need it most. I don't need to be guided on obvious or intermediate stuff. However I'm not sure any other program is better at that: I assume every program is aimed mainly at a customer base with relatively low complexity of return, because that's the huge market, and people with very complicated returns tend to hire people to do their taxes. I'm near the latter threshold but I think I'm doing OK (professionals make mistakes sometimes and aren't always sure about complicated stuff), while saving a noticeable amount of money DIY'ing quite a number of personal, grown kids', trusts, and LLC returns. But by same token it would be a lot to switch over to a new program all the previous year things that can affect any of those returns, so Intuit has me basically roped in.
chris319
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by chris319 »

I'll gladly pay $30-$50 to acquire a user friendly product produced by competitive private enterprise.
It must be a huge undertaking to create a tax program for public consumption. Our labyrinthine federal tax code is daunting enough, then throw in myriad state versions and importing data from half a dozen different brokerages and last-minute changes to the tax code.

All of this could be greatly simplified.
The only person you have to please in life is yourself.
investlikebogle
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by investlikebogle »

chris319 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:48 pm
investlikebogle wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 3:23 pm

TaxAct has a bug when directly importing 1099-B from TD Ameritrade. It is easily worked around by downloading a csv file from TD Ameritrade and importing that.

It looks like I'll be sticking with TaxAct after all.
Chris319, can you provide more details on the Taxtact bug you mentioned? Will be helpful to know about it.
I used TaxAct to download my 1099-B data directly from TD Ameritrade into the TaxAct program. The program reported that the download was successful. Then, when I tried to efile, TaxAct ran a pre-efile check and reported that the return could not be efiled due to an error. I drilled down and found that one stock transaction had a negative basis (the cost bases of all Schedule D transactions are always entered as positive amounts). So I assumed all of the Schedule D transactions were suspect.

TaxAct offers the ability to download 1099-B data directly from a brokerage into the program, or to import a csv file from brokerage which can then be imported. So I deleted all of my 1099-B transactions (about 2 dozen). I went back and downloaded the csv file from brokerage and imported it. I got different numbers this time and no errors were reported in the pre-efile check. I spot checked the transactions and Form 8949 and all seemed well, so I efiled the returns, both state and federal, and got my refunds lickety-split.

But uh-oh! After importing the csv file and efiling, It occurred to me that I might not have updated Line 4a on Form 4952 (this has to be done manually). I have a lot of margin-interest carryovers so this one is important, so I entered the correct amount on 4952. But it doesn't stop there! Because of the new standard deduction, I hadn't entered my property tax and vehicle license fee on Schedule A, figuring the standard deduction would cover them, so I entered them.

After all that, it turns out I was due about $1,000 more in refunds than my original return, which I had already filed. So I filed amended state and federal returns (paper returns this time) and am now waiting for the additional refunds to arrive. I imagine my amended returns have low priority at the moment.

It's impossible for me to say whether the download error was a problem with TD Ameritrade or Tax Act. I will report this and follow up with TaxAct after tax season.

Still and all, I will use TaxAct again in the future on the "devil-you-know" theory. I am reluctant to try a new program, especially after reading these reports, only to find that I like them less than TaxAct. Aside from this bug, which can be worked around, my only gripe is that they keep issuing program updates long after the filing deadline. I'm not sure this is the fault of TaxAct so much as it is the fault of the IRS.
1099-b import not only imports 8949 transactions but also imports information regarding dividends, interest and supplementary income on 1099. If you are entering transactions via a spreadsheet, I assume you would have to enter the 1099-div, 1099-int information separately. I won’t consider this as a bug.

Regarding negative cost basis, you could have negative cost basis on individual transactions. Tax act allows it and you can efile. The only constraint is that schedule D entries (totals) cannot be negative. If you have multiple transactions where totals of basis comes out to be positive, tax act will work. I ran into this exact situation and was able to efile successfully. Again this is not a bug because IRS requires schedule D entries to be positive for efile.
adestefan
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by adestefan »

ipdiddly wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:28 am I'll gladly pay $30-$50 to acquire a user friendly product produced by competitive private enterprise. Just because someone can make a profit at providing a good product or service, doesn't make it bad. Profit is the engine that drives creativity and productivity.
There’s nothing user friendly, nor competitive, nor innovative about Intuit or TurboTax. You’re nothing more than a rent center to them every year. You’re so ingrained to the notion that tax software must exist that you can’t see the actual innovation is that it should not exist.

The tax code should not be this complicated, should not be so tilted to favor the wealthy and corporations, and should not require a significant private enterprise to support the system.
chris319
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by chris319 »

Regarding negative cost basis, you could have negative cost basis on individual transactions. Tax act allows it and you can efile. The only constraint is that schedule D entries (totals) cannot be negative. If you have multiple transactions where totals of basis comes out to be positive, tax act will work. I ran into this exact situation and was able to efile successfully. Again this is not a bug because IRS requires schedule D entries to be positive for efile.
A review of the transaction in question on TD Ameritrade revealed that the basis was not negative. TaxAct screwed up the import. It wouldn't let me file until the problem was solved as I described in my post. You download an xlsx file from TD Ameritrade, then save it as a csv file, then make sure the columns are to TaxAct's liking.
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grok87
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by grok87 »

adestefan wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 12:46 pm
ipdiddly wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:28 am I'll gladly pay $30-$50 to acquire a user friendly product produced by competitive private enterprise. Just because someone can make a profit at providing a good product or service, doesn't make it bad. Profit is the engine that drives creativity and productivity.
There’s nothing user friendly, nor competitive, nor innovative about Intuit or TurboTax. You’re nothing more than a rent center to them every year. You’re so ingrained to the notion that tax software must exist that you can’t see the actual innovation is that it should not exist.

The tax code should not be this complicated, should not be so tilted to favor the wealthy and corporations, and should not require a significant private enterprise to support the system.
+1
RIP Mr. Bogle.
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ipdiddly
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by ipdiddly »

chris319 wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 4:48 pm
I used TaxAct to download my 1099-B data directly from TD Ameritrade into the TaxAct program. The program reported that the download was successful. Then, when I tried to efile, TaxAct ran a pre-efile check and reported that the return could not be efiled due to an error. I drilled down and found that one stock transaction had a negative basis (the cost bases of all Schedule D transactions are always entered as positive amounts). So I assumed all of the Schedule D transactions were suspect.
. . . .
It's impossible for me to say whether the download error was a problem with TD Ameritrade or Tax Act. I will report this and follow up with TaxAct after tax season.
Gadzooks! One of the real benefits of using tax software is the ability to download ALL brokerage account transactions. It would be a royal pain in the backside if you had to manually type in all that info or even if you had to resort to some spreadsheet workaround. I would be petrified that somehow data got missed. If the software or the brokerage screws that up, that highly advantageous benefit is gone. After decades of use, I have not experienced any problems with downloading Fidelity data to TurboTax. I spot check the info to be sure nothing looks odd and make sure the totals on the 8949's match up with the totals on the 1099.
chris319
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by chris319 »

To complicate matters, the capital-gain data at TDAmeritrade comes from Gainskeeper, making it even more difficult to determine where the error is creeping in. The good news is that the free Gainskeeper does a good job of keeping track of tax lots and wash sales. The xls file that comes from them looks to be OK.
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motorcyclesarecool
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

Post by motorcyclesarecool »

jebmke wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 10:53 am
hamhocs wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 10:47 am The IRS doesn't have nearly enough of your info to do this.
I think they have insufficient information with which to ascertain your filing status which is a knock-out right there.
It wouldn’t be hard to have a box to check on your W-4 that would report MFJ, MFS, HOH, Single, etc. back to the IRS. We have the technology. We can make it better.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.
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Re: What specific complaints do you have for your tax software

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Thread can remain open if replies focus on tax software issues. Avoid political comments.
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