Turbotax for Mac requirements

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beyou
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Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

I have been using TT for a very long time, but over the years, I switched from Windows CD/download to online.
Been using online for many years now, and mostly happy with it.
One of my reasons to go to online was to avoid dealing with annual software installs, frequent software updates during tax season etc.
Online the software is just there, and I can use almost any reasonably recent computer with latest browsers.
I am not the slightest bit concerned about having my data on their servers.

This year for a few reasons, decided to try the Mac download version (to use forms mode for a more recent form I am having to deal with and so I can do multiple returns for one price). Going forward I do not expect to always do multiple returns per year, but not sure. Forms mode was not something I ended up using or needed as much as I thought I would. Nice to have but not a must have for me.

So all that said, my main objection to sticking with the download/install locally vs online, is the OS requirements.
Seems Intuit requires a very recent version of the OS, each year requiring a newer version that the prior tax year.
Macs tend to last a very long time, and get OS support for about 7 years. TT seems to drive you to upgrade about every 3 years, a very expensive proposition for Macs. What am I missing ? While I found the software worked fine, I am using 12.7 Monterey which seems like the last year of support. So next year I must upgrade hardware to upgrade the OS just to use TT, and then again every 3 years or faster ? Seems crazy. Anyone know any different ? I am not averse to upgrading the OS, have done then when supported by Apple, but at some point Apple only does bug fixes and security updates, but stops supporting major upgrades on older hardware, whereas TT requires those major upgrades.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Outer Marker »

Well, to each his own. I much prefer the Mac download to online. It provides better functionality. Deluxe download will handle virtually every tax situation, but online does not. I like having my files on my computer. Until around calendar year 2022, I was able to use my 2012 build MacBook Air, which supported the necessary version of iOS to run turbotax. Ten years is a pretty long run for a laptop, and I was buying a new one for other reasons anyway. I still use the old Air for internet and email, but it's getting pretty elderly. The download takes only about 5 minutes for the initial setup, and a few minutes each for the various updates during tax season. I plan to continue using the desktop version.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:31 am Well, to each his own. I much prefer the Mac download to online. It provides better functionality. Deluxe download will handle virtually every tax situation, but online does not. I like having my files on my computer. Until around calendar year 2022, I was able to use my 2012 build MacBook Air, which supported the necessary version of iOS to run turbotax. Ten years is a pretty long run for a laptop, and I was buying a new one for other reasons anyway. I still use the old Air for internet and email, but it's getting pretty elderly. The download takes only about 5 minutes for the initial setup, and a few minutes each for the various updates during tax season. I plan to continue using the desktop version.
Well maybe it worked but you are not following Intuit's TT requirements per their website.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/turbotax-suppor ... w_US_en_US
Operating system

2023: macOS Monterey 12 or later
2022: macOS Big Sur 11 or later
2021: macOS Catalina 10.15 or later
2020: macOS Mojave 10.14 or later
This was the whole point of my post, do you really need to keep upgrading every 3 years to use TT for Mac ?
If you read the above "requirements" it seems EVERY YEAR for last 4 years they have stopped supporting older versions of MacOS.
And Apple does not support major upgrades on older hardware. So my 2015 MBA today has MacOS 12 Monterey so I was able to use TT for Mac now.
But if you look at the history, this wouldn't likely be supported next year. And already Apple does not support beyond Monterey for my laptop, so my only option next year would be to buy new hardware. Not saying I would keep a MacBook forever, but the requirements listed on TT website are ridiculously aggressive.

Note the support requirements for browsers to use TT online are much more generous.
I now use Safari 17 and TT supports Safari 13 today. So for online you have years and years of support without upgrading anything.
For Mac download you have to keep upgrading frequently or go unsupported.
Last edited by beyou on Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Normchad
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Normchad »

I’m using it on a Mac. I downloaded it from Amazon and it didn’t say anything about needing to update the OS.

My supposition then is that my OS version is fine. Must be one of those things that it does automatically in the middle of the night to keep up to date.

I think my Mac is six years old now. You’re right though, they do last a very long time.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

Normchad wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:52 am I’m using it on a Mac. I downloaded it from Amazon and it didn’t say anything about needing to update the OS.

My supposition then is that my OS version is fine. Must be one of those things that it does automatically in the middle of the night to keep up to date.

I think my Mac is six years old now. You’re right though, they do last a very long time.
Macs last a long time, but TT officially does not support these older Macs.
So wondering if people actually are ignoring the recommendations as I liked above, or are they upgrading hardware to upgrade OS frequently ?
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Outer Marker »

I don't recall exactly, but it was roughly two years ago that my elderly 2012 mac couldn't run the OS to support turbotax. Whenever it was, it was the correct and supported version. I don't think upgrading the OS every three years or so (for free) to run Turbotax is a big deal, and is probably something we should be doing any way like flossing our teeth. Buying a new machine is expensive, but 8-10 year lifespan is not unreasonable to expect to run the latest computer software by turbotax or anyone else. I'm lucky because my employer is on a more aggressive upgrade schedule and issues new laptops every 4 years (and offers Macs :happy ), so I buy my used office laptop for a few hundred bucks when offered.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Normchad »

beyou wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:58 am
Normchad wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 11:52 am I’m using it on a Mac. I downloaded it from Amazon and it didn’t say anything about needing to update the OS.

My supposition then is that my OS version is fine. Must be one of those things that it does automatically in the middle of the night to keep up to date.

I think my Mac is six years old now. You’re right though, they do last a very long time.
Macs last a long time, but TT officially does not support these older Macs.
So wondering if people actually are ignoring the recommendations as I liked above, or are they upgrading hardware to upgrade OS frequently ?
Good question. In my case, I didn’t even think to look. I assume I’m good, but I don’t truly know that.

I’ve already done the first draft of my 2023 taxes with it, and it didn’t complain.

I can’t fathom why they’d care about the hardware. But they’re smarter than me.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:01 pm I don't recall exactly, but it was roughly two years ago that my elderly 2012 mac couldn't run the OS to support turbotax. Whenever it was, it was the correct and supported version. I don't think upgrading the OS every three years or so (for free) to run Turbotax is a big deal, and is probably something we should be doing any way like flossing our teeth. Buying a new machine is expensive, but 8-10 year lifespan is not unreasonable to expect to run the latest computer software by turbotax or anyone else. I'm lucky because my employer is on a more aggressive upgrade schedule and issues new laptops every 4 years (and offers Macs :happy ), so I buy my used office laptop for a few hundred bucks when offered.
Again, my point is NOT being understood.
My laptops are upgraded regularly as soon as updates are available, that is NOT the point AT ALL.
The point is at some point you can't upgrade older hardware beyond some point.
I have 2 older MacBook Air products and both are on the latest (really old one on Big Sur and slightly newer one on Monterey).
Both still have some updates, which I apply, but both CANNOT be upgraded to Ventura nor Sonoma, PER APPLE.
If you look at the TT website they claim they no longer support Big Sur today and from the pattern seems they wont support Monterey next year.
So as of today, TT can't run on my really old device and it may be on the last year of TT support for my slightly newer one.

https://ttlc.intuit.com/turbotax-suppor ... w_US_en_US

So are these just bogus requirements on the TT site ?

If you look at the past history of Apple and Intuit, Intuit is recommending to use nothing older than 3 year old OS, yet Apple supports the OS on 7 year old hardware typically. I would be happy to upgrade HARDWARE every 7 years to have Apple support, but NOT every 3 years to use TT.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

This is an annoying practice, but there is little way around it if you want to stick with the download version on Mac. I don't know why Intuit does this unless it has to do with the software development kit they use to port the software, and perhaps just not wanting to troubleshoot on older OS versions for what I assume is a small subset of their users. Unfortunately, these are not recommendations, but requirements (from their side). The software will not install and run if the OS is incompatible with their claimed range of support.

One potential way around it is to patch your system and install a version of the operating system which is not officially supported by Apple (but which in many cases still works reasonably well). I have had good luck extending Intuit support by a few years by doing this on old Mac laptops which I have used almost exclusively for tax-filing purposes or web browsing.

Another possibility is that the Amazon downloads now include both Mac and PC installers in the same compressed archive (whereas several years ago you had to specify system at time of order). That should enable installing the Windows version on a work or family PC if applicable (it is to me -- work laptop), or on a dual boot install or virtual machine with a supported version of Windows installed.

I am also currently topped out on my newest inherited laptop with macOS Monterey (12.7.3) without modification, and this machine dates to early 2015, so that's 9 years of support, and likely could be extended another couple years through patches. Or just switch back to online version when Intuit support on the downloaded version runs out.

If you wait until Intuit support runs out and then upgrade to new Apple hardware, you certainly should have more than 3 years. This is because a new machine can be expected to support several new versions of the macOS yet to be published. Only after the machine stops supporting official operating system updates does the 3-year Intuit clock begin.

Check out OpenCore Legacy Patcher and associated walkthroughs. Make sure you have a good backup and are comfortable stepping outside the comfort zone of the most basic users.
Last edited by Cheez-It Guy on Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
student
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by student »

beyou wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:57 am I have been using TT for a very long time, but over the years, I switched from Windows CD/download to online.
Been using online for many years now, and mostly happy with it.
One of my reasons to go to online was to avoid dealing with annual software installs, frequent software updates during tax season etc.
Online the software is just there, and I can use almost any reasonably recent computer with latest browsers.
I am not the slightest bit concerned about having my data on their servers.

This year for a few reasons, decided to try the Mac download version (to use forms mode for a more recent form I am having to deal with and so I can do multiple returns for one price). Going forward I do not expect to always do multiple returns per year, but not sure. Forms mode was not something I ended up using or needed as much as I thought I would. Nice to have but not a must have for me.

So all that said, my main objection to sticking with the download/install locally vs online, is the OS requirements.
Seems Intuit requires a very recent version of the OS, each year requiring a newer version that the prior tax year.
Macs tend to last a very long time, and get OS support for about 7 years. TT seems to drive you to upgrade about every 3 years, a very expensive proposition for Macs. What am I missing ? While I found the software worked fine, I am using 12.7 Monterey which seems like the last year of support. So next year I must upgrade hardware to upgrade the OS just to use TT, and then again every 3 years or faster ? Seems crazy. Anyone know any different ? I am not averse to upgrading the OS, have done then when supported by Apple, but at some point Apple only does bug fixes and security updates, but stops supporting major upgrades on older hardware, whereas TT requires those major upgrades.
You can use opencore legacy patcher to get newer OS for older hardware even Apple says it is not eligible. https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher/ I played around with this for a 2012 macbook pro before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sz0Red_HN4 gives good directions. When a new edition comes out, someone will probably upload a newer video.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

student wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:31 pm You can use opencore legacy patcher to get newer OS for older hardware even Apple says it is not eligible. https://dortania.github.io/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher/ I played around with this for a 2012 macbook pro before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sz0Red_HN4 gives good directions. When a new edition comes out, someone will probably upload a newer video.
Thanks will watch the video, something I was interested in doing with my most recent Mac, AFTER I buy a new one that is supported.
Good to have a spare, even better if it runs latest OS ! Right now my spare is on Big Sur, very bad (though I hardly use my spare these days).
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:19 pm This is an annoying practice, but there is little way around it if you want to stick with the download version on Mac. I don't know why Intuit does this unless it has to do with the software development kit they use to port the software, and perhaps just not wanting to troubleshoot on older OS versions for what I assume is a small subset of their users. Unfortunately, these are not recommendations, but requirements (from their side). The software will not install and run if the OS is incompatible with their claimed range of support.

One potential way around it is to patch your system and install a version of the operating system which is not officially supported by Apple (but which in many cases still works reasonably well). I have had good luck extending Intuit support by a few years by doing this on old Mac laptops which I have used almost exclusively for tax-filing purposes or web browsing.

Another possibility is that the Amazon downloads now include both Mac and PC installers in the same compressed archive (whereas several years ago you had to specify system at time of order). That should enable installing the Windows version on a work or family PC if applicable (it is to me -- work laptop), or on a dual boot install or virtual machine with a supported version of Windows installed.

I am also currently topped out on my newest inherited laptop with macOS Monterey (12.7.3) without modification, and this machine dates to early 2015, so that's 9 years of support, and likely could be extended another couple years through patches. Or just switch back to online version when Intuit support on the downloaded version runs out.

If you wait until Intuit support runs out and then upgrade to new Apple hardware, you certainly should have more than 3 years. This is because a new machine can be expected to support several new versions of the macOS yet to be published. Only after the machine stops supporting official operating system updates does the 3-year Intuit clock begin.

Check out OpenCore Legacy Patcher and associated walkthroughs. Make sure you have a good backup and are comfortable stepping outside the comfort zone of the most basic users.
This was VERY helpful, thanks.

PS all except the part about Windows. One of the many benefits if retiring is not having to use Windows any longer.
No plans to ever run windows again unless something in the industry drastically changes. Other family members use Windows, but despite being "the IT guy" in the house, I tell them Windows is no longer supported in this house :-). They haven't seen the light, but that's not my problem. I have never used Windows 11 and have no plans to do so !
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by tetractys »

Whether you can upgrade the OS on your Mac depends on the processor, as you know. My Mac is going on 10 years and lately only gets security, browser, and other non-system software updates from Apple. So far 3rd party software is still working; but some older software, while working fine, is not technically supported.

I think to answer your question about TurboTax, you will have to ask them directly. My guess is that even if their software will work, they will refer you to their software requirements as a matter of liability.

For me personally this is one reason I’ve avoided Intuit products for many years now, and have migrated to private, open source, or community based products that show some interest in broad customer support.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by dpc »

I suspect TurboTax just limits the age of OS they list in order to make their support life easier. I think it is quite likely that it will run fine on older OS versions, but if there's a problem, they can just tell you that they don't support that OS. I doubt if they even do much testing of the older version.
"Worrying is like paying interest on a debt that you might never owe" -- Will Rogers
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

dpc wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:41 pm I suspect TurboTax just limits the age of OS they list in order to make their support life easier. I think it is quite likely that it will run fine on older OS versions, but if there's a problem, they can just tell you that they don't support that OS. I doubt if they even do much testing of the older version.
You would think this, but as someone who has run up against their support limits before, I can tell you that the software fundamentally will NOT install and run on an unsupported version of the OS. If they wanted to, I'm sure they could make the software work on older versions of the OS, as it's very clunky and very little seems to change in terms of basic software function from year-to-year, but they clearly don't want to do this, and the consumers can't really force a change.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

beyou wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:12 pm This was VERY helpful, thanks.

PS all except the part about Windows. One of the many benefits if retiring is not having to use Windows any longer.
No plans to ever run windows again unless something in the industry drastically changes. Other family members use Windows, but despite being "the IT guy" in the house, I tell them Windows is no longer supported in this house :-). They haven't seen the light, but that's not my problem. I have never used Windows 11 and have no plans to do so !
Glad if you found it helpful. I also prefer not to work in Windows, but I have a Dell laptop from work, and if I had no other option available, I might choose to spend a couple hours once a year doing taxes on Windows rather than spending a couple thousand dollars to upgrade hardware that was working fine for me for all other purposes, so I just wanted to mention it as a possibility since I noticed the change in the Amazon TurboTax download inclusion a couple years ago.
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Re: Turbotax for Mac requirements

Post by beyou »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:55 pm
beyou wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:12 pm This was VERY helpful, thanks.

PS all except the part about Windows. One of the many benefits if retiring is not having to use Windows any longer.
No plans to ever run windows again unless something in the industry drastically changes. Other family members use Windows, but despite being "the IT guy" in the house, I tell them Windows is no longer supported in this house :-). They haven't seen the light, but that's not my problem. I have never used Windows 11 and have no plans to do so !
Glad if you found it helpful. I also prefer not to work in Windows, but I have a Dell laptop from work, and if I had no other option available, I might choose to spend a couple hours once a year doing taxes on Windows rather than spending a couple thousand dollars to upgrade hardware that was working fine for me for all other purposes, so I just wanted to mention it as a possibility since I noticed the change in the Amazon TurboTax download inclusion a couple years ago.
Yes thanks. I have worked on unix based systems since the 1980s, and fought off the need for me to be involved with Windows at work.
I had unix desktop and servers the 80s and 90s, and eventually had to deal with Windows desktops when out of my control. But the servers where I managed various application development and support, were all unix. I was so thrilled when Mac when to unix and started remotely controlling my Windows PC at work via my Mac at home, when WFH. I don't own a windows PC now and no plans to ever buy one again ! I have to dig into them when my wife or other family ask, but I give them the caveat "I haven't used Windows regularly in years, buyer beware if you let me touch your PC".

I plan to upgrade my Mac, looking forward to getting some new hardware features that I don't have on older Macs.
But I prefer to buy a top quality computer and use it for a long time than cheap hardware that needs to be upgraded frequently.
I think TT pushes customers in the other direction, though I understand why. But this is why I used TT online for many years.
No need to worry about any bugs in Windows (back when I was forced to use Windows). No need to frequently upgrade hardware, just browsers,
which I would be upgrading regardless. I am on the fence out TT next year, but was happy with TT for Mac this year and happy with TT online prior years. I think TT is a pretty good product and will use it one way or the other.
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