The TurboTax Change That Could Tax Your Budget This Year

The TurboTax Change That Could Tax Your Budget This Year

Update: January 30, 2015

Starting in early February, TurboTax plans to upgrade anyone who purchased the Deluxe version of their tax-preparation software to the Premier or Home and Business version. The free upgrade will restore the feature that was eliminated from the Deluxe software.

This year’s tax season already promises to bring more headaches than usual—what with budget cuts to the IRS and added complications as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

But some taxpayers are now dealing with yet another hiccup: This year, investors who use Intuit’s TurboTax’s desktop software will have to shell out 50% more for the Premier version.

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In the past, investors could spend $60 on the Deluxe software—but that version no longer includes the feature that lets users enter the securities they sold and calculate the capital gains.

Now, they’ll have to spend nearly $92 for the Premier version to access that particular feature.

Technically, users can still purchase the Deluxe software, and enter their data manually—but the company doesn’t recommend it because consumers won’t be able to file their returns electronically.

Bob Meighan, spokesperson for TurboTax, told USA Today that the company made the change so that the desktop version of the software functions the same way as the online version. (The online program doesn’t let users enter stock transactions.)

Meighan expects that the change won’t affect many consumers: Just one-fifth of TurboTax's 29 million customers use the desktop software, and only some of those customers sold stocks.

Still, those consumers who have been affected haven’t been shy about expressing their anger. The Deluxe program currently has a 1.5 star rating on Amazon.com, where many customers have published tales of frustration and disappointment.

In response to Intuit’s decision, H&R Block, a competitor tax services provider, is now offering its Deluxe and State desktop software free to customers who already bought TurboTax’s Basic or Deluxe software for 2014 without knowing it was missing a feature they needed.

Meanwhile, an Intuit spokesperson told The New York Times that the company is handling customer concerns on an individual basis. Some people have reported that they received a free upgrade after calling Intuit.

If this year is the first time you’re paying taxes as an investor, we’ve got your back. These guidelines can help if you have a retirement account and/or a basic investment account with stocks, mutual funds or bonds.

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