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Intuit TurboTax Makes the IRS Look Good

Strike One… today was tax day. I wasn’t really looking forward to doing my taxes, but I want to get them completed with plenty of time left. Having a part-time business (that currently loses money) makes keeping records absolutely necessary and I hate records. So I basically have a file cabinet that I shove notes, receipts, and mileage logs into. Then, when tax time comes, I dig out all of the folders and carefully organize everything in the event there’s an audit on the way.

In 2005 I gave up the side business because it was such a hassle. However, this year my services have been much more in demand with much higher exposure… but, honestly, not much money. That’s okay… it was calculated and it’s working. I was very selective so the net of it is that I spent much more on my business than I brought in. My goal is usually to break even, but I had a bum account that put me under.

Anyways… I planned the weekend to do the taxes while the kids were going to visit their Mom. As luck has it, that got canceled as well. Strike two.

I logged onto TurboTax to download the software and thought I was in trouble…. on my account page I had pre-ordered the 2006 TurboTax Home & Business Version. But it was for Windows and I now have a Mac. Strike three?


I logged into the web version of the software wondering what kind of app I was going to get. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise. It was absolutely amazing. The usability of the online software was perfect… on the left sidebar was the summary and on the right side was additional assistance. In the center panel, the application worked flawlessly. I was able to move back and forth, skip sections, jump back… and never had an issue.


When I first started, I was running on Parallels since I thought I might need to download the software. There was no need. About half-way through doing my taxes, though, IE7 decided to take a dump (no surprise). I was worried that I may have lost some info but when I logged in using Firefox, I never lost a beat. TurboTax saves as you go.

Some other great features… I could still import my 2005 taxes to get a head start. As well, I was able to download all my W-2 data from ADP in TurboTax’s app. I filed electronically, am having the refund directly deposited, got email alerts when they were ready for approval, and will get another when my refund is deposited – an estimated 9 days.

All in all, Intuit made my day. An application that can make sense out of our tax code is pretty amazing. Even President Bush states:

The tax code is a complicated mess. You realize, it’s a million pages long.

Thanks, Intuit. I’ve been using TurboTax for about 8 years now and I think Intuit may have a customer for life (as long as they don’t get rid of their usability experts!) TurboTax makes the IRS look good. I wonder if the tax system will ever improve as long as they have such talent at taking a complicated mess and organizing it into such a fantastic application.

For those people that think desktop applications can’t move online, just do your taxes with TurboTax Online. My only disappointment with the entire process was when I figured out that I made less this year than last year. Ugh. And my son turned 17 so I no longer get a $1k tax credit for him.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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  1. I’ve been a fan of TurboTax (desktop edition) for several years now too. How does the online edition handle multiple tax returns? That is, do you have to pay per tax return?

    Remember a couple of years ago when Intuit used product activation to stop multiple installations from one CD? Sounded good on paper, but it annoyed all the families (couples) that expected to be able to do their taxes from their respective computers. Hopefully the online version is flexible in this regard.

    1. Hi Mario,

      To tell you the truth, I’m not sure! I only (thankfully) had one to worry about. I don’t think I’ll switch back to the desktop after using the online! No installs, and all my data is accessible online from here on! (You are able to save all your tax forms via PDF to have a record).


  2. Doug,

    I was very happy to read about your positive experience with TurboTax this year. Thanks for being a loyal customer! I shared your post with some of our designers too since I’m sure they’ll enjoy the kudos.

    Take care,
    Michelle Makowski
    Marketing Manager, TurboTax

  3. Dude, I’ve been using TurboTax Online since about 2001. If you use it next year, it’ll pull the data from this year into the account so you don’t have to go back and re-enter stuff. They also keep all of your old returns online. I won’t use anything else.

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