Tax Time Ripoffs!!!

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by DXSMac, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. DXSMac

    DXSMac
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    Ok, this has nothing to do with RV'ing, but I hope the webmaster will let me have some latitude. We all have to pay taxes, so this should be relevant.

    It used to be that if you bought TurboTax (or other tax software), that the "e-filing" was free. NOT THIS YEAR!

    I just bought TurboTax at Costco, it cost me $59.99 plus tax. Well well well...... read the back. If you want to e-file, it will cost you $17.95 extra. If you have a state return to e-file, too, it will cost you another $17.95. RIPOFF!!!!

    On the other hand, if you go to TurboTax's web site, you can download the software for $49.95, and the e-filing fee is included!

    In my opinion, this is nothing more than extortion!

    I'm ok with putting one or two stamps on an envelope to file my taxes by paper, but these e-filing fees are nothing more than extortion!

    And, if my tax memory serves me correctly, I believe..... starting this year, e-filing is free through the IRS web site only if your income is $50,000 or less, but I would have to double check that.

    I haven't checked Tax Cut yet.

    JJ :eek:
     
  2. DXSMac

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    I just checked TaxCut's web site. If you buy their software, there is an EXTRA fee to e-file, but it doesn't say what it is.

    On the other hand, if you download the software from their web site, e-filing is free.

    On the other hand, TaxCut is cheaper than Turbo Tax. I have used both, and in my opinion, TaxCut has "cleaner" screens, Turbo Tax software is kind of "busy."

    I don't understand how this is going to "encourage" people to e-file. The e-file cost is a ripoff! Paying an extra fee in addition to the cost of the software to e-file is a complete ripoff! Not me! I'm willing to wait for my refund by filing it by mail. I just file it early enough that I can check by phone to make sure it's received......

    JJ
     
  3. John Blue

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    We use a CPA for the last 10% of our taxes due to our business. I do 90% of the work. He has use E-filing for years now. He works off a tax system software and can tell you what day our money will be in bank. He will sent me copy to review by e-mail, I check it over and e-mail him to sent it in. Works great for me. We can be anyplace and work out any problems that may come up. Been on this system for years now. Yes, I know he has a fee to work but he has save me lots of money over the years due to all the new rules and his knowledge of tax work. :p
     
  4. Bud in Florida

    Bud in Florida
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    I use taxact on line and it is free and at least last year E filing was free. Not sure about this year yet. Even if you go for their enhanced services it is much cheaper than Turbo Tax. The web site is www.taxactonline.com
     
  5. DXSMac

    DXSMac
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    QUOTE(Bud in Florida @ Dec 9 2007, 10:44 AM) [snapback]9415[/snapback]

    I use taxact on line and it is free and at least last year E filing was free. Not sure about this year yet. Even if you go for their enhanced services it is much cheaper than Turbo Tax. The web site is www.taxactonline.com



    Ok, I just checked it out. It appears you can file a FEDERAL return free, but a state return will cost you.

    On the other hand, for $7.95 (paid when you actually send...Deluxe Service), you can get some extra help with your return. This applies only to a Federal return, extra charge for a state return. Further, for $16.95 (Ultimate Service), you can file both Federal and State. On the Deluxe service, it doesn't say how much "extra" the state return will cost you. So, it is difficult to make a comparison as to whether the Deluxe or Ultimate will be cheaper for you if you need to file a state return.

    Bud in Florida, I notice on TaxAct's web site, you can do your taxes free until you actually "file," then there is a charge to e-file. Is there anything on the web site that prevents you from using the "free" section to do your return to the point of printing it out, and then just mailing it, without doing the "e-file?"

    The very cheapest way to do your return is to download the forms from the IRS, fill them out yourself, and mail it in. But your refund does take longer. I usually do this because I'm kind of familiar with the tax law. I don't even know why I bothered to buy Turbo Tax this year.....

    I'll have to look up the "interest" formula, but I'm sure that E-file fees to send taxes in will equate to a ripoff "interest" rate for getting one's refund sooner.....

    JJ
     
  6. DXSMac

    DXSMac
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    I just checked out TaxActOnline, recommended by Bud In Florida. It looks like it can handle medium complex tax issues. I just did a "practice" return to see how it worked.

    It appears that they "watermark" the forms they allow you to print, so that you can't just use it, then print it out to send by mail. But....... you could take what they give you, and copy it manually to forms you download from IRS web site, and mail it.

    The E-filing appears to be free if you don't need any help. However, you have to constantly put up with "Do you want to upgrade to our $7.95 special" before you can switch screens.

    Bud, thanks for the recommendation, I may give it a try.

    JJ
     
  7. gsbogart

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    QUOTE(Gracie & Chloe @ Dec 16 2007, 02:29 AM) [snapback]9497[/snapback]

    Good grief, man, that's an unwarranted response! On another subject, you call her a bozo, and now you call her a cry baby and a puck. Man, that's really mature. You don't even know JJ. I do, and yes, she worries about everything. But, she's still a good person and doesn't deserve to be attacked like that.

    JJ never stated anything negative about paying taxes. She simply stated that the $17.95 charge to e-file is new and surprised her. It surprised me, too, as it had not been a part of the package in previous years.

    Most buyers of Turbo Tax are return buyers and probably do not read the box print until after purchasing it. At that point, they have the choice of paying the $17.95, returning the purchase, or sending the return through the mail. Most will probably pay the fee.
     
  8. DXSMac

    DXSMac
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    I just checked what I paid for Turbo Tax last year. I paid $89.99 (I use the middle version, they make three versions) at Best Buy for the same version for which I paid $59.99 at Costco this year.

    Now, I know things at Costco are cheaper, but I seriously doubt it is $30 cheaper.

    Ok, I am taking a wild guess here. I'm guessing.............. that Turbo Tax, in order to make their product "appear to be" less expensive (marketing ploy!!), they just broke out separately the software cost and e-file cost. Since you most likely paid a higher price for it in previous years, they just broke it out separately and figured you wouldn't "mind" paying extra to e-file.

    Just a wild guess.

    And, I'm guessing that TaxCut followed suit. (Or maybe TaxCut did it first and TurboTax followed suit.....)

    Or, the suggestion given by another poster (it was a web site, have to go back and look) appears to be a good option.....

    JJ
     
  9. gsbogart

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    QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 19 2007, 01:47 PM) [snapback]9559[/snapback]

    I just checked what I paid for Turbo Tax last year. I paid $89.99 (I use the middle version, they make three versions) at Best Buy for the same version for which I paid $59.99 at Costco this year.

    Now, I know things at Costco are cheaper, but I seriously doubt it is $30 cheaper.

    Ok, I am taking a wild guess here. I'm guessing.............. that Turbo Tax, in order to make their product "appear to be" less expensive (marketing ploy!!), they just broke out separately the software cost and e-file cost. Since you most likely paid a higher price for it in previous years, they just broke it out separately and figured you wouldn't "mind" paying extra to e-file.

    Just a wild guess.

    And, I'm guessing that TaxCut followed suit. (Or maybe TaxCut did it first and TurboTax followed suit.....)

    Or, the suggestion given by another poster (it was a web site, have to go back and look) appears to be a good option.....

    JJ





    If I remember correctly, you can pick up the standard version of Tax Cut at the local dollar store for a buck. Unless you have a buesiness, or a very complicated tax return this will do it for you.
     
  10. DXSMac

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    QUOTE(gsbogart @ Dec 20 2007, 08:24 AM) [snapback]9572[/snapback]

    If I remember correctly, you can pick up the standard version of Tax Cut at the local dollar store for a buck. Unless you have a buesiness, or a very complicated tax return this will do it for you.



    Actually, in my opinion, TaxCut is "cleaner." TurboTax has too much going on in their screens, too much "stuff." So, why did I buy TurboTax anyway? Long story, would bore you to tears.....

    JJ
     
  11. DXSMac

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    I was at Fred Meyer today (FM is the West Coast version of Kroger), and they were selling TaxCut. Tax Cut took a different approach. If you just need the software to do your return, and you are just mailing it in, $19.99 (without a state return). If you want to e-file, you have to buy a different version of the software and pay $35.99. If you need to do a state return also, it's $69.99.

    Either way, they are still adding a "fee" to e-file.

    This is EXTORTION!

    That free site (Taxactonline?) someone suggested is looking good right now!

    JJ
     
  12. ready2upgrade

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    I've done TurboTax online for the last 6 years, never paying more than $49. Started out State returns were included. Then they bumped it to $9.95. Last year they increased the State filing fee to $19.95. This incited me enough to research alternatives. I found out you can file for free in Illinois, using the downloadable and fully interactive forms, through the Illinois e-file site. It was super easy. I don't know if other states offer this tho. I've always received my refunds mid-february. Waiting longer in the tax season the online site gets very busy. Mornings are easier, less traffic.
     
  13. WVA3185

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    QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 6 2007, 10:56 AM) [snapback]9368[/snapback]

    Ok, this has nothing to do with RV'ing, but I hope the webmaster will let me have some latitude. We all have to pay taxes, so this should be relevant.

    It used to be that if you bought TurboTax (or other tax software), that the "e-filing" was free. NOT THIS YEAR!

    I just bought TurboTax at Costco, it cost me $59.99 plus tax. Well well well...... read the back. If you want to e-file, it will cost you $17.95 extra. If you have a state return to e-file, too, it will cost you another $17.95. RIPOFF!!!!

    On the other hand, if you go to TurboTax's web site, you can download the software for $49.95, and the e-filing fee is included!

    In my opinion, this is nothing more than extortion!

    I'm ok with putting one or two stamps on an envelope to file my taxes by paper, but these e-filing fees are nothing more than extortion!

    And, if my tax memory serves me correctly, I believe..... starting this year, e-filing is free through the IRS web site only if your income is $50,000 or less, but I would have to double check that.

    I haven't checked Tax Cut yet.

    JJ :eek:



    I have used TurboTax since 1989 so I am quite familiar with the whole gambit that has been used over the years. You used to have to pay for both the Federal and the state packages. Then they came out with the various versions with basic not having the state package that you bought separately or you could buy the deluxe package that had both for a few dollars less than the basic Federal package and state package cost combined. Then they had a deal one year where the basic backage didn't include the efile coupon and you paid separately for it but the deluxe package had a coupon that let you efile for "free"...yea right,...:) Now we are back to the basic package without the state return and the deluxe version with the state return and you pay for the efile either way. Can't wait to see the next marketing strategy.
     
  14. DXSMac

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    Ok, the "ex-accountant/auditor" in me is coming out.

    Let's see, it's been awhile since I have done this, don't know if I'm using the right formula.

    If you file by mail, it's basically, I think.... 60 days to get your refund. If you e-file, you get your refund in 2 weeks (14 days), a difference of 46 days.

    Let's say your refund is $1,000. Paying $17.95 to efile is, effectively, a 1.8% interest to get it 46 days earlier. At that amount, not bad.

    Ok, let's say your refund is $500. Paying $17.95 to efile is, effectively, a 3.59% interest to get it 46 days earlier. Again, maybe not bad.

    Ok, let's say your refund is only $100. If you pay $17.95 to efile, you are paying a whopping 17.95% interest rate to get your $100 46 days earlier. At this rate, I wouldn't efile just to get it 46 days earlier. :angry: EXTORTION!

    Again, it's been awhile since I have had to calculate these kinds of things, I just did a simple calculation. I think the actual calculation involves a bit more.

    JJ
     
  15. DXSMac

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    Guess what folks, NO RIPOFF this year (unless you want to consider the cost of the software as a "ripoff...."). I checked... both TaxCut and TurboTax (the ones you see the most...) are both including FREE E-file this year when you buy the software. I guess they got the message after last year.

    TaxCut is including ONE free e-file. Their software is a lot cheaper. ($34 at Fred Meyer/Kroger).

    TurboTax ($72 at Costco for the "Premier" version), on the back of the box it SAYS "one free e-file" but there is a sticker attached on the front of the box that says FIVE free e-files. Now, I bought this at Costco, don't know if this is a Costco thing or not.

    JJ
     
  16. Florida Native

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    Doing your own taxes is a quick way to divorce.
     
  17. DXSMac

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    Ok, I just double checked my Quicken files.

    Last year, I paid $60 at Costco for TurboTax, and that is when e-filing was "extra."

    This year, I paid $72 at Costco for TurboTax and this year the e-filing is "free."

    Ok, I am revising my earlier statement. RIPOFF!!!!!!

    I'm not married, so I don't have to worry about divorce on doing my own taxes. Actually, I PREFER to just download the forms from IRS and fill them in myself, but software helps make sure I add the pages up correctly and transfer numbers from one form to another correctly.

    JJ
     
  18. Browzin

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    What's a tax refund????
    I have had to pay every year for at least the last 30+ years. Dang quarterly taxes. At least I'm always within the 10% limit, no penalties.
     
  19. Lee and Fran

    Lee and Fran
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    I have always gone thru the web site for IrS and found free e-filing sources for fed and we have hand did our state otherwise you pay for it.
     
  20. Bud in Florida

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    last year I used Taxact and the efiling was free and you had to pay for state tax returns. I live in Florida so I have no state tax refund. This year Taxact is charging for efiling. They also charge you $7.95 if you want to have them import everything from last year's return. I used to use Turbo Tax, but it got too expensive for my simple return. I have used Taxact for the last two years and feel it is a good value for the money. You can check the IRS web site and they will tell you where there are free e-filers. Just hoping for a refund this year!!!!
     

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