TurboTax and zombies

Today's addition to The List: TurboTax. Or more specifically, the company that makes it: Intuit. Which really put its foot in it this year.

I've been doing my own taxes since college. Nobody needs to try to understand my bizarre accounting system but me. It makes sense to me, okay? I started with "Taxes for Dummies," a pile of library-copied forms and a No. 2 pencil. I moved to web-based versions as technology advanced, and I have used TurboTax Deluxe downloaded software to do my taxes for years with no problems. I understand how the system works and they carry over much of my stuff from year to year, so I just need to fill in my sales and royalties, etc. It's helpful not to have to re-calculate the square footage of my office each year.

I should have paid closer attention. Seems TurboTax has recalibrated its software versions, and you can no longer use Deluxe to file the forms for home office deduction and Schedule C (read: side business income). For that, you need TurboTax Home & Business, at nearly twice the cost.

Boo hiss, TurboTax. I will be requesting a refund, I think. I like your product very much and have never had complaints about it, but this is nothing but a money grab. There is no blooming reason why we should have to upgrade to a higher product just for a home office and Schedule C. You are not keeping customers this way; you are already the highest-priced tax prep software by a factor of three, so we really don't need all that much encouragement to jump ship.

Not very Intuit-tive. (What? Love me, love my jokes.)

Hmm, looks like H&R Block's software includes the Schedule C at Deluxe level... and we won't even talk about TaxAct, which is about a quarter your price.

EDIT: Now this is how you scramble. Seems that H&R Block is offering a free version of its Deluxe software to angry, disaffected TurboTax customers. It's actually set up an email account: SwitchToBlock@hrblock.com, and if you email them your name, email address, whether you use a Mac or PC and a scanned receipt of your TurboTax purchase, they'll send you a link for a free download of the deluxe product plus state. Given that H&R Block has less than a third of the customers that TurboTax does, according to Forbes, that's some serious hustle.

EDIT EDIT: On the other hand... I called TurboTax to get a refund on my angry-making software. The nice, polite lady immediately offered me a free upgrade. Apparently there are quite a few angry customers applying for refunds. Bravo to TurboTax on belatedly understanding customer service.

I took the upgrade; I don't want to deal with a new software program if I don't have to. So, if you (like me) already bought TurboTax and will need to report side business income (or have investment income, which I absolutely do not), call 800-445-1875 and request an upgrade. I appreciate good customer service, even if it originates from a really bad decision.

But you'd better believe I'm looking very closely at next year's version, Intuit. If you don't restore the Schedule C at the Deluxe level, H&R Block is getting my business next year.

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Totally unrelated but funny....

Last night I dreamed I was Batman. Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Batmaaaaaan.

See, now it's stuck in your head, too. I was in some kind of resort and I was Batman, and there was a Robin who looked nothing like Chris O'Donnell or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and we were capering about trying to... I dunno, prevent a jewel theft or something. I am unclear on the details.

Then I woke up, because that happens at least three times a night, and after I fell back asleep it was Zombies 101, barricading the house and everything. Fighty fight fight, because I dream in action-adventure movies.

Now here's my question: Why couldn't I have been Batman when I was fighting zombies?

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