Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yesterday I mentioned Intuit's Tax Freedom Project. I was just looking at it again, and I noticed it doesn't even support free direct deposit of your refund check in the free software. Now, I really can't blame Intuit for wanting to be paid for their product, and TurboTax is a good program, but if you're going to offer a free tax program, and pat yourself on the back for your civic-mindedness, don't cripple the product. Perhaps Tax Freedom has outlived its usefulness: it was originally a public-private initiative to get more people to file electronically; now, most people don't need any incentive to do so.

I should note, if it sounds like I'm just needlessly whining about a free product, this free product did end up costing me money. I thought the free product was the same as TurboTax Basic, so I thought I had to pay for TurboTax Deluxe. I didn't realize that the free TurboTax is actually a stripped down version of TurboTax Basic. So I bought more services than I needed. Not the end of the world, but frustrating, none the less. Leaves just enough of a bad taste in my mouth, I might experiment with a free offering like Tax Act next year.

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