My meeting last night was canceled because of bad weather, so I had a free night. How sad that I would spend a free night starting my taxes! The last several years I had been using H&R Block’s software, but last year they really frustrated me – they kept making me fill out a form that I didn’t have to fill out, and they wouldn’t let me e-file because of it. So I tried using the free software I got from TurboTax, their basic.

Unfortunately,the Basic Turbo Tax already made one mistake on my taxes! It did not handle my Housing Allowance (a deduction from taxes for clergy) correctly. If I would have let the program go, it would have royally messed up my taxes! They were trying to tell me that I was going to get over $5000 back, when in reality it is probably going to be closer to $600 (the program did not take Social Security Tax off of my Housing Allowance which caused the discrepancy). I was a little frustrated to say the least.

As I mentioned awhile back, my Dad does taxes for a few other people and he uses the more advanced TurboTax software, and he has not run into that problem. So I will hold out final judgment on TurboTax until I can use the better / more advanced software. I am basically using the free version to help me make sure that I have all the stuff I need before I drive 1-1/2 hours to use his software (and let him see the grand-kids!).

How sad that even the “professionals” who make txs software can’t get things right sometimes! I am just glad that I knew better and was able to manually get the software to do it right. Was a little scary though thinking that if you didn’t know, it could have really guided you wrong. If you are doing anything but the simplest tax preparation, you probably need to pay for the better software.

Categories: Tax