Updated February 5, 2015: It came to all of us as a shock – The sudden and unannounced changes in TurboTax Deluxe 2014 that certain forms would no longer be supported in the Deluxe desktop version (those are the CD and download versions). Specifically, the removal of Schedules C (for self-employment and small business income), D (investment reporting) and E (rental or partnership income). That meant that those of us that have used the Deluxe version for years were forced to upgrade to either the Premier version (for about $30.00 more) or Home & Business (for about $40.00 more). Not very cool and, frankly, a pretty sneaky trick to get more money from their loyal customers.
As you can imagine, this caused quit a stir on social media with thousands of customers voicing their concerns on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and on Intuit’s own TurboTax help forums. And if you happen to visit the Deluxe page on Amazon, you would be greeted with over 2500 1-star reviews from fuming customers. As a result a number of customers decided to jump ship to competing tax software programs, including H&R Block’s at Home Deluxe and Taxcut Deluxe.
Not expecting such an uproar, on January 23, 2015 Intuit finally responded with an apology to the way they handled the change and offered a $25.00 rebate to select customers who used the Deluxe desktop version last year but who were forced to upgrade to one of the higher versions this year. As you can expect, this concession was not viewed in a good light. Not only did the $25.00 rebate not cover the full costs of upgrading but many were taken aback by the fact that you had to provide your social security number in order to request for the rebate (it ahead the light on Intuit’s practices of collecting and storing their customers personal information, even on the desktop versions where you think all your personal tax information is only kept between you and the IRS).
In a dramatic turn of events, last night Intuit President & Chief Executive Officer, Brad Smith, came out in a video posted on Linkedin that they will be reversing the changes that were made in the the Deluxe version. He’s quoted saying that the entire change was “mishandled” and that “[customers have made it] clear about what would make this right”. So next year in 2016, when you’ll be working on your 2015 taxes, Deluxe desktop versions will include Schedules C, D and E exactly as it had for many years before.
But what about this year?
Beginning on Saturday, February 7th, existing TurboTax Deluxe desktop users (i.e. you used the Deluxe desktop version for your 2013 tax return) who need to upgrade to Premier or Home & Business will be able to do so for free within the software itself. So no extra costs and no rebate forms to send in. If you’re already filed and had to pay for the upgrade, then you can still take advantage of the $25.00 rebate up until April 20th, 2015. Keep in mind that both the free upgrade and rebate only apply to users that used Deluxe 2013 desktop to file their taxes last year and who need to upgrade, as a result to the form changes, to Premier desktop or Home & Business desktop. New customers, customers using the online versions, and those who did not file their 2013 tax returning using the TurboTax Deluxe CD or download version will not qualify for this offer.
Here’s the full video apology and policy change response from Brad Smith:
The video’s transcript can be viewed here.
So what are your thoughts?
Can Intuit be trusted? Planning on sticking with TurboTax after this major faux pas? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.