Three Problems With Turbo Tax and How to Fix Them

January 20, 2012 by
Filed under: Do It Yourself 
Day 30 - Working late makes me..

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First, full disclosure: I love Turbo Tax. I used to tell people that I’d do TV commercials for it. I even seriously considered going to work for the company. I have worked for one of their competitors – and I still like Turbo Tax better. So when I title this blog post as “Problems With Turbo Tax”, you’re not going to find an exposé of all things bad with the company. This is just a heads up for people using the number one tax software in America.

Problem number 1: “The program won’t let me…” This is the one I hear most often, “The program won’t let me change the number, it won’t let me delete my neighbor’s child.” Turbo Tax is great when you’re in the act of preparing your taxes, but it’s not as easy to go back in and make a change if you’ve done something wrong and need to correct it. For example: one of the things I do is review tax returns that people have prepared for themselves before they send them to the IRS. (I charge a fee for that but it’s much cheaper than paying me to do your taxes for you.) One year, I reviewed a woman’s return and she had put a $4,000 tax credit on her return. That was wrong; the $4,000 belonged someplace else. I explained the problem and where the $4,000 needed to go. Granted, she wasn’t going to get that big refund she was expecting, but her return would have been right. Anyway, a few months later she was in my office again. She had received a notice from the IRS stating that she wasn’t allowed to claim that $4,000 tax credit I had warned her about. I asked her, “Why didn’t you change it like I told you to?” “Because Turbo Tax wouldn’t let me,” she said.

Dealing with that problem: First, you need to know that “Turbo Tax wouldn’t let me,” is not an acceptable excuse in Tax Court. Second, one thing that Turbo Tax does well is that they have real people who can answer your questions. You call the phone number and you get to talk to an Enrolled Agent who understands tax issues and the Turbo Tax software. You can tell her you’ve got a number on line 53 but it really belongs on line 29 but you can’t figure out how to make it work and she’ll guide you through it. You might pay a little more for Turbo Tax to get that service, but it’s there when you need it so don’t be afraid to use it.

Problem 2: Choosing the right product. Turbo Tax has 5 versions of its product, plus its online applications. In the store you can buy:

  • Basic – for simple tax returns with no itemized deductions
  • Deluxe – for regular 1040 returns with home mortgage interest and charitable deductions
  • Premier – which includes everything in Deluxe but also handles investment income and rental property
  • Home & Business – which is for sole proprietors
  • Business – for persons filing corporations, partnerships and LLCs

I cannot stress this enough, if you need the more expensive package, don’t be cheap – buy it. I’m always amazed when people call me for help because they want to depreciate their income property by hand because Turbo Tax won’t do it for them. Yes it does, if you buy the Premier edition. Of course I will gladly prepare a depreciation schedule for your property (for a fee), but if you don’t use the correct software when preparing your tax return, there could be other problems that you won’t realize like passive income limitations (sounds like I’m speaking Geek doesn’t it? I am.) The right software will keep you out of trouble. And there’s no excuse for buying the wrong one: go to their web site and do their quiz to determine which package is right for you.

Problem 3: Not updating the program before you e-file. This isn’t a Turbo Tax problem so much as it is a user error. You have to install the updates before you file your tax return or it could easily be wrong. Let’s be realistic about this. Turbo Tax tries to get its product to the shelves by December for customers to buy it. This is a pretty good business plan. The problem is; there’s always some last minute change to the tax code. Last year, Congress changed the tax rules on December 17th. They messed things up so badly that the IRS computers weren’t able to accept certain returns on the normal date. Intuit (the Turbo Tax Company) has to get its product out to the stores in time. The only way for them to get the product to the store shelves and have it work correctly is to have people install the updates to the software before they file their returns. If you didn’t install the update, your return could easily have been wrong. Installing updates is a normal part of doing taxes – I update my professional software almost every day. If you don’t have internet access and cannot install the updates, the box might not be your best option.

Now I wrote about these Turbo Tax issues because these are all problems that I have helped people with because they had filed taxes and there was a problem. If you file a bad return and the IRS sends you a letter, I charge a lot to fix it. All of these problems I mention are preventable. You will save yourself lots of money by buying the right program, updating before you file, and making use of the Turbo Tax 1-800 number provided in your box.

Final disclaimer—if you haven’t already purchased your tax software, let me recommend clicking on the “Do Your Own Taxes” page at the top and take a walk through my program. It doesn’t have the famous name recognition, but it is a good, solid program. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be on my website.


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If you want to hire us, please call (314) 275-9160 or email us.  We do prepare returns for people all over the country (and a few foreign countries as well.)  We are sorry but we cannot prepare an EIC return for someone outside of the St. Louis area because of the due diligence requirements.


110 Comments on Three Problems With Turbo Tax and How to Fix Them

  1. Victor Galvan on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 5:03 pm
  2. I am a sole proprietor. Can I file easily and how long would it take to get my return?

  3. Jan Roberg on Sun, 22nd Jan 2012 6:09 pm
  4. Hi Victor,
    As a sole proprietor you’ll put that information on a schedule C. If you’re talking about Turbo Tax, you’ll want the Home and Business edition. If you’re going into you’ll be using the deluxe edition. It should take you between 8 and 14 days to get your refund if you’ve got one coming. Don’t forget to file a state return as well.
    I’ve got a lot of posts about small business taxes. You might want to check out this one:
    Also, be sure to claim all of the deductions your entitled too. You might want to check out my tips to reduce your self employment taxes:
    Good luck!

  5. Brenda on Tue, 24th Jan 2012 2:17 am
  6. My little sister has an issue…she wanted to complete her taxes and get money by the end of the month and decided to use her last paystub to do her taxes herself on Turbo Tax….(against my advice) using her 2010 W2 she gathered all her Employer Identification number and her other items needed….she rushed cause she thought she was going to get her w2 till the end of the month. But behold her W2 came today…Now for some reason her employer identification number is different than last year although it is still the same company. The numbers are all correct her income, federal taxes withheld and all Except for the Employer Identification number and Employer’s State ID number….but her federal taxes were accepted by the IRS this morning….does she have to file an amendment or does she live it alone since they were already accepted?

  7. Jan Roberg on Tue, 24th Jan 2012 2:47 am
  8. Hi Brenda,
    Since the IRS didn’t reject her return for the wrong EIN number, I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as all the other numbers are right, just leave it alone. But–and this is important. Make sure that she hangs onto that W2 and a copy of her tax return in a safe place. It’s possible that she could get an IRS letter about a year from now asking why she didn’t report that income. (The numbers go through some computer program and get spit out and a human might never see it.)
    If she does get a letter like that, then Oops! She used the wrong EIN number–she didn’t realize it changed. There’d be no change in tax or anything, it’s just that she’ll want to have her back up to prove what happened. She may never get a letter if a human looks at it–it would be obvious, just a wrong EIN number. But because the IRS does so much by machine, she may just have to prove what she did later.

  9. dara on Wed, 25th Jan 2012 2:52 pm
  10. I don’t think I’ll be using Turbo Tax again. they wont give me my credits and they don’t respond back. Last year I made the same amount of money and got over 4G’s back this year they say I’m getting less. Makes no sense to me.

  11. Tom Young on Wed, 25th Jan 2012 4:47 pm
  12. Just happened to stumble in here. I think you’re wrong in your statement

    “I’m always amazed when people call me for help because they want to depreciate their income property by hand because Turbo Tax won’t do it for them. Yes it does, if you buy the Premier edition.”

    According to TurboTax’s website all the available “paid” versions of TurboTax support the exact same forms, including Schedule E, where depreciation on a rental would be recorded. I have no working knowledge of Basic but I’ve used Deluxe for many years and it certainly WILL calculate depreciation on an investment property.

  13. Jan Roberg on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 1:35 am
  14. Thanks Tom,
    It’s good to get real feedback from actual users. Although I still say you should buy the right package for the job you’re doing. I really have produced depreciation calculations for persons who said it wasn’t available in their Turbo Tax package. To be honest, I made the assumption that they had just purchased the wrong package, perhaps it was just user error. Thanks for setting me straight.

  15. Jan Roberg on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 1:52 am
  16. Hi Dara,
    Couple of potential issues–not Turbo Tax problems, just general issues.
    1. No making work pay tax credit–could reduce your refund by 400 or 800 dollars depending upon if you’re married or not. Lot’s of people are going to see that.
    2. If that’s not the issue- Some credits get eliminated with a higher income–like the college credits. You said your income didn’t go up though so that’s probably not it.
    3. If you’re having trouble with EIC–be sure to completely answer all the questions in the little questionaires. There are some new rules and the software companies have to comply along with the professionals. If you normally receive EIC–walk through all those questions and answer them all. (Pain in the behind–us pros have to do it too.)
    Good luck.

  17. Jan Roberg on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 1:53 am
  18. Oh Dara–

    I almost forgot. Please come back here next year and file with me. Sorry, got to get the blatant plug in.

  19. Kathy Kosloff on Mon, 2nd Apr 2012 5:26 pm
  20. TT says error Schedule C line 52 Disposition of Vehicle – figure too large, cannot exceed business basis – see tax help. TT made up the worksheet and I can’t change that figure and even if I could – would not know what figure to put in. Where is this “Tax Help” that TT if referring me too? “Others” say to delete form and then do it again – but I still would not know what figure I was to put in – that’s something the TT figures (I thought). Been using TT for many years now but think this may be a TT glitch because it’s THEIR complied worksheet. Any help would be appreciated.


  21. Admin Roberg on Thu, 5th Apr 2012 2:12 am
  22. Hey Kathy,
    You got me. My first thought is, “there is no line 52 on Schedule C” –you’ve got to be on the disposition of assets form. But without looking at it, I’m at a loss. BUT!!!!—the cool thing is you’ve got the TT box! Call their number and have one of their people talk you through it. You paid for the service. Good luck. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  23. john on Wed, 11th Apr 2012 2:23 am
  24. I get social security and it is 24500. a year.
    I get payments from my 401 k they mount up to 19377.00 a year
    do i pay tax on the social security. i read a couple could make up to 32,000 before
    you pay any tax. do my wife and i owe any tax?

  25. Admin Roberg on Thu, 12th Apr 2012 1:31 am
  26. Hi John,
    you need to file a return–you’ll be owing tax.

  27. Johanna von Hollinger on Thu, 12th Apr 2012 11:21 pm
  28. Good Evening! I have used Turbo Tax 2 other times in the last 3 years and have always claimed a home office. I am a psychotherapist and see my clients in my small office/room and do all my phone calls, paperwork, scheduling and billing in my home office. I just finished listing my business expenses in the Home and Business Edition of Turbo Tax on line and the message is: You are not allowed to list [claim] as home office this year. You may be able to do so next year. When I read the tax code, I definitely meet the requirements of home office (actually exceed
    them). At this point I hate to file for an extension and have a tax preparer complete them sometime later in this year. Please help.

  29. Admin Roberg on Sat, 14th Apr 2012 1:22 am
  30. Hi Johanna,
    You sound like a good home office claim to me. (You’re using Turbo Tax, not my Roberg Tax Solutions website?)
    Walk away from it for awhile and look again later. Go over the questionaire part–maybe you answered something incorrectly. I think a home office is a legitimate expense for you but if you said “no” instead of “yes” somewhere it may kick you out.

    Other possibilities: I would think a psychotherapist would have enough income to support the home office deduction but if you income was really low it limits you home office deduction.

    Another possible issue: I’m guessing you’re self employed–but if you’re a wage earner some of the other items involved with claiming a home office might make the deduction irrelevant.

    It’s hard to tell without looking but those are some possibilities. Remember–with Turbo Tax you can call up one of their specialists and they can talk you through it. If you really can’t claim your home office this year, they should be able to look and tell you why.

    Or file an extension and call me next Wednesday :)

  31. Ann on Sun, 6th May 2012 4:14 am
  32. I’ve used Turbo Tax for years and thought it was great until I had a loss on my rental properties. Turbo Tax doesn’t appear to have the proper forms to file to carryback the losses and I suspect people who use this programs will end up losing their NOLs. I’m using the program for rental properties. Am I missing something?

  33. Admin Roberg on Mon, 7th May 2012 7:07 pm
  34. Hi Ann–
    There are a lot of possibilities here as to why your NOL isn’t showing up. I could play guessing games all day. So I’m going to bail on you and have you call the Turbo Tax phone line because they can upload your tax return and take a look. That’s much easier than me trying to guess where the issue is.
    One thing that I often find when people are trying to claim an NOL is the difference between logic and IRS rules. So–you might logically think you have an NOL but according to IRS rules you don’t. You may find your answer in IRS publication 536:
    But it’s probably a lot easier to talk to the Turbo Tax rep. Good luck.

  35. Michael on Sat, 26th Jan 2013 10:32 pm
  36. In working with TT this year, the Property Tax deduction is not making a difference on my tax liability. If I put in $0 or th eactual $9500, there is no difference to what I owe. Property Tax doesn’t phase out does it?

  37. Bob Roberts on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 10:53 am
  38. TT Deluxe ’12 keeps requesting that I fill in the blanks on Sch. C. While I’ve used Sch. C in the past (I’ve done some independent consulting/teaching), I don’t need it this year. But I can’t get it to go away. I’ve tried backtracking through all the steps, and can’t find out where it was added.

  39. Bill H. on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 11:17 am
  40. I’ve also used TurboTax in the past but this year there seems to be many bugs in the program. While entering a business asset under $100 TurboTax will suggest that it should be expensed. If you check the box to agree to that the entry is lost. Now sure, I can go into the expense section and re-enter them but had I not noticed this I would lost a lot of deductions.
    My first chat help attempt with them took over 30 minutes and did nothing. Mostly it consisted of me typing “Hello, are you there?” repeatedly. I just called them and tried again. I got a woman who kept typing a lot and kept saying that she didn’t see anything in the help documents about this. Then she said her supervisor said I should make an on-line account and enter my information there so they could see what I was talking about. When I started to say that seemed to be unnecessary considering I had given them enough information to troubleshoot the problem then the already bad connection completely went silent and I had to hang up. So you’ve had been luck getting help then I have had this weekend.

  41. Jan Roberg on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 3:36 pm
  42. Hi Michael,
    I have a couple of guesses as to what’s wrong. But I can’t see your tax return. You’re using Turbo Tax–call them. That’s what you paid for.

  43. Jan Roberg on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 3:46 pm
  44. Hi Bob,
    You probably didn’t add the Schedule C–it probably pulled forward when you updated your return from last year. Just delete the form if you don’t need it anymore. If you’re still having trouble with it, call your Turbo Tax expert–they get paid to help you walk through these things.

  45. Jan Roberg on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 3:56 pm
  46. Hi Bill,
    So I’ve told about 10 people in the last few posts (some on different pages) to contact Turbo Tax because they’ve got great help. I guess I was wrong.
    Now Turbo Tax is right about recommending that you more the cost of any asset that’s under $100 to an expense. And it also makes sense that it automatically deletes when you leave that page. But it is good that you noticed that.

    I wouldn’t necessarily call that a bug though–I think it’s just the way it was programmed. One thing–and I’m guessing you’ve done it but want to make sure–do hit the “update software” botton before you file anything. There are new changes daily so it could be that they’re working on that issue right now.

    Sorry you had a bad experience with their customer support. (Actually, I’m lying–those of us who do this for a living love when you all have trouble with TT. It’s good for our businesses.) But seriously, if you still need help, do call them back. I’m thinking that a different representative might be more helpful to you.

  47. Jan Roberg on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 5:15 pm
  48. @ Michael again,
    I told you to contact Turbo Tax, but then I got this post from Bill about how much trouble he had so I figured I should try to help you out. The thing is, it could be part of a long laundry list of issues. Here goes:

    1. First, make sure you’ve updated your software. Bugs are fixed daily so if there’s a mistake in the program, you have to update to fix it. That’s the first thing you do before anything else.

    2. Is your income high? Are you paying AMT? That would be my first guess–with AMT you hit a point where some of your deductions don’t make a difference.

    3. Is your income low or do you have a lot of exemptions? Reverse situation. If you’ve zeroed out your taxable income–any further deductions won’t make a difference in your taxes.

    4. I don’t think this is you but–are you married with no other deductions? Then the $9500 wouldn’t make a difference–it would switch to standard. (I think this is unlikely but it’s still a possibility.)

    5. Are you married filing separately? If yes, if your spouse is claiming a standard deduction–you have to also. You’ll have to check to see if you checked certain boxes.

    6. Similar issue–this you accidentally check the “force standard deduction” box?

    Those would be the things to look for. If you don’t find your answer there, then I’d still send you back to the Turbo Tax folks because they should help you for free. I charge $50 to take a look at your tax return so free is a better price.

  49. Charles Ouellette on Sun, 27th Jan 2013 9:04 pm
  50. Had trouble with TurboTax 2012. Schedule B continually said I had errors. The errors were with the “Tax-Exempt Worksheet” in Schedule B worksheet. I have no tax exempt dividends, but the program wants me to fill in the Worksheet.

    The solution I found to the problem (THE BUG) was when I fill out the 1099-DIV worksheet from my several 1099-DIV forms was to leave any zero’s (0’s) on any line of the 1099 blank. DO NOT PUT IN ZERO’S, EVEN IF THE 1099 HAS A ZERO FOR THAT LINE. That goes for any State ID also if that box in the 1099 is zero.

    Just put in the positive numbers for any given line including the state ID number if that is required. Leave everything else blank.

    Hope this helps

  51. Jan Roberg on Mon, 28th Jan 2013 9:46 pm
  52. Hi Charles,
    Thanks for the tip. Anybody else with a good Turbo Tax tip is welcome to post.

  53. Jim Calvagna on Wed, 30th Jan 2013 6:54 pm
  54. I have been having the same problem that #25 Charles had. Unfortunately his fix didn’t work for me. I talked to TT and no one really knew what I was talking about. After a long wait, the tech came back on the line and said to download updates after Feb 2. I can hardly wait. Is there a bug in TT 2012? Does anyone else have this problem? Has Charles’s fix worked for you.

  55. Julie on Thu, 31st Jan 2013 7:22 pm
  56. Don’t buy the TurboTax CD. It won’t let you do the state and keeps wanting you to buy it for 39.99. I just wanted to get it over with so I paid it and it still won’t let me do it. Now I’ve been on hold for over an hour and a half.

  57. Jan Roberg on Thu, 31st Jan 2013 9:15 pm
  58. Hi Jim,
    I don’t use Turbo Tax, I’ve got professional software. For what it’s worth, I’ve had at least one update a day–sometimes more. With all the crazy tax laws this year, that’s not that unusual. February 2 is not far away.

  59. Jan Roberg on Fri, 1st Feb 2013 9:56 pm
  60. Hey Julie,
    sorry to hear that. I don’t know if this will help or not. With my professional software, I have to download each state that I use and do an install also. It sounds like a “duh!” Except that I seem to miss the stupid install button and then I log out of the software (you know mess up once, that happens, do it a couple of times….? What can I say, but I’m sometimes technologically challenged.)
    Anyway, go to your program search and double check to see if the state actually installed. At least that’s what usually happens to me (but I do use a different software.)

  61. Rachael on Sat, 2nd Feb 2013 11:22 pm
  62. I can’t get my TT Home and Business to Install this year. I have used it for as long as I can remember since my hubby insists on “self-employment”. . .NEVER have had any issues I could not go back and see where I had made a mistake. This time though it keeps getting to 98% then locking up. When I try to open it it says ,”your configuration has been changed ~ prd.ini,exe please re-install” Then it does the same thing. I went into the Utility file and it says “oops – your install hit a snag. We’ll see if we can fix it, then have you re-install.” Then that also locks up!!! I know this isn’t really the type issues you reply to- this is more of a technical nature. . .but I just wondered if anyone else is having these issues?

  63. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Feb 2013 1:31 pm
  64. Hi Rachael,
    You’re right, I don’t normally respond to these, but I used to use Turbo Tax and I’ve had that problem in the past. Do you have enough space on your hard drive? I had that problem before. Check that first. You may need to make some room.

    If that’s not it–which operating system are you using? I know my tax software won’t run on Windows 8.

    And that’s the extent of my IT solutions. (Pretty limited, sorry.) Anybody else out there have any suggestions?

  65. Ted K. on Sun, 3rd Feb 2013 1:39 pm
  66. Hi Jan, Hope you can help before I try to contact Turbo Tax. I’ve used TT Deluxe for years with no problem. This year, my wife again (and rightly so) has a received a 1099-G form (employment benefits) which has state & federal taxes with held in addition to W2 from her current employer. Use the “Guide Me” feature and I’m having an issue entering the 1099G info. Upon entering the 1099-G state paying information and checking the box that taxes were with held, the program asks “Do you want to delete this document”. I’m unable to enter the unemployment amount or taxes paid. Upon checking the “No” box that taxes were with held, the program just goes back to the forms page that shows the 2011 1099-G income and zero for 2012 because it hasn’t allowed me to enter the values.

    I’d appreciate any help/comments you can provide.


  67. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Feb 2013 2:01 pm
  68. Hi Ted,
    I might have to send you to the TT people. The only thing I can think of is that there are 2 common 1099G forms. One is unemployment–like what your wife has, and the other is for a state income tax refund. There would be no withholding for a state income tax return.
    There should be a box somewhere to click to make sure that you’re entering unemployment benefits–as they go on different lines. Unemployment benefits would have spaces for federal and state withholding.
    I’m afraid that it’s been a few years since I last used Turbo Tax.

    Any Turbo users out there with an answer, please feel free to help Ted out. Thanks.

  69. Liz on Sun, 3rd Feb 2013 6:27 pm
  70. I did my taxes last weekend.. I had to mail my federal return, which I did.. then i e-filed by NY return, but I also have a NJ return. Turbo tax told me I could e-file it on 2/1 because all the forms wouldn’t be available until then. So i’ve gone back a few times now since Friday and I am still unable to submit my NJ taxes via e-file. I checked and made sure all the forms are available, which they are. But when I go into the “file” section, it just brings me to my federal.. which I bypass because I already mailed that, but then brings me back to the original page of the “file” section and doesn’t give me the option to e-fil my NJ return. And yes, that option is checked as how i want to file that state return. Any ideas why I am still unable to e-file?

  71. Hien Hoang on Sun, 3rd Feb 2013 6:43 pm
  72. Hi Jan,
    My tax return got accepted by IRS even I typed the wrong EIN # (actually, that’s the old # they used to have, for some reason the company just got the new number this year). I was a little nervous about that. But I read one of your answer above about the same thing. So, as you said, I just live it alone.
    However, there’s still one thing which give me a headache. The amount of Gross Income that I typed in is larger than the one showed on W-2 form. The number showed on W-2 form is the money I made last year after paying the rent for my employer. They deducted in directly from my paycheck. Here comes the mistake. They are 2 different numbers.
    Will I get into any trouble with IRS? Will they say that I owe them some money?
    Could you please help me with this question?
    Thank you so much and I really appreciate your help.

  73. Jan Roberg on Mon, 4th Feb 2013 9:34 pm
  74. Hi Liz,
    Check to see if New Jersey can be e-file without the federal. Some states have to be piggy backed with the federal return. I don’t know if New Jersey is like that or not. If that’s not the issue then that’s a good question for the Turbo Tax help line folks.

  75. Jan Roberg on Mon, 4th Feb 2013 9:40 pm
  76. Hello Hien,
    You will want to fix your return. You company changed it’s EIN number. The other person had a mistake on her new W2 but the old EIN was the correct one. If you don’t change it, you could get an IRS letter about that. But you’ll want to correct your return anyway. The income numbers on your W2 need to match what you put on your tax return.
    It sounds to me like you will be better off when you match your tax return to your W2. Some jobs require that you live on-site and if your company deducted your rent from your taxable income, that tells me you have one of those jobs.

  77. Hien Hoang on Tue, 5th Feb 2013 12:47 am
  78. Thank you so much !!!

  79. Rich Kendall on Tue, 5th Feb 2013 8:34 pm
  80. I am having a terrible time with the Turbo Tax 2012 Updater. It gets stuck every time tries to update and no one seems to have the answer. What do I do??

  81. Scott on Wed, 6th Feb 2013 8:01 am
  82. What am I paying an extra 39.99 to file my MI taxes??? I already paid 50 bucks for turbotax deluxe. Thought it included one free state filing??? What is this extra charge for???

  83. John on Wed, 6th Feb 2013 4:36 pm
  84. I e-filed on the 29th.
    Today is Feb. 6th.
    I am still “Pending” and not too thrilled about….
    I used the Premiere Edition because I have a rental property.
    By my math, 8 days is a pretty long wait… I should be getting my return soon, not waiting for it to be processed…

    What can the problem be?

  85. KeithsKelly on Wed, 6th Feb 2013 11:30 pm
  86. I’m in the process of doing my brother’s taxes and he worked in another state. I see I can purchase a second state for $39.99, but my question is this: If I purchase a second program (Deluxe, I already have Premier) for $25.90 (Amazon) will I be able to get the second state to show up on the program I actually use? THANKS!

  87. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:36 pm
  88. Hi Rich,
    Okay obviously talk to Turbo Tax, but also check how much space you’ve got available on your hard drive.

  89. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:41 pm
  90. Hey Scott,
    I have no idea. For what it’s worth, state returns are $29.99 on my website and you get as many steps as your need. (Yeah, I know, blatant plug.)

  91. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:42 pm
  92. Keith,
    You’ll need to talk to Turbo Tax about transferring the states.

  93. Jan Roberg on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:44 pm
  94. John,
    If you have rental real estate then you have depreciation. The IRS is not accepting returns with depreciation yet.

  95. Reggie Berry on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 10:09 pm
  96. I have worked through my 2012 taxes using Home and Business. Granted I have a large business loss and and withdrew money from a 401k, but Turbo Tax won’t change when I make corrections. It’s stuck on one figure for the taxes I owe. I have gone in and changed my income, and adjustments just to see if if will work.. Calculations won’t change like other versions. Is there a minimum amount of taxes the IRS has placed on businesses for 2012 regardless of the loss? Can’t find an answer.

  97. John on Fri, 8th Feb 2013 4:57 pm
  98. According to an article I just read, these forms (for depreciation) aren’t even available yet!

    How can I have completed and returned forms that aren’t available?!

    This is all very confusing…

    Thank you!

  99. Ronnie on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 10:31 am
  100. Do you know why entering state taxes withheld in the W2 Box and 1099 Retirement Boxes impact how much I owe for federal taxes. It doesn’t make sense that my Federal taxes go up if the State took out less money for state taxes?? Just curious if this is a glitch or if this is correct.

  101. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 9:39 pm
  102. Hi Reggie,
    There is no minimum tax for business. If your income is over $150,000 then you might get hit with a passive loss limitation, but that wouldn’t affect your business.

    Here’s a way to run a test–plug an extra $50,000 on line 21 of your tax return. That should change things. Then make your changes and see if that does anything.

    Make sure you take that extra $50,000 off before you submit. You may get stuck with the same final number, but at least it will tell you the program is working.

  103. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 9:40 pm
  104. Hi Ronnie,
    your state tax withholding is deductible on schedule A. As your state taxes that you report change, it can affect your federal refund.

  105. Mark Zagar on Fri, 15th Feb 2013 2:05 pm
  106. The customer support is a joke! You wait for an hour to chat and then after you ask the question they end the session. Here’s my problem: I completed my Federal return and then tried to start CA. It looks for updates, saves your information, and then returns to the same screen! You can never get enter the state forms.

  107. Jose Reyna on Tue, 19th Feb 2013 12:13 am
  108. I need to input the correct amount on Taxes You Paid, line 5 a, Schedule A Itemized Deduction. The figure that shows is $95,585 above of what should be. TurboTax Premier 2012, does not permit to make the change. How can I correct this problem and input the correct amount?

  109. Catherine Mertz on Thu, 21st Feb 2013 6:49 pm
  110. Can I e-file my federal return now and e-file the state return later? I need to get the federal return done, like, yesterday for college financial aid applications, but I still have questions re: my state return, for which I’m going to have to seek some professional advice. I’d like to go ahead and file the federal return tonight and finish the Massachusetts return next week.

  111. Jan Roberg on Thu, 21st Feb 2013 7:33 pm
  112. Hi Mark Z,
    I’m sorry I don’t know how to fix that one. Anybody out there have a solution?

    Of course I can plug the software on my website but that doesn’t really help since you already paid TT. Sorry.

  113. Pat D on Fri, 22nd Feb 2013 8:49 pm
  114. I am using TT2012 to complete my daughter & son-inlaws taxes which I have done for several year. We purchased the deluxe edition. My daughter works in a city that has in income tax but they live elsewhere and son-in-law works elsewhere. I told TT we wanted the city return. His income is excluded on the non-resident return because I entered his work location . I have entered my daughters work location with the address inside the city. TT is stating that she doesn’t own tax. She does owe tax on 100% of her income which also happens to be about 75% of their total combined income. Is there a glitch with this city return on TT? She also had disability pay reported on a W2 which was entered — the city return is reporting it as her husbands and excluding it — when I go back and review, the W2 info is entered under her name with her ss #. Lastly– is there a way to tell it I no longer want this city tax return and just do it on paper for them. I can’t seem to delete it. When final review is done it is bringing up city forms asking for dates of employment for “him” on her disability pay W2 — wrong person again.

  115. happy on Thu, 28th Feb 2013 2:20 pm
  116. Turbo tax sucks ! I went in to print out my previous years tax returns and they said they wont give it to me if I did not purchase this years package with them.
    I never knew of this proposition last year, when I paid the money. This is sheer harassment. I wish their servers crash and those guys boil in hell for not giving me my previous years papers !!

  117. Joe on Sat, 2nd Mar 2013 6:25 pm
  118. I filed using Turbo Tax. I have for the last 10 years with no issues. This year I filed Federal and NJ taxes electronically. Both were excepted. I got the Federal refund in

    10 days. I got a letter today from New Jersey asking for final pay stub, w2 and ss card. Never had To do that before. What gives?

  119. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 1:55 pm
  120. Hey Jose,
    You’re showing $95,000 more in taxes paid than you actually paid. Ouch! The quick and dirty answer is to manually put a -95000 on the state income tax line in the schedule A to fix it. But–that’s not the best answer.

    Here’s the problem–somehow–Turbo Tax picked up 95,000 worth of taxes. That means there’s an input error somewhere. So that’s not the only place where you’ve got a mistake. You need to go back and check your W2 and 1099 entries. Anything that would have state tax in there. Look at your state tax return–you’ll probably see that 95,000 there also. Or if it’s real estate tax, look at your home office deduction.

    Most likely, you were typing in a number and you typed in the cents as well. Instead of typing 955.85 the computer didn’t accept the decimal point.

    Fix that, and you’ll solve the problem.

  121. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 2:14 pm
  122. Hi Catherine,
    You can e-file the federal now, but you might not be able to e-file the state separately. But that’s okay. Get your federal done. Do the FAFSA, deal with the state later. Just don’t forget to file a state return, that’s one of the most common problems people have–forgetting to file the state,

  123. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 2:41 pm
  124. Hey Happy,
    You make a really good case for printing out your return when you do it so that you’ve got a copy. You can get a free copy of your tax transcript from the IRS. Here’s a link for more information on that:

  125. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 2:50 pm
  126. Hi Pat,
    Getting the city tax return to print and do the right thing can be a thorn in any tax program.
    Here’s a couple of thoughts, but you might need one of the Turbo Tax experts to work you through their program.

    1. Make sure you “force” the city return. That will at least make it show up with your print outs.

    2. The places where you know a city tax should be charged–you might need to “fudge” with the W2. For example. I just worked on a City of St. Louis tax return. The taxpayer lives in St. Louis and 2 of her jobs had St Louis withholding, but one of her jobs didn’t. She owes that tax but I couldn’t get that job to show up on her city return. To make it work I had to go back and manually enter city wages for her–even though they are not on the W2. That brought the income over to the city return so her tax could be computed.

    3. On the disability pay–that’s kind of funky. Make sure that you’ve got T or S for taxpayer or spouse. Make sure you’ve marked her correctly. Just like my little problem with the St. Louis return, you might have to force city wages here also.

    Good luck. Once again, you might be better off with the Turbo Tax helpers on this one. For what it’s worth, it’s not just you. It can be a little tricky getting the city returns to do what you want.

  127. Jan Roberg on Sun, 3rd Mar 2013 4:01 pm
  128. Hey Joe,
    I think your problem may have more to do with New Jersey than with Turbo Tax. One thing though–make sure it really is from New Jersey. It seems a little funky for them to ask for your social security card. Make sure it’s not a fraud scheme first. And never give over your social security card. If New Jersey really wants it, give them a photo copy.

  129. Patrick on Tue, 5th Mar 2013 7:37 pm
  130. Do you happen to know how long after you efile with TT is a transcript available?

  131. Aaron on Sat, 9th Mar 2013 4:45 pm
  132. I rent a room in my primary residence and also have a home offce for myself and one for my wife (no isolated expenses for these offices). I am very confused how to handle expenses and depreciation. It appears that I need to duplicate the same expenses and assets in three locations. Is that correct?? Also, I do not recall TurboTax asking me what percentage of the home is a rental, thus will I need to manually reduce the expenses before entry? Thank you for any insight you can provide for this unusual circumstance of mine.

  133. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 4:23 pm
  134. Hi Patrick,
    You mean how long before you can get a transcript form the IRS? I honestly don’t know. I’d give them a few months. Can’t you get a print out from Turbo Tax?
    If you need a transcript for loan purposes, I’m pretty sure the IRS can provide proof of you filing pretty quickly. You’ll have to contact them though. (800) 829-1040.

  135. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 7:02 pm
  136. Hi Aaron,
    I should teach a class in this. I’ve been showing this to several people this week. So here goes:

    First home office: you will list your mortgage interest and real estate taxes under the “indirect expsenses” column. You will click the box to carry the remainder to your schedule A.

    Second home office: This one you will do by hand. You’ll figre the percentage of interest and taxes and put them in the direct expenses column. Then you’ll subtract those figures from your schedule A.

    For example: let’s say your second home office is 5% of your home. Your mortgage interest is $10,000 and your real estate taxes are $4,000. So–your mortgage interest deducted from you second home office will be $500 (10,000 x .05)

    The real estate taxes you deduct on your second home office will be $200 (4,000 x .05)

    On your schedule A, you will put -500 in the mortgage interest box and -200 in the real estate tax box. This will offset the interest and taxes you claim on the second home office.

    Now for the rental part of your home: let’s say that’s 10% of your home. Just like with the second home office, you will put those figures in the direct expense section on the schedule E, and subtract them from the schedule A.

    So, you’ll have $1000 interest deduction on Schedule E and $400 real estate tax. (10% of 10000 and 10% of 4000)

    You’ll subtract those figures from your schedule A. So your total subtractions on the schedule A will be $1,500 for the mortgage interest and $600 for the real estate taxes. Those will be negative numbers.

    When everything is all totaled up, the mortgage interest all added together will equal what’s on your 1098 mortgage interest statement.

    Your utilities though, can all be on the indirect expenses because they aren’t carried anywhere else.

    Same goes for the depreciation. It’s all the same house, but you’re depreciating different parts of it.

  137. Russell on Thu, 14th Mar 2013 12:18 pm
  138. I have been using the deluxe edition for years because I own my home and want to itemize deductions. Since i’ve paid off my home my deductions will be less next year and won’t exceed the standard deduction. Can I use the basic edition and still receive to most back from the government as possible?


  139. Brian on Thu, 14th Mar 2013 10:21 pm
  140. In 2012 I cashed in EE series savings bonds issued in my name. They were used to pay for my daughters tuition. The bonds were issued after 1989. I answered two questions in Turbo Tax (e.g., issued in my name and after 1989). TT determined the interest is not exludable income. This puzzles me since all of my research has indicated that these savings bonds if cashed and used for higher education, the the interest IS non-taxable. Can you shed any light on this matter?

  141. Cassandra on Wed, 20th Mar 2013 10:30 am
  142. I have used TT for years and it seems the last couple years the IRS has had issues with my children’s social security numbers. Last year they told me I could not claim my Son because his SS# was incorrect. It was not and I concluded that the IRS just keyed it in wrong at their end as they did finally give me the credit and sent me a letter with the correction.

    This year my efile keeps getting rejected because of my Daughter’s SS#. My ex-husband said he did not claim her and will give me a copy of his return for proof if needed.

    I am afraid that one of two things might be happening. Either there is just a glitch in the system or someone else claimed my daughter outside of our family. I have a fairly complicated return this year and now I am leery of sending the TT returns for fear there might be other errors that is beyond my understanding. Any advice on this?

  143. Jan Roberg on Wed, 20th Mar 2013 9:34 pm
  144. Hi Russell,
    I’m guessing that you’ll be fine with the basic edition. Unless you have other issues that require the deluxe, but I’m thinking that basic will be fine for you next year.

  145. Jan Roberg on Wed, 20th Mar 2013 9:40 pm
  146. Hi Brian,
    So, is your income over $87,850 if you’re single or $139,250 if you’re married? That would be a reason the interest would be taxable.
    Another problem might be if your dependent had scholarships that paid all of the tuition–then you wouldn’t be using the interest for tuition.
    Those are two possibilities.

  147. Matt on Thu, 21st Mar 2013 4:32 pm
  148. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for this great blog. I have been a TurboTax Premier user for several years, alternately loving and hating the product. This year has been particularly vexing, however. Bottom line: my wife has had some rental properties in France for a number of years, and we’ve been using TT to report the income and expenses on Schedule E and take a foreign tax credit (for French income tax paid on the rental income) on Form 1116. Naturally, one of the deductions we’ve taken has been depreciation, and we’ve let TT calculate that for us.

    Well, this year TT tells me that “due to a TurboTax error your foreign rental property depreciation placed into service before 2010 has been calculated according to an inappropriate method” and that my recourse is to either go back and amend all prior returns (for many years!) or file a Form 3115 to request a change in accounting method, because apparently IRS requires foreign rental properties to be depreciated via a different method and over a different period than domestic properties. Apparently Intuit didn’t know this in the past and they’re just catching up to it now.

    Unfortunately, other than alerting me to their error, the program provides no other guidance as to how to proceed with this, and there is nothing on their website about it at all. Form 3115 is only included in the Business edition of TT, so it looks like I must either complete this (complex) form by hand or buy a whole separate edition just for this one form, and then paper file because I’ll need to include this form that won’t be part of my efile package. Additionally, beyond just including the 3115, it appears there is no automated guidance for correcting the depreciation in the current year (i.e., for 2012), and one forum entry I read indicates the only way to do it is to delete the properties and re-enter them as new foreign properties, reporting the depreciation already claimed in past years. Otherwise, TT will just go on using the same incorrect depreciation method.

    All of these feels rather cumbersome, especially given that it’s an acknowledged TurboTax error from past years. I do feel like they ought to provide Form 3115 to Premier users via an update, just this once at least, since it was their mistake that leads to the requirement for filing it, and they ought to provide a better way of correcting the data in the current year.

    Do you have any advice about any better way to proceed? Have you run into this situation with other TT users or clients?


  149. Jamie on Fri, 22nd Mar 2013 4:54 pm
  150. Why Is Turbo Tax asking me to complete Form MO-NRI, when myself and my spose were and have been residents of Missouri forever? I have checked and re-checked all entries and there appears to be no reason for this error. We are filing married/seperatly.


  151. Jan Roberg on Sun, 26th May 2013 5:14 pm
  152. Hi Cassandra,
    A couple of things to know:
    1. When you efile your tax return, the IRS doesn’t key it in again, it goes straight to the computers the way you efiled it.
    2. If your return is being rejected because someone else claimed your daughter, you need to mail your tax return in.
    3. This tax season, the IRS had more identity theft issues than ever in the history of the IRS.
    4. If you’re afraid that your taxes are too complicated–you should have a professional look at them before you submit them. But don’t let difficult taxes keep you from filing. If someone has claimed your daughter, you’ll want to put a stop to it. You can’t do that until you file.

  153. Jan Roberg on Mon, 10th Jun 2013 8:49 pm
  154. Hi Matt,
    Wow! I have had problems with depreciation and had to make changes. It’s a royal pain in the behind–and–I use professional software.
    You’re probably better off with using the change of accounting method form–and you’re probably going to want to get the Premier edition.
    As a loyal Turbo Tax user, it seems to me that they’d allow you access to one of their EAs to help you through the problem. I realize that it’s sometimes difficult to get through to them but it’s worth a try.
    That said, this is one time where you may want to hire professional help.

  155. Jan Roberg on Mon, 10th Jun 2013 8:56 pm
  156. Hi Jaime,
    So your software keeps asking you to complete Missouri NRI. I’ve had that problem before. (Drives you nuts doesn’t it?)
    Anyway, my best guess is that on the very first input screen, where you’re supposed to put your resident state down, you didn’t fill in Missouri. Or perhaps you accidentally hit another state.
    If that’s not it, then what I usually do is go through all of the input screens and double check to make sure all the income is attributed to Missouri.
    Good luck.

  157. nick wilson on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 8:21 pm
  158. So I have to buy turbo tax to get help on correcting a problem that is caused by their program that’s nice to know! I go to type in my nonemployee compensation in box 7 because I have a 1099 MISC and it says its entered in wrong I didn’t even try to do deductions because I just want to get it over with and Im not concerned about pinching penneys I just want this damn thing over with, I hit file and it say I have to link it to schedule C but if I go back and look where I typed in my earnings in box 7 it doesn’t save the number I type in?Turbo Tax is a joke and unless you give them 20 bucks they don’t even try to help, sounds like any other FREE program to me.

  159. Jan Roberg on Wed, 15th Jan 2014 9:46 pm
  160. Hi Nick,
    For what it’s worth–although I think you’ve already figured this out, the free Turbo Tax doesn’t cover self employment. And–since you’ve got a 1099MISC, that’s self employment.

    You will have to link the 1099 to a Schedule C–that’s what the IRS expects. You’ll also need a Schedule SE to compute your self employment tax. The software does it–you’re just stuck paying the fee.

    For what it’s worth, your tax return would cost $60 if you went through my web site ($39.95 for the federal and $19.95 for the state.)

  161. teresa bratton on Tue, 4th Feb 2014 6:53 am
  162. we’ve had an issue wtih turbo tax. we filed out taxes for the year 2006, and were notified in 2009 that our taxable income that was reported by the federal government was incorrect. When I went to my paper printout of our federal and states taxes, the amount was the same at 89,500.00, however NC state showed a taxable income of 33,500.00. Thru all of my research and endless hours of phone calls, I am told it is an issue with Turbo tax software, but turbo tax is unable to produce any information on this being that it is now 2013 (it’s a LONG story on why its taken 7 years to resolve this issue, at no fault of mine, but the fault of the state of NC). Could this have been an efile/software issue, or did someone at NC state department alter our numbers.

  163. Jan Roberg on Tue, 4th Feb 2014 5:21 pm
  164. Hi Teresa,
    I really do understand how it can take 7 years to resolve a tax issue. This is one of those things I have some experience with.

    Now, step back. Breathe. Let’s look at this from another angle. First, nobody at the North Carolina department of revenue changed your numbers. I think. Because you said you e-filed. When you e-file, that doesn’t happen.

    That said, I did see something like that happen to a person’s return that was mailed in. It was an honest mistake, and it got fixed, but not until the man received a nasty letter about owing money etc. When a return is mailed in, someone at the department of revenue–usually a temp, has to type those numbers into the computer system. Mistakes can, and do, happen.

    But I’m guessing that’s probably not what happened to you because you mentioned e-file.

    But once again, let’s step back. I’m guessing that you lived and worked in North Carolina and all of your income was taxable to North Carolina, correct?

    So, then the question is–did you get a refund or pay money in? I’m guessing that you got a refund because if you owed–well they would have sent you little nasty-grams much sooner than 2009.

    So, looking at this from an outsider’s viewpoint, there are a couple of things that could have happened:

    1. Some of your income belonged to another state and the missing equation is the other state tax form–I’m guessing that’s not the case, otherwise your problem would have been solved already.

    2. You had two sources of income (maybe 2 W2s or maybe a W2 and a pension (or some other combination) and one of the income sources didn’t flow through to the North Carolina return.

    Number 2 is more plausible–it could be a software error, could be user error. If you filed early in the season–it easily could have been a software error. If you filed late in the season, more likely user error. It’s hard to tell from the outside looking in. (Software errors get fixed as the tax season progresses.)

    But let’s assume that it was a Turbo Tax error–what happens if Turbo Tax’s software is wrong and there’s a mistake in the taxes because the software didn’t pull a W2 forward or something like that?

    The law still says that you are responsible for paying the tax. Now, Turbo Tax may pay for the fines and penalties if their software is at fault–but that’s as much as you’re going to get out of them. At the end of the day–the taxes are still your responsibility.

    Now H&R Block has a thing called a “Peace of Mind” guarantee that people buy and Block will pay the additional tax for a mistake like that. But I don’t think Turbo Tax does that. Even if they do, there would be a statute of limitations on their warranty. Also, if you had that, you’d have the signed written contract and you would have already handed that back to them.

    Here’s another issue–it has taken 7 years to resolve the issue. North Carolina is probably getting a little testy about that. Usually, with a tax warranty–they’ll pay the fines and penalties if you report the issue to the company within 30 days of getting a notice. I’m guessing you did that, but I’m also thinking you still haven’t paid those taxes. Turbo Tax would only be liable for the penalties and interest originally imposed–not for the 7 years of penalties and interest.

    Now, if you have never had another tax problem with North Carolina, — every year you pay on time, you file on time, etc. You may be able to persuade them to abate the penalties on this one issue. You still will have to pay the tax, but you may abate the penalties. (I don’t know any state that will abate the interest.) It’s at least worth asking about, the worst they can do is say no.

    So my recommendation is to pay the tax and be done with it. I know, not what you want to hear, but at the end of the day, you pay what you owe.

    But, before you do, if you haven’t done this already–take your paperwork to a professional and just have her eyeball it. It will probably cost you about $50 to check it out, but at least you’ll understand what happened. My best guess is that you still owe the money, but what if you don’t? Wouldn’t you want to know for sure?

  165. Don Mailander on Thu, 6th Feb 2014 5:25 pm
  166. Turbo Tax problem..Trying to file a j/t married state and fed tax via e-file. Will not allow me as Fed tax form shows a zero on lines, 22, 37, 44,54,60 & 72. They should show a zero … How do I find these lines in the program and the what next?

  167. Jan Roberg on Sun, 9th Feb 2014 1:23 pm
  168. Hi Don,
    I understand this one. First, here’s a link to the IRS form 1040 so you can look and see what they’re talking about:

    Line 22 is your total income. So whatever you’re reporting wasn’t taxable (like Social Security.) But if you want to efile your return–for whatever reason, you’re going to want to put some income on there. The trick that I use is putting $1 on line 21 for other income. It won’t be taxable, but it allows you to efile.

    Why file if you don’t have to? Many reasons–one is to prevent identity theft. Another is to prevent someone from claiming your or your child illegally. And another good reason for filing even if you had no taxable income is to claim state tax benefits. For example, here is Missouri we have a property tax credit for seniors that can be pretty sweet.

    It’s so much easier to e-file than to paper file those returns, and the $1 of income does no harm to your taxes, it just allows the program to process it.

  169. Michael Jones on Sun, 16th Feb 2014 9:57 pm
  170. I have finished all the required steps and everything seems ok but when I go to submit my refund it says, “Transmitting Refund” and it basicly locks up EVERY TIME. Never had this problem before. My father did his taxes before I and his was sent with no issues of the program locking up. CAN ANYONE tell me whats wrong?

  171. Jan Roberg on Mon, 17th Feb 2014 9:44 pm
  172. Hi Michael,
    I’m sorry, I have no idea. You really need to call the Turbo Tax people, you paid for that program, that’s their job to help you.

    Anybody else out there have the program freeze up like that?

    For what it’s worth–this week is like the busiest tax week in the year. I’ve already gotten notices not to even try to call the IRS because they are so overwhelmed–might just be that the Turbo Tax e-file systems were overloaded for awhile. Just a thought.

  173. Mauricio on Thu, 27th Feb 2014 6:58 am
  174. Hello and thank you for your time. I have already filed my tax return with turbotax and received my refund. Everything went smoothly. Just 2 days ago, my employer notified me that the wrong FEIN was used on the W-2. What do I need to do? The company I work for was taken over by another company in 2013. I received two W-2 forms- one was for 51 weeks from my “previous” company. The other W-2 was for the last week of 2013 from the “new” company. It was the latter one that had the wrong FEIN. Yes, I know, why didn’t they just finish out the year?? Anyway, I committed no mistake , and the end result will be no different-my earnings and refund are unchanged. Just wondering if I need to do anything since I have already received my refund. -Thanks

  175. Nabeel on Thu, 13th Mar 2014 3:15 pm
  176. Hi,

    I think I found an issue with turbotax, I worked in Jersey till may 15, 2013 and moved to MD for a new job offer in may 29, 2013. When I put in all my data I ended up owing MD like $600 !!! I pay MD taxes but my question is how would i know that this program calculated my taxes (for MD) starting from May 29, 2013 and not from Jan 1, 2013? Is there any other way to get more accurate results?


  177. Bob on Tue, 18th Mar 2014 10:29 am
  178. Jan;
    I don’t use Turbo Tax but I have a new elderly client who has had a domestic worker helping her in her home for years. I informed my client that the persons compensation needed to be on a W-2 which we sent in.
    The domestic person has been trying to file Turbo Tax and she says she can’t file because the W-2 doesn’t have any Federal or State withholding how does she get around that? Thank you for your help.

  179. Jan Roberg on Sun, 23rd Mar 2014 8:48 pm
  180. Hi Nabeel,
    We were just talking about that same problem. Here’s some thoughts:

    1. make sure you’re set up for a “part-year” resident return.
    2. you should not have a “credit for taxes paid to another state” form That’s for living in one state and working in another. You want to only be paying tax on the money you earned in Maryland.

    If those don’t do the trick, read through the entire return, line by line. If the numbers are on the correct lines, and the equations and listed properly, then it’s probably right. But make sure you read it carefully. I’ve found software mistakes before, although I haven’t heard of any problems with this issue in Turbo Tax this year.

  181. Jan Roberg on Sun, 23rd Mar 2014 9:53 pm
  182. Hi Bob,
    I’ve never heard of Turbo Tax not working because of no federal withholding. I’m guessing the problem here is user error, not the W2.

    But, when I’m faced with a return not working because there’s no number, I plug a 1 in. But I really don’t think that’s her problem. I mean, plenty of people have no federal withholding and still have to file taxes.

    I think she needs to call the Turbo Tax hotline and have them walk her through the process.

  183. Susie on Tue, 8th Apr 2014 8:34 am
  184. I work remotely from a home office and filed a non-resident state return, since my NY-based company (incorrectly) deducted NY state taxes and I live elsewhere. I’ve never even visited my company’s NY office. I should be getting 100% of that money back. However, TT (version for home and business) is only refunding me 10%, although I entered “0” on the line asking how many days I worked in NY, and clearly indicated I am a resident of FL. I spoke with someone at TT already for over an hour who was no help at all. I tried deleting the return and re-starting it, got the same result. I would be eternally grateful for your help – because of TT I am losing 4k that is owed to me!

  185. Ric DeVan on Wed, 9th Apr 2014 4:11 pm
  186. Depreciation on my rental didn’t get calculated for some of the past 13 years. The amount that is there is incorrect. Also, the depreciation for many of the items that were upgraded, carpet, stove, refridgerator, new roof, central heat & AC, didn’t get calculated.

    I sold the rental last year. Turbo Tax didn’t calculate the residual depreciation or the finance fees from the original finance or the three refinances.

    I’m being hit with a tremendous tax bill because, depreciation, which I didn’t previously get to deduct, is being “recaptured.” Turbo Tax says I had about $55,000 in depreciation on the house alone, while only $8,700 was actually taken.

    How can I correct this?

  187. Ric DeVan on Fri, 11th Apr 2014 5:05 am
  188. …I also have a form 4562 that shows three items with a total depreciation basis of $24,995 and a total prior and current depreciation of $2,063. I sold the rental house last year. Why am I not allowed the remaininig depreciation of $22,932?

  189. Jan Roberg on Sun, 1st Jun 2014 7:08 am
  190. Hi Susie,
    Sometimes, trying to fix a problem that you know is wrong–but don’t know where it went wrong is the most frustrating thing in the world. So forgive me because I can’t see your computer, and I can’t see your forms, I’m kind of grasping at straws here. But, let me make a guess.

    If you print out your NY tax return, the form IT-203, the second page will have numbers in the column on the right hand side. For you, all those numbers should be zero. Here’s the form I’m talking about:

    If you do not have that form in your tax packet–that’s a problem. If you have that form in your packet but there’s numbers in the right hand column, that’s a different problem.

    Possible fixes:

    Don’t have the non-resident form at all:
    go to the very beginning screens in TT and make sure you have FLORIDA listed as your resident state.

    You have the correct NY form, but there are numbers in the right hand column–this is what I’m guessing you’ve got–

    Because your company listed your income as being NY wages, and withheld as New York wages, TT is computing the income as NY wages. (That’s what it’s supposed to do.)

    Even though you put that you only worked in New York zero days, it’s not doing the math to reduce the income. You need to go into the New York return and manually input a zero in the line 1 federal adjustment. That should fix the problem.

    (Note: I think you can use a zero. Some software that I’ve worked with hates zeros and doesn’t count them. If TT gives you that problem, plug in a 1 and it should generate the result you want.)

    Good luck.

  191. Jan Roberg on Sun, 1st Jun 2014 7:43 am
  192. Hi Ric,
    Wow. I just took an IRS webinar last week and one of the topics we discussed was how the IRS counts the depreciation that was taken or allowed, so that if you don’t take the depreciation on a property you can get really messed up. You’re living proof.

    You’ve got 13 years of depreciation you didn’t take. Yowza!

    I can’t save you on all of it, but we can work on some of it at least.

    First, get yourself a competent EA.

    You don’t want to do this alone.

    The property was 13 years old. You’ve claimed some depreciation, but not all, you’re going to need to go back the whole 13 years and straighten out whatever you can.

    You won’t get refunds on anything from 2010 and before, but you can still amend 2011, 12 and 13. (Actually, if you happened to have filed an extension in 2010, you can still amend 2010 before October 15th as well, a little technicality.)

    You’ll need to figure out what you really should have depreciated the property for. TT says $55,000. Doing a little math, I’m guessing that the property cost about $116,000? Somewhere in that ballpark?

    Is it a condo? Or is there land involved? If it’s a condo- well it is what it is, but if it’s a single family unit on a tract of land–you can’t depreciate land, so you need to make sure that’s taken out of the equation.

    Job one is to see if you can reduce the depreciation that the IRS can hold against you (like land cost.)

    Job two is to go back and claim the depreciation (or expense) anything you can for the tax years that are still open.

    I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to get some professional help with this.

    You’re going to have to recapture that depreciation and it’s going to hurt. The best you’re going to do is offset some of that recapture by getting money back on the returns you can still amend. Sorry.

  193. brume John on Tue, 22nd Jul 2014 5:16 am
  194. Dear
    Please can i file state returns using turbo tax.
    Which states are currently paying returns for 2013 without filling extension first.
    I shall wait to know the list of states that one can still fill returns through turbo fill
    Brume John

  195. Jan Roberg on Sun, 10th Aug 2014 4:10 pm
  196. Hi Brume John,
    You should still be able to file your state return using Turbo Tax. If you want a list of states to file, I’d contact Turbo Tax.

  197. Romeo D on Sat, 30th Aug 2014 10:36 pm
  198. I have been using Turbo Tax deluxe for 10 years no problem. Until we both husband and wife retired in 2011. Our Tax 2012 was audited by IRS. Turbo tax miscalculate our income.
    I reload and install freshTurbo for 2012. Did the same thing. So, I consult a CPA told me Turbo tax did bad error calculating our income. These are SSS and private Pension.
    Now I owe 3000 dollars the IRS plus interest. Next year I wont be using Turbo Tax anymore I will get accountant to do my Tax.

  199. Jan Roberg on Sun, 31st Aug 2014 8:23 am
  200. Hi Romeo,
    I’m sorry that happened to you. I hope that you contacted Turbo Tax about the problem also. If they know about a calculation glitch they will try to fix it. That might not help you, but it would certainly help other people in your situation.

  201. Thomas on Sat, 24th Jan 2015 3:46 pm
  202. Hi Great Responses!

    I am having trouble with an NOL. I had in 2012, thought it was applied in 2013, just went to see if there was anything left for 2014 and realized TT does not support NOLs so they did nothing with it. I used TT Home and Office last 4 years. I had bad years in 2012 and 2013 due to poor health, but I am back in full swing as sole proprietor with a good year in 2014. The 2012 NOL is $6500. Line 41 of 1040 for 2013 was $17500. I got a job in 2012 to get health benefits and kept it all this time so I have additional income and the NOL might have had an affect on 2013. Should I just cut my losses? Try to figure out IRS publication 536? Or hire a professional? I am guessing I might have to ammend 2012 and then the NOL will be used up.

  203. Jan Roberg on Sun, 25th Jan 2015 3:09 pm
  204. Hi Thomas,
    NOLs can be a little tricky. So the important thing would have been–did you make an election to carry forward the NOL? If you didn’t make an election to do that, and I don’t know if Turbo Tax has that option or not, then you have to carry back the loss two years.
    Here’s the thing–because its past the filing deadline, you can’t go back and elect to carry that loss forward, you have to carry it back. So, you’re not going to amend your 2013, you’re going to amend your 2010.
    Normally, you can amend 2010 because it’s an out of statute year, but since you had an NOL in 2012–which is still in statute, you can do that.
    Is it worth hiring a professional to do this? Well, what’s your tax bracket? At 25%, you’d be saving $1625 so I’d say yes.

  205. patricia on Tue, 27th Jan 2015 12:24 am
  206. I’m so confused. I qualify for EIC because I only made 21,740 last year. I filed both my federal and state taxes with turbo tax I used this last year it was easy and I received refunds for both. This year it says I’m getting nothing for state back. I don’t understand this. It just doesn’t make sence. Now I’m afraid I made a mistake and they will reject my state refund. Will that effect my federal as well. I lost my job and need the Money. It’s going into direct deposit

  207. Jan Roberg on Sun, 1st Feb 2015 3:29 pm
  208. Hi Patricia,
    It could be any number of things. Most likely, you had less state withholding than last year and didn’t qualify for a refund. But I really don’t know.
    You need to call the Turbo Tax hotline and talk to one of their consultants. They’ll be able to look at your return and explain if it’s just that you didn’t withhold–or it you really did make a mistake.
    One thing I can tell you, your state return should not affect your federal refund. Good luck.

  209. Aaron on Sun, 8th Feb 2015 3:31 pm
  210. I used Turbo Tax last year to file my Taxes. I had previously done some contract work (for an Internship) and entered deductions for the miles driven for this work.

    This year Turbo Tax is expecting me to enter more information for this contract work (I labeled Internship). It is claiming that I need to enter information for my car that I used for deductions in my contract work last year.

    Is there a reason that it expects information for my previous contract work a even though I made it clear I have no 1099 income?


  211. Jan Roberg on Sun, 8th Feb 2015 5:05 pm
  212. Hi Aaron,
    It’s just carrying over information from the prior year If you haven’t done any contract work and aren’t claiming business miles this year, then you’ll just need to delete those pages.

  213. Doug J on Wed, 18th Feb 2015 6:21 pm
  214. Hi, Jan —

    I read your post while searching the web in an effort to figure out how I handle Rental Income in TT Home & Business. I’m still searching for the answer to that question. However, I noticed that you review individually prepared returns. That’s exactly the kind of support that I need. Where can I get more info?

  215. Jan Roberg on Sun, 24th May 2015 4:07 pm
  216. Hi Doug,
    So I’m several days late on this answer. We were so busy this year I fell behind on the blog questions. In the future, if anyone really needed to reach me, it’s best to call the office. Our contact information is on the contact page. Sorry I missed you.

  217. Nick D on Mon, 25th May 2015 11:24 am
  218. I download brokerage detail directly to Turbo Tax. The package assumes dividend and interest income is similarly taxable on the Tennessee return as the federal return. This is incorrect. The download function has to be avoided and all data input manually. Is there a way around this? Otherwise the state option is a waste of money.

  219. Jan Roberg on Mon, 25th May 2015 8:17 pm
  220. Hi Nick,
    I honestly don’t know. I’d call the Turbo Tax folks. Sorry.

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