With a higher price tag than many of its competitors, TurboTax is one of the more popular tax preparation software options out there since many feel that a higher price tag might mean higher quality. Consumer feedback is mixed on the question of if TurboTax is good. Some consumers are pleased, but many others have strong opinions to the contrary.
In the TurboTax survey, PissedConsumer researched the common consumer complaints to answer the question: Is TurboTax worth its money?
TurboTax Survey: By the Numbers
To help better understand what customers were experiencing with the TurboTax software and customer service, PissedConsumer conducted a TurboTax survey by speaking with 60 U.S. taxpayers and consumers about their experiences with TurboTax customer service. This survey was conducted online in the winter of 2023 as tax season approached.
While there was frustration on the part of many customers, the TurboTax survey found that 72.7% of the surveyed customers had positive experiences overall. In fact, 64.7% answered ‘yes’ when asked if TurboTax customer service effectively resolved their issue.
Most survey respondents also reported a 10/10 for TurboTax customer service effectively resolving their issues. Again, the survey results indicate that 81.8% of respondents had their issues resolved on the same day they decided to contact the TurboTax support department.
Others, however, weren’t as lucky. Some customers reported in their survey results that it took more than a month for TurboTax to effectively resolve their issue. This may be why respondents were almost evenly split over the question “How likely would you recommend TurboTax to a friend or colleague?”
While results were spread over the full 1-10 scale on this question, the heaviest responses were either 10 for those who would very willingly recommend TurboTax or 1 for those who would be extremely unlikely to recommend it. Based on the numbers, customers either love or hate it when it comes to TurboTax.
To determine if TurboTax is worth it, you must sort out what version of the tax software you’re planning to use. TurboTax pricing plans are designed in a way that more complex tax-filing situations are accompanied by increasing price tags. .
The price breakdown is the following:
- TurboTax – $0-89
- Live Assisted – $0-169
- Full Service – $169-359
Note, that the TurboTax Live Assisted Basic plan is free only if you file it by 3/31. The Free TurboTax is designed for simple tax returns. With this version, you can follow the software prompts to input your W-2 data, add the necessary personal information, and then submit your tax return using the standard deduction.
The more complicated tax situations, including itemized deductions, freelance or business income, and various forms of investment income require using at least the Deluxe version of TurboTax, which comes at the price of $39 or $89 for the Live Assisted Basic version ($0 if you file by March 31).
Even though the cost of TurboTax is high, some consumers complain about false advertising. In review #3396286, a consumer says they received an email about the promotion campaign that promised 50% off, which they never received. “I have been doing taxes with them for 8 years and because of this and their prices. I no longer will be using them or advise anyone to use them!”
Another consumer in their TurboTax review #3343862 complains about being overcharged, “I got an email saying that my charges were $168 but they took out $245 but it wont happen again because Im done with TurboTax.”
Which TurboTax plan should you choose?
With all versions of the software, you simply enter information that is requested of you. But with complicated tax returns, you may have additional questions about what specific piece of information is required or how you should split out different expenses or items for different categories. This is where it may be worth it to pay more.
The “Live Assisted” feature of TurboTax layers an additional level of support over the standard plans. With any of the TurboTax Live Assisted products, you can complete your tax returns and use the TurboTax customer support feature along the way with questions or have your taxes reviewed before submitting. Of course, understanding how filing taxes with TurboTax is supposed to work doesn’t mean it works perfectly all the time!
The Most Common TurboTax Complaints
For those who are looking for an independent way to file their taxes or for a bit of support without paying for a separate tax service, TurboTax seems to be a good fit. That isn’t, however, always the way things go according to online TurboTax reviews.
At the time of writing, there are 2483 TurboTax complaints and reviews on the PissedConsumer.com website. Many of these reviews center around similar topics. Customers primarily complain about being lied to and misled as well as a lack of customer service. While there are some positive mentions of TurboTax’s ease of use, the combination of reviews has left TurboTax with a 1.8-star rating on the site.
Additionally, data shows that through PissedConsumer alone, many days in January have seen more than 100 phone calls from frustrated customers to TurboTax seeking help on a variety of issues.
In his video review, one consumer explored the question: is TurboTax legit? In his review, the customer claims to have paid TurboTax $300 to file his taxes rapidly. Since his tax return was larger than the amount allowed by his bank, the money was sent to TurboTax for holding.
TurboTax used a separate bank to hold the funds, and when the customer tried to work out getting his $26,000 in a different way, there were mishaps with checks and a bad address. Finally, he claims the representative at TurboTax refused to help him further and hung up on him. To date, the TurboTax customer has not left any update indicating if the matter was resolved.
The primary concerns in his review, a missing refund and being unable to find help with TurboTax customer service are echoed in many other reviews across the site.
Another popular issue raised in online TurboTax reviews is errors with the tax accounting software that can lead to rejected returns, wrong numbers, or additional errors with filing. In his recent review (#4337831), a TurboTax customer used the website to file his federal and state tax return. He received a confirmation email, but TurboTax is now saying that he hasn’t filed his taxes. To make matters worse, he has been unable to speak to a live customer agent and is threatening to “file a lawsuit against turbotax!!” if he can’t “speak with a rep asap.”
TurboTax: The Bottom Line
When it comes to dealing with the government, you want to be assured that everything is on the up and up. This is especially true when you’re dealing with the legal and financial obligation of tax filing. There are thousands of reviews about TurboTax online, and while the complaints by frustrated clients stand out, there are many who were able to find success working with either the software, TurboTax customer service, or both.
Survey results paint a mixed picture of the company. Some respondents claim that “everyone was so kind and helpful” while another review stated that the “customer service rep was knowledgeable, patient, and understanding.” In that case, the customer left the interaction as “very impressed.”
Others were less impressed, however. Perhaps they would have been impressed with knowledgeable customer service representatives if they had reached one. Instead, there are many survey results that mention not being able to raise a human on the phone. One couldn’t get an answer and opted out of TurboTax completely for H&R Block. Another complained that they “need to talk to a real person” rather than “something that’s been recorded.” Still, another said that “no matter what I tried I couldn’t get a human response.”
Looking at the TurboTax reviews and survey results, it’s easy to see where customers are frustrated. Many customers – some with more than two decades of faithful TurboTax use – aren’t able to get answers when they need them. Pair that lack of human interaction with the higher prices customers are paying for human guidance and access and customer frustration makes sense.
The consensus is that most issues are typically resolved once customers speak with a representative. The problem is getting that customer service agent on the phone.
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