The product

  • Turbotax Deluxe 2006
  • Turbotax Premier 2006

The Bad

  • "Interviews" about income, deductions, etc. accumulate a list of what you've done after every step. The continue button is below this list. Once you've gone through a few interview steps, you must scroll the screen after every step to get to the button.
  • Customer support staffed by Indians with poor English accents and even worse diagnostic skills. Second level support slightly better, but has hour-plus wait times.
  • Deluxe edition missing wizard for handling Employee Stock Purchase Plans and Non-Qualified Stock Options. The software offers to enable those features by upgrading to the Premier edition for another $30.
  • The wizard is poorly written anyway. I entered a sale date for an ESPP sale in 2007, and the software didn't flag a thing, even though a sale in 2007 wouldn't make sense on a 2006 return.
  • The wizard gets some things backwards. First, it asks how many shares were sold. Then it asks if they were purchased in the same or different lots. If you answer different, you get a message saying to start over, and only enter one lot's worth of shares at a time. Why not just put a message up front?
  • The product always asks if it should look for updates when starting, even if the last start was less than five minutes prior.
  • The Colorado State portion of the software won't print a payment voucher until after the Colorado return is accepted. Last year, my return was not accepted until many days after the deadline. The state helpfully posts the required form online, but why can't TurboTax just print it for me? That's what I'm paying for.
  • TurboTax claims that single character names are not acceptable; names must be two or more alphabetic characters. My birth certificate, Social Security card, and several credit card companies are on my side.
  • The software is filled with useless dialogs on the order of "You must save the return before continuing; save now?" Just rename the continue button "save and continue" and drop the damned dialogue boxes.
  • Printing goes straight to the default printer; no opportunity to select the right printer is offered. On my laptop, the default printer is the shared office printer; luckily I had not connected to the office LAN when I first printed.
  • At this point, with Colorado State e-File pending, when revisiting the state forms (to get the amount to manually enter on the Colorado provided voucher), I was prompted to e-File again.
  • Makes you constantly click to obtain nuggets of information. Unlike the interview screens, where there's no room, there is pleny of space to put the little blurbs in-line.
  • Several of these bugs have been reported a couple of years in a row and not been fixed. The level of incompetence at all levels, not to mention the midstream extortion of $30, means it's back to TaxCut for me.

The Good

  • I only use it once a year.