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January 11, 2010

Get TurboTax 50% Off by Outsmarting the Fine Print

Filed under: Computers,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:18 am

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is time to begin to think about doing your income taxes. For many people, that means looking for a deal on tax preparation software.

To get the best deal, you have to combine the various ways to save money: buy the item on sale, use a coupon, get a rebate, and do a price match. And that is exactly what you have to if you want to get a great price on TurboTax Deluxe (for federal and state returns, with “free” federal efiling).

TurboTax Deluxe is selling for $59.99 this year, but by using all the techniques mentioned above, you MAY be able to buy it for a net price of $29.99. We say “may” because doing a price match is always YMMV (your mileage may vary) depending on which store you go to and the temperament of the checkout person. And rebates can also be iffy.

This year, Costco is offering TT for $49.99 — a $10 savings to start with compared to most stores. But they just issued a $10 off coupon (good in-store or online until January 24, 2010) to bring down the price to $39.99. At the same time, Intuit has a $10 mail-in rebate on TT Deluxe which should bring the net price down to $29.99. [Rebate not valid in NY or ME retail locations.] But there is a catch on Intuit’s rebate site:

*MOUSE PRINT:

“TurboTax and Quicken products purchased at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco or Target are not eligible for rebates, unless otherwise specified by Intuit.”

In addition, it is not currently good at Staples either because you must use their “easy rebate” website, and there are no rebates available for the purchase of TT alone.

So what’s a bargain hunter to do? Find a store that does price matches other than those stores excluded from the promotion above. So you well may be able to use Best Buy, OfficeMax or Office Depot. (Note some stores will balk at matching Costco’s prices because it is a “membership club”. So, you may have to fight a little. You can also ask if their computerized system for doing price matches has a list of stores for which they do honor price matches. If so, ask to see it. Costco may actually be listed!)

In a nutshell, here is how to get this deal: print the Costco webpage showing the $39.99 price (after the $10 coupon has been deducted). Bring along a copy of the $10 coupon (the link is above), just in case. Go to Best Buy or your favorite store that carries TT and has a price matching policy. Ask for the price match. Do the rebate. And if all goes well, you will have snared TurboTax Deluxe this year for just $29.99 net.

• • •

15 Comments

  1. You can save even more by not buying one TT deluxe or premium. TT Basic does pretty much the same thing and it handles all of the same forms as the higher priced versions. Basic just lacks some of the additional help features that many people don’t need.

    Comment by Wally Baloo — January 11, 2010 @ 10:00 am
  2. Why not save the price of the basic, deluxe, and premium TT and do your own taxes? It isn’t that difficult.

    Comment by Gert — January 11, 2010 @ 1:48 pm
  3. Dont pay anything by going to taxact.com. It walks you through your taxes and has free efile also.

    Comment by mary — January 11, 2010 @ 2:49 pm
  4. Why not stimulate the economy and go pay a CPA $500 to prepare your taxes!

    Comment by Shawn — January 11, 2010 @ 3:49 pm
  5. Or, um, just do the taxes on your own! Jeesh, it isn’t that hard. Or are you all McDonald’s employees and if you can’t just push a button you are clueless??

    And I’m actually rather dissapointed that mouseprint put up an article like this. Really isn’t what I expect from mousepring.

    Comment by Doctor Razz — January 11, 2010 @ 6:04 pm
  6. You can also buy is at BJ’s (like Costco – membership required), which sells it for $39.99. And the $10 mail-in rebate is applicable. There’s your TT for $29.99. No need to tangle with any checkout person.

    Comment by Charlie — January 11, 2010 @ 10:17 pm
  7. After already paying so much money in taxes I can’t get myself to pay an additional $60 to file. It just seems crazy to me. I’ll continue to pay myself the $60 and do my own taxes and as long as the federal e-filing isnt free they’ll be getting paper from me.

    Comment by Peter — January 12, 2010 @ 7:20 am
  8. I agree with just using the basic. I do my own taxes every year with TT Basic and the results have always been positive. No need to pay anybody anything!

    Comment by Stephanie — January 12, 2010 @ 9:33 am
  9. I think the you have to weigh the complexity of your tax return with the cost/benefit of the time savings a tax preparation software can save you. Sure I’ll gladly pay the fee to save hours of manual tax prep time and the peace of mind knowing that the software is carrying all the numbers to all the right placeses and forms. Those of you who simply say to prepare your own tax return and that if we can’t do it manually are beneath the level of the lowest McDonald’s employee (who I personally hold up in quite high regard, because at least they are out there making a living for themselves – who are you to think that your job is above them?) are simply idiotic to the vast array of complexities that some tax returns can achieve. It must be nice to have your little job with one W-2 and no itemized deductions, filing your teensie weenie 1040-EZ every year!

    Comment by Shawn — January 12, 2010 @ 9:40 am
  10. Office Depot 29.95 for TT Deluxe with a $10 burger king gift card – i haven’t seen anything better than this.

    Edgar replies: Cathy… I don’t believe it. Neither their website nor their weekly ad offers TT Deluxe with state and federal and efile for this price. It is $59.99. Where did you see this price/offer?

    Comment by Cathy — January 13, 2010 @ 7:07 pm
  11. The deluxe is $29.99 and the premier is $49.99 at the TT web site. I have used TT for years and it is an excellent tool. The first year I did it parallel with my own work and found it caught some rather simple errors I had made. Each year they have improved the product. Now as far as doing your own taxes let’s take 2008 for example where I had over 800 stock transactions. I could manually do them or import them from the brokerage house. Then comes investment property. What do you think is easier?

    EDGAR replies: Rick… you are comparing apples and oranges. The TT Deluxe SOFTWARE is NOT for sale for $29.95 at tt.com. That is the online version, rather than the version you do on your home computer. And it does NOT include your state return — that is an EXTRA $34.95!

    Comment by rick — January 14, 2010 @ 11:02 pm
  12. I have been on the phone with TT for 3 days about the rebate. When you fill out the rebate submission form to send in, it asks for 2 items: the original rebate form and the sales receipt. I have unsuccessfully tried to find out where to get the ‘original rebate form’and finally today I got a phone number for the rebate center (I tried emailing them and got no reply)and found out that the submission form is sufficient. Having had rebates returned for insufficient info, I wanted to make sure of this. Here’s the phone numbers (which are not easy to get): Rebate Center 800-605-2652/Intuit Support 888-777-3303. BTW, had no problems at Best Buy getting TT for $39.99 with the Costco print out and coupon.

    Comment by Larry — January 15, 2010 @ 3:48 pm
  13. I, too, took the Costco printout showing a $39.95 in-store price for the TurboTax Deluxe Federal and State edition to Best Buy. The Best Buy store price was $59.95, but rang up as $49.95. I showed the Costco printout to the sales clerk and he called the manager over who approved the purchase as a Costco price match for $39.95. Sweet!

    Comment by DMo — January 18, 2010 @ 12:51 pm
  14. TurboTax also allows people to do their taxes for free on their website. I prefer TaxAct.com since it’s 100% free – filing, e-send and refund.

    Comment by Mika — January 18, 2010 @ 2:06 pm
  15. I stopped using turbotax years ago as it got too pricey. A friend recommended taxact at $7.95.
    it works fine. If you need the deluxe, it is $9.95.

    Comment by joe — February 23, 2010 @ 10:58 am

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