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The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill...

mrzookie
mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
Over the last couple of years, I've seen a lot of comments here about how Quicken has gone to the dogs since it was sold off by Intuit, particularly after some new major glitch is introduced into the software. And lord knows, that has happened way more often than it should.

Well, things in Intuit's TurboTax land are not so peachy this year either. They've messed up royally in a couple of areas that should have not been issues ... at all. I had a few minor discrepancies between my broker's consolidated 1099 pdfs and what I downloaded from them into TT. I logged into the TT community and discovered they introduced a bizarre method of rounding Schedule B investment transactions which can potentially result in hundreds of dollars, or even more, in discrepancies from the 1099s the brokers send send to the feds. Nice. They're also having a major problem with submitting state returns to their respective tax authorities. People are either receiving cryptic messages, or none at all. Others are waiting 2,3,4 weeks for TT to reject their state return submissions. This is not small potato stuff. These are serious errors, resulting in people losing use of money, or potentially being opened to the risk of IRS audits. Yet, there are no acknowledgements at all from Intuit that the problems even exist, let alone if and when they'll be fixed.

I'm writing this not to knock Intuit, although they certainly deserve it this year. My purpose is to highlight how sometimes we in the Quicken world can, and do, freak out over things that are done, or errors that are made, which pale in comparison to what's going on in TT right now. I've always thought that Quicken has improved, both in product, and communications, since it was separated from Intuit.  I still do. Sure, they can, and need to do a hell of a lot better, but the grass is always greener .....



Comments

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Agreed, and thanks for the warning on the TT problems.  I haven't submitted my taxes this year yet, but I do have TT and I will be checking the forms doubly this year I guess.  I for one have never bought into the hype that you can just answer their questions and things will be OK.  I certainly like having a tax program doing calculations and filling forms, but I have never stopped making sure that it is in fact covering all the areas I need and filling out the forms correctly.  I have caught several problems over the years because either I misunderstood the question they asked or because they "never asked" about something and I had to find where it was and get it entered.  And importing from Quicken, heavens forbid, I dropped that notion a couple of years after trying it.  It was way more work to get it right than to just enter the numbers.

    And as for Quicken's problems, they certainly didn't start with the separation from Intuit.  It is really hard to judge this for me because I find Quicken Inc much more responsive than Intuit every was, but even that has bitten Quicken Inc a few times (being too responsive).

    All I can say is I'm glad I'm not in charge of producing Quicken.  On one hand people demand connections to their financial institutions where there isn't any kind of standard or such.  And demand features like mobile/web syncing, and now support for bitcoin and such.  People have no idea how "disruptive" these features are.  So if you don't implement them, you loose business.  If you implement them your product is constantly breaking.  Great choice.
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  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Chris_QPW

    Totally agree about TT. I always fully check the completed forms and make sure everything is as it should be. Its easy to make a mistake in the interview. They haven't changed it in years, and I often feel like I'm sleepwalking through it. And I never import from Quicken. I just don't keep the data clean enough. As you say, its easier to enter the numbers.

    I was in the tech industry for almost 30 years. Unless you're in a high flying blockbuster business like the FAANGS etc, it can be a thankless job. The only time anyone notices you is when something is wrong, and then they're already angry by the time you get to them. Otherwise, you're invisible. Software development is especially tough (I assume you may be/have been in that world, QPW). Users just don't get what's under the hood. My favorite user line was "Can't it just [enter insane request]?" Everything would be great if there was just a button on the screen, not understanding there would need to be 2000 lines of code and 3 interfaces behind it. 

    During the infamous Y2K, I led a team to replace a legacy accounting system for a $billion business with Oracle Financials. The accounting people hated their old system, HATED IT, couldn't wait to get rid of it ... until it was time to cut over. Oh, why did you change this? Why was that moved? I used to be able to do all of this on one screen. etc etc etc.? The so much more they could do was just lost on focusing on minor changes. Going through all of that, and other similar projects has given me a perspective on what software can/can't, should/shouldn't do, and its why I view Quicken with a little more patience than most. Its a flawed product, no doubt, but the only way to fix it is to start from scratch and that's probably not financially viable. But better communications do help, and Quicken is working on that.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    My “favorite” line is “This should be an easy change.”  When I heard that or even if I said it, I pretty much knew I was in for big problems.   ;) 

    Another “favorite” is “How long will it take to fix this?”  (Stated before it has even been reproduced.). My standard answer goes something to the affect of “I will know that when I’m finished.”

    And in that same category is pretty much any of the ideas on how you schedule projects that you have never done before (which is most of them).  I was/am (mostly retired now) a systems developer.  I have spent days on a couple of lines of code.  Well I should say a couple “finished” lines of code.  There is the many, many different tries to get to that point.  On the other hand it is easy to generate thousands of some kinds of code a day.

    On the subject of hating a program.  I can’t count the number of times I have seen this posted like this “Quicken is so bad, if there was any other program out there that had the same capabilities I would dump Quicken in a minute.”

    Quicken can’t be reproduced by rewriting it, in one go.  I think they learned that with the rewrite of Quicken Mac.  A program like this has to grow features over time.  And when you start out there isn’t any way to get paid for that program as long as the old program is viable.  Name a company that can support 10 years of development without any return.  Quicken Essentials for Mac was developed over 3 years and was so under featured in comparison to the old program they couldn’t sell it, and ended up supporting Quicken Mac 2007 for free for what 10 or more years!  If it wasn’t for Quicken Windows providing the revenue that wouldn’t have been possible.

    If Quicken gets replaced it will be with something like Simplfi, after it is grown features over the years.
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  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Here's what I've noticed in this year's Turbotax:
    1. My PDF gain/loss totals are within a couple bucks of what TT downloaded from Fidelity. Looks like I skated by on that particular error.
    2. Possibly related: the forms method now lists a CapGain G/L Adjustment worksheet in the sidebar for every single transaction. That's hundreds for me. Makes it a pain to have to scroll all the way through them every time you want to change forms.
    3. The most significant: In the Charitable Deductions interview, there is no mention of the Covid CARES act above the line $300 charitable deduction available to non-itemizers. You have to go to Form 1040 Worksheet Line 10b and enter it manually to claim this deduction. If I hadn't made a note earlier in the year to check this, I would have missed out on this deduction.

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    RickO said:

     If I hadn't made a note earlier in the year to check this, I would have missed out on this deduction.
    Say it isn't so!  I have read that all of these tax programs "guarantee me the highest possible refund" and all I have to do is answer their "simple" questions.   >:)

    BTW in my ideal world, I don't get a refund.  In fact paying them (without a penalty) is what you are suppose to strive for.  I don't believe in lending governments my money for free.
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  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Chris_QPW said:
    Say it isn't so!  I have read that all of these tax programs "guarantee me the highest possible refund" and all I have to do is answer their "simple" questions.   >:) 
    I double checked and I don't see anything in the interview related to this. In fact, the interview doesn't even need to address it. If it sees you have money donation >$300 and you are not itemizing, it should throw that amount on line 10b without even asking you. But it did not.
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @RickO I used the  >:) Emoji trying to imply that I was being sarcastic (of the ads and "marketing talk", which is clearly not real.)   I wonder how many people take them up on that guarantee?  Not really, I'm sure the lawyers have written it in a way that no one can actually claim it.
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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Their liability is limited to what you paid for the software, so not a big downside for them.
    --------------------------------

    Maximum Refund Guarantee or Your Money Back

    If you get a larger refund or smaller tax due from another tax preparation method, we'll refund the applicable TurboTax federal and/or state purchase price paid. TurboTax Online Free Edition customers are entitled to payment of $30.

    ---------------------------------

    You might have to prepare your whole return using the alternate method and show the difference, not just point out the one difference. And they do have a manual entry for the deduction, so maybe that gives them an out.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks @Jim_Harman I hadn't actually looked at it because I was already pretty sure they would never put themselves in a situation where they were actually liable to pay much for their mistakes.
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  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2
    @RickO

    1 - Same here
    2 - Its ridiculous
    3 - If you entered Charitable Deductions per normal procedure, and they exceeded $300, TT automatically enters the $300 deduction on 1040 line 10b. I enter that info bc NYS still allows for the charitable deduction off state taxes, and the info flows from the Fed return. I can see what you describe happening if you didn't bother to enter the info at all because you expected to use the standard deduction.
  • markus1957
    markus1957 SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited March 3
    Agreed on charitable donations.  If you enter more than $300 in cash, it is entered automatically as expected.

    Adding- There is a specific question regarding CARES act charitable contributions as you finish the Deductions section of TT Premier.
  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    After thinking about what happened to @RickO, I agree with him that this was a lapse in logic on TT's part. There should have been a question or two added to the interview covering the specific use case of people opting not to enter contributions, but still meeting eligibility for the $300 deduction.
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @mrzookie  On #3, perhaps the issue is that I entered exactly $300. I wonder if that's the bug. Or the fact that I'm running the Mac version.

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    @RickO If you entered donations totaling $300 or more, it should have entered $300 on line 10b. If it didn't, there's something else going on, but I can't tell you what. Good thing you caught it and made the manual entry.
  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    My approach to accuracy is to manually input my data into both, TT and Block.  I purchase both on sale before year end for rough year end planning such as investment sales and Roth conversions.
    There is almost always some difference in my final return from the two products, and that is when I dig deep to see why that is:  My mistake or misunderstanding, program's mistake, or a difference in programs' approach.  So far TT has won!
    And this is how Quicken plays so well into this equation: (a) It gives me confidence that my year-end data is accurate as it matches to my FIs.  (b) It gives me detailed reports on my itemized expenses which match my receipts perfectly, giving me confidence in my option to take Standard or Itemized deduction where without Quicken, it would've been much more work.
    This year TT threw me off on couple of errors, one on W2c and other on the $300 donation limit which sent me to their community for research and one of @volvogirl 's comments in there was very helpful which now matches to what you expert folks have written here.  I truly appreciate the Communities and this knowledgeable group - THANK YOU!
    - Q Win Deluxe user since 2010, US Subs R32.12
    - I don't use Sync, Cloud, Mobile, Web, Bill Pay/Mgr, Tax
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  • Cindyc
    Cindyc Member ✭✭
    > @RickO said:
    > Here's what I've noticed in this year's Turbotax:* My PDF gain/loss totals are within a couple bucks of what TT downloaded from Fidelity. Looks like I skated by on that particular error.
    > * Possibly related: the forms method now lists a CapGain G/L Adjustment worksheet in the sidebar for every single transaction. That's hundreds for me. Makes it a pain to have to scroll all the way through them every time you want to change forms.
    > * The most significant: In the Charitable Deductions interview, there is no mention of the Covid CARES act above the line $300 charitable deduction available to non-itemizers. You have to go to Form 1040 Worksheet Line 10b and enter it manually to claim this deduction. If I hadn't made a note earlier in the year to check this, I would have missed out on this deduction.

    I just used TurboTax for the first time for 2019 taxes. I assumed if I just answered all their questions, TT would take care of the rest correctly. Now I'm worried....

    How did you go into TT and make a manual entry? Is there a way to see how TT is filling out tax forms as you go along and make manual adjustments before the final tax forms are printed out?

    Thank you.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13
    @Cindyc This is really a TurboTax kind of question that should go in their forum, but since it is pretty easy I will answer what I do.


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  • mrzookie
    mrzookie Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Cindyc - Did you enter your charitable contributions when prompted by the interview? If yes, they should they should, up to a max of $300, automatically appear on line 10b. Did that not happen? Just follow @Chris_QPW's instructions above to check it.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW I should note that mine isn't an example of TurboTax doing it wrong, just how to look (I didn't have this deduction).
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