UPDATE (17-FEB-14) – Intuit VP of TurboTax offers clarification in comments section below.
I have been using TurboTax for the last 10 years to file my Federal and State taxes and I’ve been one of its biggest cheerleaders.
My dad taught me to do my taxes when I was in high school and it’s something I’ve done since but I hated the manual forms. As my life got more complicated (having a family, buying/selling houses, investing in stocks, etc.) the forms got more intense and required more of my valuable time to complete. But once I found TurboTax in 2004, this time of year was no longer looked on with dread and misery. (Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love TurboTax, I’d prefer we dissolve the IRS, move to a Fair Tax system and eliminate the need to use TurboTax every year but that is a topic for another blog post).
This year was no different than the past 10 – TurboTax rolled out some nifty updates to make filing even easier and in just a couple of hours I had finished and e-filed my returns with no issues whatsoever.
TurboTax always has some extra features they tell you about once you’ve finished and as I was clicking through them I came upon this screen.
How lovely. TurboTax is now shilling for Obamacare.
Needless to say, I didn’t click on the “start here” button.
This added ‘feature’ got me to wondering why TurboTax would do this. They could have a totally altruistic (and financial) reason for doing this. Obamacare is here, whether we like it or not, and TurboTax needs to educate their customers and provide a service that makes their product better than the other tax preparation alternatives.
But there may be another reason. TurboTax software is developed by Intuit and here is a list of their political activity (Notice who they gave the most money to):
Intuit’s largest recipient of their political donations was Barack Obama. When you’ve donated butt loads of cash to this guy you need to make sure his signature piece of legislation is a success so it’s good to see Intuit is helping The One boost enrollment to this disaster.
cosmos con… First, I appreciate your loyalty and enthusiasm for TurboTax. As for the suggestion that the inclusion of an “Obamacare” interview is political is absolutely not the case. The health care interview has everything to do with helping customers determine their health care requirements for 2014. They need to know 1) how much their subsidy is likely to be, if any 2) how much the penalty will be for not having health coverage 3) their choices for health insurance coverage. As you may know, compliance with Obamacare is done through the tax return and enforcement lies with the IRS. While Obamacare is a highly charged political issue, for us at TurboTax it is simply a matter of ensuring our customers’ compliance requirements are disclosed and that their questions are answered in an easy to understand manner. What we’ve done to make tax compliance easy and understandable can be applied to health care coverage too– and that is our objective.
Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax
Thank you very much Mr. Meghan for taking the time to explain TurboTax’s reasoning on this topic. As I said above, I am a loyal customer of yours and based on your quick response to this enquiry I will continue to be.
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