For the past few years, H&R Block people have pushed to get coverage for TaxCut, their excellent tax software for both PC and Mac. This year, they simply dropped the Mac without notice or warning.
I received a “free” disk in the mail for this year’s TaxCut program. You get it free, but pay if you use it is the way it works. GREAT! Except it is for a PC. So I called their customer service number and the very polite woman told me that, “due to poor sales, H&R has decided to discontinue the Mac product.”
Well now, what a fine mess this makes! Turns out, if you used TaxCut last year, you are screwed this year as TurboTax, the only tax program left for the Macintosh does NOT import last year’s tax file from TaxCut (last time I tried.). Note that last year, to make it easier to switch TO TaxCut, TaxCut DID import TurboTax files from the year before, which is why it was so easy to switch. Also note that TaxCut DID import Macintosh Quicken Data files as well, which also made it easy to switch to TaxCut. Seems they made it very easy to jump to a sinking ship. Of course, they forgot to tell us it could be their last year for this product when those of us switched, and now they leave those of use who did switch with VERY few options.
As some readers may recall, I began to become fed up with the bugs in TurboTax from years before, so last year I finally decided to finally switch to TaxCut. It was an excellent program, great interface, and from my complex tax experience, had very few issues. And now it’s gone! So now what do I do this year?
Well, I plan to try a few things and see how it works, so look back for some updates on this process. Here are my choices so far. I am sure there are a few more, and feel free to add your own:
1). Will this year’s Quicken TurboTax final product actually import TaxCut from last year. I hope so, but I am not holding my breath. I just got TurboTax, so stand by for that news.
2). Since I can run TaxCut on a PC (sigh!), can I move my 2004 Macintosh TaxCut data file to the PC and have it import properly on the PC. I would hope so, but again, who knows? I asked the “tech support” guy at H&R Block, and he said, and I quote, “If you can get it onto a floppy, I do not see why it should not work.” When I explained that Macs did not have floppies, he said, “Oh?” I asked if this had been tried or tested, since they WERE leaving Mac users in the cold, at least they could help us make it work. “Uh, we don’t have any Macs here.” Read: NO, we have no clue if this will work. Again, I will let you know.
3). If #2 above does work, I wonder if the PC version of TaxCut 2005 will be able to read my Quicken export files from my Mac so I can import all that data? I KNOW that Windows Quicken will NOT read Macintosh Quicken data files. As to why, I have no idea! However, Tax Export files are just text files, so this has real possibilities.
4). If none of that works, I am back to TurboTax for the Mac and importing BY HAND all the info from last year’s tax forms. That SUCKS! But this will for sure keep me from trying TaxCut should it ever show up
5). They did tell me that my option as a Mac user is to use their on-line system. Really? How do I import my Quicken files? How do I load my last year’s tax file? The very friendly and unhelpful person went, “What? You just enter all your data onto the web.” When I explained that I run two business and trade a lot of stock, all of which is tracked in Quicken, all of which their regular product DID import, I got another “oh?” My guess is that the web product is for simple tax users, and this will not work. I will check this out too, but typically, on-line systems are for SIMPLE tax returns, so I suspect this will not work either.
So, Macintosh users, what can you do? If you were savvy enough to stay with Turbo Tax, good thing. If you changed and find your own solution, please tell us here.
As for H&R Block: I say BOYCOTT them! Do not buy their tax software for the PC, but also if you use H&R Block for taxes, find someone else this year. They do not want to support you as a Macintosh user, do not support them either. There are PLENTY of people who will help you with your taxes, many of them even cheaper!
Also, click this link: http://www.taxcut.com/customer_support/customer_service/submit_a_question_aw.html
Fill it out accurately with real names and numbers and then select TaxCut as the product (any) and under category, select Product Availability and OTHER under sub-category. In the comment field, tell them you object to the removal of the Mac software, and let them know because of that you will no longer user or recommend their service either. Ask them to support the Mac. I also requested that at the least, they create a conversion program that will change their 2004 file into something that 2005 TurboTax users can use so we are not left hanging on the end of their product. PLEASE DO THIS NOW!
FYI: I was a Beta tester for TurboTax this year, and the product seemed quite stable and solid. I will eat my words from before suggest that, given no other choices as well, that we now need to support TurboTax more than ever to keep them around.
Thanks H&R Block, you convince us to switch to your software, then abandon without notice or forethought. Makes me wonder what your other services are truly like?