The TurboTax Test: It works.

(…And I’ll tell you how)

Well, today is April Fool’s Day — but this post is no joke.

I’m a long time H&R Block user– but H&R Block essentially bit the dust when it didn’t manage to include the ability to reconcile the self employed health insurance deductions with exchange premium credit eligibility:  all self-employed taxpayers who bought policies from Healthcare.gov or their state exchange during 2014 are out of luck.   We’re greeted with a message that the software can’t do our taxes this year.

So off I went to buy new software.  This isn’t a good year for TurboTax users either, because this it the year that TurboTax changed it’s program and pricing policies.  If you want to have the program prepare a Schedule C, you’ve got to buy the highest price “Home and Business” edition — listed at $104.99 on the TurboTax softeare for the online product;  $99.99 for the  downloadable software.

But with a little shopping around I saved $35 — Amazon Prime members can download the software for $64.99, at least for now. Other retailers, such as Costco, also offering similar discounts.  Continue reading

Advertisements

H&R Block Fail Part 2:

hrblock

This is the message that shows up in HR Block Software after the most recent (March 26) update.

This message shows up EVEN IF the taxpayer is NOT entitled to ANY tax credit. In my case, because of unanticipated non-earned income during 2014 (a capital gain from sale of assets) my income is too high to qualify for the tax credit, and I will have to pay the full clawback amount.

Continue reading

H&R Block: Total Fail

Users of H&R Block report receiving this message when attempting to prepare their return after the latest update:

“Since you’re claiming the ACA premium tax credit and the self-employed health insurance deduction, your return requires additional calculations that aren’t part of the program. To file an accurate return, we recommend you complete your return with an H&R Block Tax professional.

You must fix this problem before filing.”

At this point the best option for self-employed taxpayers who are or may be entitled to claim a premium tax credit for exchange-purchased insurance appears to be TurboTax, which appears to calculate amounts correctly.

TaxAct software seems to also be able to handle the correct calculations, so may be an acceptable alternative to H&R Block.

 

Tax Software Update

Calculation of self-employed health insurance deduction & advance premium health credit:

TaxAct:   MAYBE(?). Calculates using IRS iterative calculation

TurboTax:  MAYBE (?). Calculates  using IRS iterative calculation

HRBlock:  FAIL.  After install of 2/12/15 update, software reports:

Since you’re claiming the ACA premium tax credit and the self-employed health insurance deduction, you’ll need to get our next update to complete our return.

You must fix this problem before filing.

Next expected update: March 12, 2015

(Based on individual, anecdotal reports. One user reports differing results from TaxAct vs. TurboTax)