Saturday, March 27, 2010

TurboTax price games just get better....

After my last post, I decided to look further to see if I could find a better offer on the TurboTax State edition. I thought I was on to something, when I found a link to a 35% discount on TurboTax available through Bank of America. (see below).

Turns out when you arrive at the TurboTax - Bank of America Portal, the prices are marked up so much, that even with BOA's discount, the end cost of TurboTax Deluxe is 41% higher than what I paid through Amazon. Just in case you can't read the prices on the 2nd picture below. TurboTax Deluxe is shown for $69.95 marked down to $52.46. Now, if you do the arithmetic, taking $17.49 off of a $69.95 price is a 25% reduction, not 35%. If you took 35% off the inflated $69.95 price, it would still be 22% more than I paid at Amazon. Go figure.... Not a way to instill confidence or customer loyalty in either Bank of America or Intuit.

TurboTax state -pricing funny business is not funny

I've been working on software pricing for over 5 years, and was very disappointed with the pricing to add an additional state return to TurboTax Deluxe. I shopped around for the best price I could find on TurboTax. I bought a downloadable distribution of TurboTax Deluxe which includes 1 state and efile from Amazon for $37.17. Because VJ, my wife, works in neighboring Massachusetts, I need to file two states. We've always done the MA non-resident return by hand, which is kind of a pain, so I thought I would splurge and do the extra state in TurboTax this year. However, Turbotax is asking more to add a second state to my return than I paid for the TurboTax Deluxe package, which includes the Federal, one state, plus efile. Not only that. If I order the extra state through the application, the price is $44.95, and if I download it from, the price is $39.95, 11% less than downloading it from the application. Just to add the icing on the cake, the feds tell me that my tax preparation software is not deductible, because my miscellaneous expenses are less than 2% of my adjusted gross income.

Now granted, Intuit tells me I can file as many state returns as I like with the "extra" MA copy. I only need to do one. Yes, they can charge whatever the market will bear, but it doesn't seem reasonable to me to charge more to add one state than they charge for the complete bundle. And it seem even more unreasonable to charge 11% more if I order the extra state through the application vs. from their website.

Supporting details:

From TurboTax 2009 when adding another state:


From my Amazon download confirmation

TurboTax Deluxe Federal + State 2009 + efile [DOWNLOAD] [Software Download] , Price: $37.17 Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.