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Tax Software, changing to a different brand - export data ?
Old 11-03-2018, 12:11 PM   #1
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Tax Software, changing to a different brand - export data ?

H and R Block says " easy to export from competitors ". Considering changing from Turbotax. How easy was the conversion from anyone who has switched ?
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:25 PM   #2
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I did it last year. Switched from Turbo-Tax to H&R. Worked like a charm. I'm staying with H&R Block this year
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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To answer the OP, they all seem to import pretty easily from the others. In many cases you can even import from a PDF of your filed return.

That said, I've been pretty satisfied with TurboTax for many years, but I wanted to compare them so I bought Block in 2014 and 2015. I used both of them side by side to do my whole return and was much happier with TT. One little side note is that I got different answers because they each use different rounding conventions. That's certainly not a big deal, but it seems strange. I suppose if you used all the major tax packages you'd get quite a few different bottom line numbers (within at most a few bucks), but I think the IRS would accept any of them.

I also found the Block approach difficult enough to use that I decided it wasn't for me and I stick with TT now. Of course, many here on the forum prefer Block, just as many prefer other tax software, so it's clearly an individual preference thing.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:19 PM   #4
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I switched from TurboTax to HRBlock several years ago, haven't looked back. Switchover was easy. Just tell Block where your TT file was from previous year file, imported without a problem. Good luck.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:45 PM   #5
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I switched to H&R Block two years ago. No issues at all reading my prior year tax files. There really wasn't even a conversion process. You just open the file and it takes over from there.

But I do think Turbotax is a bit more refined than H&R. I only switched because Amazon had "Deal of the Day" promotions which brought the price down to $20 while Turbotax Deluxe was still selling for around $50.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:37 PM   #6
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A couple years ago I went from Tax Act to turbo tax. Most went well. However, I had issues getting the tax basis of both our IRAs to port into Turbo Tax. I manually ported mine the first year. The next year I needed my wife's basis and manually ported the values from an earlier year.

Other than that, the port was great.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:51 PM   #7
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I had issues getting the tax basis of both our IRAs to port into Turbo Tax.
I have had several people tell me this is one of the biggest advantages of staying with the same software year after year. You obviously fixed it for yourself, and I had to do the same once, but for many people this could be a very worthwhile reason to stay with what you're used to.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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I've switched between both products. One issue I recall is the carry-forward of unused foreign tax credit. In both cases (HRB to TT and TT to HRB) the amount carried forward was not picked up by the new program, and I had to go back to do it manually. Even if it is not used, if it's not carried forward it is lost, so not a trivial matter.

I find the user interface to be different enough that after switching, the first time with the new product takes much longer to prepare the return. Not how I want to spend my time.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:33 PM   #9
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I switched one year with no problems, but wound up getting letters from the IRS for two separate things due to shortcomings with HRB, and had to file amended returns for both issues. Will not try to save a couple bucks with HRB again, not worth it to deal with the stress of letters from the IRS. But to answer your questions, no problems switching between TT and HRB in either direction.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:22 AM   #10
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I have gone from H&R to Turbo and back... each time I think there were a couple of things that did not get populated in the new program but it was easily seen and corrected...
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:28 AM   #11
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I have used TT for years so i have no desire to change, although some of the more obscure tax exclusions are not easily found within the software. IIRC it was an exclusion of income for early withdrawal from my wife's ROTH IRA because the money withdrawn was less than the original cost basis. I found the form number in the IRS web site, searched TT for this form, then followed their instructions as to where it is buried in the software. It was there just as they said, but without knowing the IRS form number I doubt anyone could locate it.

My current repeating bug-a-boo is with my M-I-L's taxes. Because of her birth year all of her pension income is tax exempt in Michigan. Every year she receives hate mail from the State Treasury Dept saying she owes money for taxes on her pension. Each year I re-submit the forms for her.

Maybe it is me. Maybe it is TT. Maybe it is the Michigan Dept of Treasury attempting to extort unnecessary taxes from the most senior of their senior citizens. Maybe my M-I-L fails to submit all the forms I provide to her for signature and mailing to the State - although I make it as easy as possible for her with pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes and a short list of what forms to place in the envelope (only 2 or 3 forms).

I am thinking it is most likely #4. I have recently heard Michigan has a zero fee electronic submittal method so that is my plan for her 2018 Return.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:25 AM   #12
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I have recently heard Michigan has a zero fee electronic submittal method so that is my plan for her 2018 Return.
In TT, there has always been a fee that was large enough that I just mailed in my State return. If Michigan has some way around that, please let me know the specifics.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:56 AM   #13
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In TT, there has always been a fee that was large enough that I just mailed in my State return. If Michigan has some way around that, please let me know the specifics.
I did a quick Google search and located this web page. Apparently it will be FREE for my M-I-L due to her low retirement AGI but not for my wife or I since we are both still working. Maximum AGI is $33K per the web page for Turbo Tax users, higher for H&R Block software users, and no limit for Credit Karma users.

https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,467...8774--,00.html


I will probably continue to do my M-I-L's taxes within my Turbo-Tax Premiere software, then dump her data into the free TT software available on the Michigan web site for e-filing to the State. Save myself the cost of an additional envelope, additional postage, and the costs associated with the mid-Summer re-submittals since it appears she isn't following my filing instructions.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:19 PM   #14
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I used H&R Block last year and was satisfied with the product. I just received an email offering a $25 discount on Delux download for Federal and State taxes. I can't tell if this is a one user or multi-user product (I do a friend and my brother's taxes as well). Did anyone else get that email?
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:25 PM   #15
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I pre-purchased H&R Block tax software last week. Was able to download yesterday and run. It is now available...with many updates to follow, I'm sure. I've used it for the past 4 years.
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:26 PM   #16
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I pre-purchased H&R Block tax software last week. Was able to download yesterday and run. It is now available...with many updates to follow, I'm sure. I've used it for the past 4 years.
Is it updated with the major changes for this year or just based on last year's tax rules? I believe last year the early release was basically useless until January update.
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:41 PM   #17
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I can't tell if this is a one user or multi-user product (I do a friend and my brother's taxes as well). Did anyone else get that email?
I've paid and downloaded this program using this offer (I make sure to uncheck the $6 "extended download service"). I always use H&R block for my taxes and share the program/do the taxes with DD in Texas. You get 5 free federal tax filings but only 1 state program (and state filing costs extra). So tax free states like Texas are perfect for this. I print out my state return and mail it in.
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:48 PM   #18
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Is it updated with the major changes for this year or just based on last year's tax rules? I believe last year the early release was basically useless until January update.
It appears to be mostly updated - it has the appropriate tax brackets and thresholds for tax free capital gains. It has the new standard deductions. So it is useful for me to double check my spreadsheet as I plan my Roth conversion.

But, I still have to wait for my fund companies to report final gains etc., so if it's not completely finished its not a big deal for me.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:14 PM   #19
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For newer members here, it may be worth noting that if you have a substantial account at Fidelity, they have usually let you download TurboTax for free. The exact eligibility is hard to pin down, but if you have Private Client status there's a very good chance you can get it. They usually make it available around the middle of December, and you would log into the TT website through the Fido website. Once they start offering it at a discount to the general public, you can log in to your account and see if you can get it without any cost.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:10 PM   #20
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I've paid and downloaded this program using this offer (I make sure to uncheck the $6 "extended download service"). I always use H&R block for my taxes and share the program/do the taxes with DD in Texas. You get 5 free federal tax filings but only 1 state program (and state filing costs extra). So tax free states like Texas are perfect for this. I print out my state return and mail it in.
I use H&R Block for our taxes, then I do 3 other relatives returns as well.
Fed filing is good for 5 returns.
The State return is printed out and mailed in.

There is no limit on mailing in returns.
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