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Credit Karma Tax


jkelley9
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You may have have seen Credit Karma pushing their commercials for their new Credit Karma Tax preparation software.

I figured since our taxes shouldn't be that bad this year (we didn't move, which was a big part of previous years' [minor] complications) I was pleasantly surprised with how intuitive and easy this software was to use.

In the past I've used Turbo Tax. I've also used HR Block. I've always done our taxes myself.

I figured since it was offering "truly free" tax preparation it was going to be more geared for the folks that basically have a W2 from their employer, have some dependent deductions and other minor things; I'd find this out halfway through that they wouldn't have all of the forms my wife and I needed (divs, ints, misc, etc) and we'd have to pay, but I was wrong! It cost be $0 and took less time than Turbo Tax and HR Block.

The best part of the software was that I could choose to manually enter everything, and the descriptions were INTUITIVE. I didn't have to sift through ALL iterations of deductions, credits, etc, and I wasn't reading ambiguous descriptions like in Turbo Tax thinking "um... not sure if that applies to me or not." It had a main interface that you could click what you needed. Turbo Tax sort of had this but it was a bit cumbersome going back and forth to that list as needed, and they would automatically push you into the next section and you'd have to identify "this isn't about xyz deduction anymore so I guess I need to go back to the main menu now."

The one thing it did not have was the Turbo Tax's version of "audit risk assessment." But I've always been honest with my taxes (in fact I'm pretty sure I overpay every year just so I never have to deal with the IRS) so I feel like I never really needed this feature. I always scored 100% on the risk threshold anyways (lowest risk). 

Everything was free. We itemized our deductions this year. We had all of these things: 2 W2's, mortgage interest, misc income from our employers, stock/retirement account taxes, charitable donations, misc deductions above and below the line, property taxes, registration taxes, previous year state income taxes rollover, there's plenty more I'm forgetting.

E-filing was also free and easy. Both state and federal. You could also setup to have it direct deposited, just like Turbo Tax and HR Block.

They also give you the full printed form (1040) in PDF format without all the crap spewed all over it like Turbo Tax and HR Block that I could save for our records.

We got our refund back in < 10 days.

I can't speak to the full complications of taxes (especially self employed folks, retired folks, etc) but in the manner that Credit CKarma handled the interface and preparation for my own things I believe they would be able to handle those more complicated items as well. They did a great job, in my personal opinion.

I recommend trying it. Saved us $120+ this year, was easier to use, and less bloat/hassle.

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I have used Turbotax exclusively but this year was displeased with all of the complex worksheets.   If there is a simpler way, I'm all for it.   I've used the Credit Karma in the past to check my credit score but not used their tax software.   I may check it out.

Thanks for the share.

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Can't talk about CK, as I've used H&R Block's product (formerly TaxCut) for well over 10 years.  Very intuitive and straight forward.  No worksheets per se.  The software asks questions just as a CPA would, and you answer them.

Even the $30 basic edition handles all my needs, including investments and a recent house sale.  They also evaluate your audit risk and will provide free (included) representation if you are audited.  I'm a fan.

Edited by David in FL
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23 hours ago, David in FL said:

Can't talk about CK, as I've used H&R Block's product (formerly TaxCut) for well over 10 years.  Very intuitive and straight forward.  No worksheets per se.  The software asks questions just as a CPA would, and you answer them.

Even the $30 basic edition handles all my needs, including investments and a recent house sale.  They also evaluate your audit risk and will provide free (included) representation if you are audited.  I'm a fan.

HR block was better than TurboTax when I used it for our 2014 taxes (I believe). 

What I didn't like was not knowing how much it was really going to cost me until I got to the very end. It cost me something like $120 that year because both my wife and I had moved and had 2 states to file. It wasn't clear in their 2014 software how much it was going to cost us. That's how they got us; I had done all my taxes and it was either TRY and save $60 going to another preparation software or just eat it. We ate it. I wasn't going to do our taxes twice that year.

Yes, their software is intuitive if you're going to go through the questions-asking part of it. I avoid that, though. I know what my deductions, credits, etc are already. I just want to have all of those broken out in a table and I select what applies to me and only fill in those portions. This is where Credit karma Tax shined and others did NOT. Also, it was completely free so... that was awesome! And it had ZERO bloat in their interface. They were extremely objective in their platform.

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3 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

HR block was better than TurboTax when I used it for our 2014 taxes (I believe). 

What I didn't like was not knowing how much it was really going to cost me until I got to the very end. It cost me something like $120 that year because both my wife and I had moved and had 2 states to file. It wasn't clear in their 2014 software how much it was going to cost us. That's how they got us; I had done all my taxes and it was either TRY and save $60 going to another preparation software or just eat it. We ate it. I wasn't going to do our taxes twice that year.

Yes, their software is intuitive if you're going to go through the questions-asking part of it. I avoid that, though. I know what my deductions, credits, etc are already. I just want to have all of those broken out in a table and I select what applies to me and only fill in those portions. This is where Credit karma Tax shined and others did NOT. Also, it was completely free so... that was awesome! And it had ZERO bloat in their interface. They were extremely objective in their platform.

I don't understand what you mean by "not knowing what the final cost was going to be".  I've always just purchased the version appropriate to my family, and that one $30 fee covered it.  What additional costs did you incur along the way?

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11 minutes ago, David in FL said:

I don't understand what you mean by "not knowing what the final cost was going to be".  I've always just purchased the version appropriate to my family, and that one $30 fee covered it.  What additional costs did you incur along the way?

I can't remember exactly. But I believe it was from filing 2 states each as well as having itemized deductions. There was no way ours was $30. I remember choosing the $30 (or $40?) option but at the end of the process they basically told me I had to add 2x $40 on top for additional states or types of accounts or something. It was definitely at least $120, it may have been even more.

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Note: This thread is 1918 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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