NO to Turbo Tax

Turbo Tax maker Intuit, again, is mired in political turmoil: Intuit was upset that John Chiang, our State Controller, had been making electronic tax filing software free to people. Intuit wanted the State to use a different system that worked with Intuit's commercial software.

So, Intuit spent over a million dollars to run a candidate against Chiang.

That begs the question: shouldn't the state provide free software to file taxes? Chiang says it costs all of $125,000 a year to maintain the software. That's cheap!

If you're fed up with corporations that make millions off tax prep software and then use that money to try to destroy free, government supported alternatives, don't buy Intuit's TurboTax or Intuit's Quicken.

Also, if you do buy a competing tax prep program, don't buy the state version. Just use Ready Return.

CA Ready Return

Alternatives to Intuit TurboTax

Intuit's response to criticisms.

I found their essay long and full of smoke. They tried their best to include some scare stories, but they were vapor, in my opinion. The existence of Ready Return and CalFile doesn't preclude Intuit or anyone else from creating the State version of the filing software. All it does is compete with the commercial software. There's nothing wrong with a free "public option" that's available not only to low-income people, but to all people. Everyone paid for it, so everyone can use it. Enjoy.