Free tax preparation endorsed by USAA not always free

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Prolific Contributor

Here is a chance for USAA to get out in front, for a change, of an issue affecting service members and their families. A Military Times article from May 23 describes how "free" tax filing offered by TurboTax for service members was not always free, depending on how the tax program was accessed. It's quite an interesting read. It also states that the New York Department of Financial Services contacted USAA and two other insurance companies seeking records related to any deals they may have with Intuit and other tax preparation firms. It would be advisable to USAA to publicly reconsider its support for Intuit, and any other tax preparation companies, without insuring significant safeguards are in place to protect our service members. Free ought to be free.

6 REPLIES

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R_S - We appreciate the feedback. Your comments have been shared with the appropriate team. - Jason

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You just had another post asking about how to access TurboTax from USAA. Has anybody at "the appropriate team" reacted to my initial post?

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I think there is more to this than the "free" part - it is actually cheaper for those of us who file with TurboTax to go buy the program at Costco, etc than to go through USAA and get their "discounted" price because the discounted price is not such a bargain.  USAA - you need to do a better job of negotiating for your members and not making us think you are doing us a favor because you aren't.  

 

  For military members who still haven't filed and qualify for free filing go to www.irs.gov and find the free filing section - there are several different choices to pick from (to include Turbo Tax).  Also many states offer free filing right on their state websites.  

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NSueZ has it right. USAA should recommend the IRS Free File site first, not simply send members to TurboTax.

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@R_S, Your feedback regarding free tax preparation/Turbo Tax is valuable. I can see that Jason shared your post with our Member Feedback Team on May 24, 2019. Due to the volume of feedback received from members, we are unable to notify each member individually if their feedback results in a direct change; however, I can assure you that we review all feedback and implement ideas based on cost and overall membership need. Thank you again for taking the time to submit your feedback. ~DC 

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No need to notify me about any changes -- there aren't any. The USAA Tax Center page continues to point members to the TurboTax sites branded for USAA without any mention about the IRS Free File option, which may be better. TurboTax itself offers a Free File option, but -- no surprise -- it's hard to find. The May 29th ProPublica article describes the issue quite clearly.

USAA should be providing more thorough information to its members.