Exclusive SuperBowl Ad Preview: Turbo Tax Puts The Fun In Taxes

It’s hard to put taxes and fun in the same sentence; Taxes are nobody’s favorite thing. The confusing jargon and often complicated form names, exceptions and rules lead to many Americans dreading having to file their taxes each year. What a lot of them don’t realize though is that filing taxes doesn’t have to be so confusing. In fact, it can be easy, with the help of technology. 

English: The 6 co-founders of 6+1 advertising ...
English: The 6 co-founders of 6+1 advertising agency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We let technology guide us through the day, from waking us up in the morning to letting us do our jobs to providing us with entertainment at night. It’s hard to imagine there’s any American left that doesn’t have access to a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. TurboTax 2013 utilizes that fact and comes with a super easy tax filing program that lets people do their 2013 tax return with ease. All that’s required is answering straightforward questions about life, which – as TurboTax 2013 hypothesizes – nobody can do better than the tax filer himself.

As part of a new campaign to persuade Americans to file their own taxes TurboTax 2013 has come up with a series of fun, endearing advertisements. And to make sure they reach an audience as big as possible the ads will launch as part of the Super Bowl Ads in 2014. After all everyone has to file taxes, and what other platform reaches all kinds of Americans at the same time in such large numbers?

As most people know SuperBowl ads aren’t just your regular TV ads, they’re the cream of the crop that are in a league of their own. Advertising space of just 30 seconds during the SuperBowl can cost multiple millions. It’s therefore no surprise that SuperBowl ads often feature A-list celebrities and have sky-high budgets. SuperBowl ads are funny, endearing or even small works of arts. Their goal is to achieve maximum impact and with the rise of YouTube many of them have gone viral in recent years. Not an easy thing to accomplish for a company dealing with taxes in comparison to, say, a company selling soda or a TV production company.

Conceptualized by advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, the TurboTax 2013 SuperBowl ads manage to continue the tradition of funny, clever and endearing SuperBowl ad though. From a girlfriend subjecting her unsuspecting boyfriend to one random question after another to a guy flying with a bird in the sky (yes, you read that right) the TurboTax 2013 ads have admirably put the fun in taxes. Check out an exclusive preview below!

A Look At The Tax Deadline

The 2014 Tax Deadline

Like most years, the tax deadline for 2014 falls on April 15. Failure to file federal income taxes by this date results in penalties. Most people seek to avoid these financial penalties and get their taxes in on time. Still, thousands of taxpayers run into trouble and can’t meet this deadline each year. Each American adult is required to pay taxes, and taxpayers should strive to meet these deadlines.

English: Protesters standing near the United S...
English: Protesters standing near the United States Capitol during the Taxpayer March on Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many late filers simply procrastinate until the very end and pay the price. Without a doubt, taxpayers should start gathering their documents as soon as possible. Companies and stock firms usually send out necessary tax forms by the middle of February. Two months is more than ample time to file one’s federal taxes. Therefore, the average taxpayer doesn’t have a good excuse for not meeting the tax deadline 2014.

For 2014, the six-month extension lasts until October 13, 2014. That date is static and won’t be changed by the government shutdown. Anyone can take advantage of this extension, but they must apply for it. Fortunately, each taxpayer is guaranteed an extension, and many states offer automatic extensions. A simple extension doesn’t free a person from accrued interest on their tax burden, though.

In the end, tax deadline 2014 is much like every other year. A taxpayer can’t wait too long to file their taxes. They could otherwise find themselves spending hundreds or thousands on penalty fees. Sadly, such penalties can push a person into financial distress quite quickly. It’s always a better idea to file taxes as early as possible on an annual basis.

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform

TurboTax has come under fire recently after a report from Propublica revealed that Intuit, TurboTax’s parent company had launched a massive lobbying effort against what is known as return-free tax filing.

TurboTax Fights Filing Reform
TurboTax app (Photo credit: fixedgear)

This method, which is already used in other countries, would have the IRS prepare an estimate of the taxpayer’s liability. The recipient would have the option to accept the estimate, make corrections to it, or reject it and prepare his own return, using a tax preparation company or other option.

This process puts the onus on the IRS to use the information that employers and banks have already provided to them to prepare these files. The taxpayers who would benefit most from this process are those who file simple forms with no itemization.  Up to 40% of taxpayers could benefit from this system.

TurboTax 2013 would have suffered a clear loss of revenue by implementation of this plan.  Fewer taxpayers would actually need to file, and TurboTax, being the largest online tax preparation firm, would certainly feel the loss of preparation fees.

Other tax firms and some political figures have opposed return-free filing because they feel the plan expands government control and that receiving a “bill” from the government might intimidate taxpayers into paying the amount without question.

Free Turbo Tax 2013 preparation would not have been necessary if the return-free plan had been adopted. Considering that TurboTax 2013 garners much business by selling consumers upgrades to more expensive packages, the company’s opposition is understandable from a financial standpoint.  They cannot, however, claim an impartial interest in the matter.

Return-free filing is not a new idea and has been endorsed by two Presidents and a host of consumer advocates.  Other countries have already successfully adopted such a plan, but strong lobbying efforts by TurboTax and other tax preparation firms have so far kept it from becoming a reality in the United States.

Intuit’s PAC Lobbies Against IRS Filed Taxes

Should taxpayers determine how much are owed on their taxes or is this a job for the government? TurboTax lobbying has led to millions of dollars being spent against IRS filed taxes. The IRS could make doing taxes easier on Americans by filing the taxes of citizens instead. Intuit is the parent company behind the TurboTax software and has used its public action committee (PAC) to spend millions to oppose every effort to make tax day less painful.

Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax has lobbied extensively against the “return-free” filing, decreasing the stress of Americans who file complex taxes. This represents the continuation of having to file taxes which take up a great deal of time, despite Obama’s efforts in 2007 towards taxes being prepared by the IRS.

TurboTax and other similar companies are partly responsible for Americans not being able to go without filing their taxes for years. It’s possible that this would have previously been made a law, however, tax professionals have expressed their opposition to this. American’s being able to go without filing taxes for such long periods of time would be detrimental to the businesses that profit from this.

TurboTax’s public opposition to IRS government tax preparation is a clear indication the business knows their long term profits would be affected. Intuit’s PAC has spent over $5 million contributing to certain politicians with the biggest donation to one individual being $1 million.

Turbo Tax Television Ads Will Continue

Turbo Tax Television Ads Will Continue

H&R Block has failed its lawsuit and injunction attempts two times against Intuit’s TurboTax. H&R Block was attempting to stop their television ads from airing. The initial lawsuit was filed in January, 2013 on the grounds of an infringement on the company’s trademark. H&R Block stated that Intuit’s TurboTax commercials showing people having their taxes prepared by inexperienced tax preparers was directed at the company.

H&R Block, Miles City
H&R Block, Miles City (Photo credit: dave_mcmt)

H&R Block is trying to stop Intuit from airing two ads. The first is a scene of a shopper checking out in a women’s clothing store and the sales clerk remembers that she did the customer’s tax return the previous week. The second commercial shows a plumber that is fixing a kitchen sink and he announces to the family that he did their taxes.

First Lawsuit Lost

The U.S. District Court for Missouri ruled against H&R Block’s first lawsuit filed in January, 2013. H&R Block is headquartered in Kansas, Missouri. This in essence meant that Intuit could continue to run its ads and to promote its services such as Turbo Tax 2013 free, and the benefits of using the online software for free tax preparation.

Preliminary Injunction Denied

H&R Block attempted a preliminary injunction to cease the TV ads in March, 2013, but once again, the U.S. District Court rejected the request.

The television ads do not mention H&R Block by name and Intuit has made it clear that the advertisements were to educate the public on tax preparation. Many people have no clue when it comes to taxes and depend on a professional software application such as Turbo Tax 2013 free or a professional tax preparer. H&R block is continuing its lawsuit against Intuit, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.

Why H&R Block is Concerned

Intuit notes in the ads the lack of experience needed in retail tax stores. Intuit stated they only hire CPAs, tax attorneys, and Enrolled Agents to offer advise to customers about tax questions. With both attempts by H&R Block to stop the commercial ads, it’s clear that the U.S. District Court does not see this as an infringement on the company’s trademark, which was the grounds for the original lawsuit.

Intuit and Television Ads

Intuit has said they will continue to run the two ads despite the H&R Block’s determination to keep the lawsuit going. The TurboTax software can be accessed on a secure website and offers free tax preparation in an intuitive and user friendly application. The programs walks the filer through the process by asking question. It sometimes will recommend a different filing especially for the self-employed.

What Do The IRS And Your Ex-Girlfriend Have In Common?

You Don’t Want To Hear From Either One Of Them

What does getting an email from the IRS and getting an email from your crazy ex-girlfriend have in common? They are both something that you don’t want to open. The best advice is, don’t. If you get one of the IRS emails, it is best to not open it, or even altogether ignore it. We all know that the IRS is anything but a friend of yours, so why would they be sending you an email? They probably wouldn’t. It is just one of the latest scams that impostors are trying to pull off.

Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service offic...
Exterior of the Internal Revenue Service office in midtown New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scammers know that when you see the IRS come up on any document, your first reaction is fear, and the second is that you had better answer it quickly to avoid penalty. When you use Turbo Tax 2013, you will have direct access to the IRS email, but they will never have a reason to reply unless it is an auto response. As a general rule, if you ever receive an email from any company asking you for personal information, don’t answer it. Any doubts you have about its authenticity, which there should be many, can be addressed by contacting them directly. If you are the one to contact them using official channels, than you can feel secure about any information that you supply to them.

It is best, if you receive IRS emails, to pick up the phone and contact them directly. After all, nothing ever gets settled through email, you will have to follow up any issue with a live representative anyway. So, it’s best to do with that email what you would with your ex-girlfriend’s, ignore it.

Free Tax Filing for Taxes

Tax Filing for 2011

Each year, thousands of taxpayers fail to file their federal income taxes. Some individuals willingly forgo this action while others run into special circumstances. No event or situation frees a taxpayer from their responsibilities though. With that in mind, a person can always file back taxes in order to start catching up. Various options are currently available for taxes 2011.

Tax Preparation
Tax Preparation (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)

Filing tax returns for previous years often proves relatively simple. However, an individual needs the right software and extensive records for that particular year. Products like TurboTax, TaxAct, and others offer software for past returns. Free tax filing 2011 is hard to come by but is not impossible to find. Undoubtedly, taxpayers want to save as much money as possible.

For taxes 2011, the taxpayer needs to fill out all necessary tax return forms. They should treat this return just like any other one, making sure to avoid common mistakes. Failure to do so might cause problems when the IRS receives the return. Without a doubt, it is important to handle this matter quickly to avoid major consequences and problems.

Free tax filing 2011 is still available even though it is a past tax year. Many people fail to realize that they can still finish taxes 2011. The longer an individual waits, the more penalties they will face. In the end, finishing this task quickly produces the best results under all circumstances. That fact should not be forgotten for obvious reasons. The IRS takes federal income taxes very seriously after all.