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I sold investments in a taxable account in 2013, include shares from an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). I have always used TurboTax and am planning to again, but I'm trying to decide which version. I have state income taxes so getting at least Deluxe makes sense. I am debating between Deluxe and Premier though.

On the TurboTax website it says:

Get help accurately reporting investment sales
We'll walk you through reporting sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. We'll automatically calculate capital gains/losses and keep track of those that carry over to future tax returns.

Can anybody explain what exactly that includes? I know all my cost basis so calculating capital gains/losses should be pretty straightforward. I don't have over $3K in capital losses but if I did would TurboTax Deluxe not automatically carry that over to next year?

Also:

Get help with employee stock plans
Sold employee stock? We automatically determine your correct basis for shares purchased at different times or different prices.

Same general question here, what does this include? My W-2 shows the amount of my ESPP discount and hopefully my 1099 from my brokerage will correctly report my cost basis without the discount as per this question. So is it any more complicated than any other investment sale?

When is it worthwhile to spend the extra money on TurboTax Premier over Deluxe?

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    I've had all the things you list, plus up to 4 rental properties, and deluxe was fine for me. – JoeTaxpayer Jan 30 '14 at 3:53
  • Wait for a couple of months, end of February-March the prices will go down significantly. $90??? They're crazy. – littleadv Jan 30 '14 at 4:53
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For tax year 2014, TurboTax Deluxe no longer supports Schedule D.* TurboTax Premier is required if you need to use Schedule D.

Alternatively, H&R Block Tax Software Deluxe will handle Schedule D at a fraction of the cost of TurboTax Premier.

Update: Beginning with tax year 2015, TurboTax has reversed their disastrous decision and put the functionality back into Deluxe, making it once again an acceptable choice for the OP's situation. See this answer for more details. H&R Block Deluxe still handles this at less cost.


* Technically**, TurboTax Deluxe does include Schedule D and other schedules in what they call form mode; however, if you decide to use them, TurboTax Deluxe cripples itself, eliminating many of the features on this chart that you may have gotten used to, such as interview guidance and e-file.

** See https://xkcd.com/1475/

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    Even their apology letter got it wrong. The 2014 Deluxe can handle Schedule D. It just lacks using interview to do so, and I believe (not 100% yet) that it won't import the data from the broker. So the transactions must be entered manually. – JoeTaxpayer Jan 24 '15 at 13:37
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    @JoeTaxpayer The whole point of using TurboTax is interview mode. Using form mode in TurboTax isn't much better than a paper form, and when you switch to form mode, it refuses to e-file. So Intuit claiming that Deluxe technically handles all of the Schedules is really a copout, and the apology letter acknowledges that. – Ben Miller Jan 24 '15 at 13:43
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    In November '14, I wrote TurboTax 2014 Marketing Mistake and I appreciate the link you posted here. +1 for that. In my case, I've used TurboTax (and MacInTax before that) since '84. There was no interview for at least the first decade, and I never started using it. The only feature I will miss is to import the stock transactions. But you are right, and I'm not defending anyone. – JoeTaxpayer Jan 24 '15 at 14:06
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    @JoeTaxpayer For those who have used TurboTax in the past, the fact that there is no interview for Schedule D in TurboTax Deluxe for 2014 is not that big a deal, especially if one has just a few transactions reported on 1099-B. The key is what Ben Miller says in his comment; if there are entries on Form 8949 (whether imported from the broker or entered manually) or Schedule D reporting capital gains/losses from asset sales, then e-filing is not permitted in TurboTax Deluxe for 2014. I closed one mutual fund account in 2014, and so must use TurboTax Premier 2014 if I want to e-file. Sheesh! – Dilip Sarwate Jan 24 '15 at 14:42
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    @DilipSarwate - Got it. My point was that the exact function of each level isn't made clear. Not on their site, and not in these answers, yet. "Deluxe can handle schedule D, manually with loss of eFile." right? There's more, but for Sch D, that's the effect, I think. And the letter? I don't keep receipts, I don't want $25. I want my program bumped a level. They still missed the chance to do the right thing. In my opinion. – JoeTaxpayer Jan 24 '15 at 14:49
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Here are the lists for the tax forms that Deluxe and Premier include. I think you'll be fine with Deluxe because it sounds like all you need is the Schedule D/8949 forms. Deluxe actually includes most investment related forms.

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    Interestingly the list of tax forms supported is exactly the same between the two versions. – Craig W Jan 30 '14 at 22:37
  • They both support alll the forms ...as forms. If you want guided entry and e-filing they get you to upgrade. Personally I consider e-file a minor convenience and will now have to decide what it's actually worth to me. (The gummint should be paying any efile fees; it saves them a considerable chunk of change ... oh well.) – keshlam Jan 24 '15 at 16:52
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I have found that using the online version can help determine the correct product.

Try Deluxe online, you can upload the data from last year. When you get to the key forms see what happens if you don't switch. Then switch to Premiere. Compare the results.

  • Interesting, and useful. Still, I'd be curious for the details. How many rentals before one should/much jump to next level? – JoeTaxpayer Jan 30 '14 at 21:07
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I have used turbo tax for years. Apart from the snafu in 2014, I have had no problem using deluxe, and I have lots of asset sales to report. I prefer form mode anyway. I can import the data from my broker, and I can e-file with no problem. So the only thing I'm missing is the support. I can usually find answers to questions on the web, anyway.

protected by Chris W. Rea Feb 27 '17 at 12:45

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