So, I haven’t had a chance to dig through all the details yet (I will soon), but there is a new wrinkle in the tax software refund game. Consider this your, “Wait, there might be a good option here before you buy,” post, not your go for it post.
For several years, there have been various offers about what to do with your tax refund. For example, H&R Block got into trouble a few years ago by directing refunds into IRA accounts that had fees and charges that made them a bad deal. This year, TurboTax has an interesting new twist for Amazon shoppers.
Amazon Gift Card Bonus from TurboTax
TurboTax is one of the most popular tax software packages. (Look for full details and review of TurboTax and Tax Cut coming soon on Finance Gourmet.) There are tons of ways to buy TurboTax including online, via direct download, and of course, via boxes of software in stores.
The first rule of buying TurboTax is never pay full price. There are always sales, and deals, and bundles of software that make buying TurboTax cheaper. The most common offer bundles Quicken, which is also an Intuit product with the tax software, often for free. However, if you don’t use Quicken, then that isn’t the deal for you. There are other bundles or discounts out there. Be patient. The forms you need to file your taxes aren’t even required to be sent out to you until January 31, in most cases.
This year, Intuit is offering a deal where you can direct some, or all, of your tax refund (assuming you are getting one) into an Amazon gift card. Typically, you would either have a check mailed to you, or enter bank information to have your refund direct deposited to your bank account. In this case, the folks at Intuit have figured out a way to have you authorize part of your refund to go to them, and then they put that amount on an Amazon gift card for you. You do have to buy your copy of TurboTax directly from Intuit or Amazon to get this deal, so be careful to buy the right version if this is what you are looking for.
The bonus that makes this deal potentially interesting is that Inuit will add a 10 percent bonus on the Amazon gift card from your refund. Normally, this might be small potatoes, but some people get large tax refunds and that 10 percent kicker could be several hundred dollars. Of course, the key to being smart with this deal is to only participate for the amount that makes sense for you, either because you are already planning a purchase at Amazon, or you are a regular Amazon shopper who would quickly make use of the deal.
A good example of being smart with your money while taking advantage of this deal would be someone who was already planning on using their tax refund to buy a new laptop. If you were already planning on spending $2,000 on a laptop, and you directed $2,000 from your refund to the gift card, you’d get a $200 bonus. And, since you already planned on spending that money, you are not out anything.
Do not redirect money that you did not plan to spend already. This is just a way to end up buying something you wouldn’t have purchased without the deal, and that is not a smart way to take advantage of such a deal.
Keep in mind if you usually use your tax refund for savings or for paying off debt or even investing in an IRA, those are all still much better uses of your money. In fact, I would recommend using the funds that you would have used for your Amazon purchase to achieve those goals. That way, you don’t miss out on increasing your net worth while still getting your 10 percent refund.
This article will be updated with more details and information soon. I know some people get on these types of things right away and wanted to make sure the information was there before it was too late. If you aren’t ready to buy just yet, hold off and we’ll round up all the best TurboTax deals and TaxCut specials as they become available.