Intuit, TurboTax and rebates

TurboTax is a useful, staightforward product. It makes preparing a tax return easy and relatively painless. At least it does for NewMexiKen.

However, the only way that TurboTax is reasonably priced is to buy it bundled with rebates — a rebate for the actual purchase price; a rebate for the downloaded state software; a rebate for electronic filing. That’s $55 in rebates.

Two things come to mind.

First, just how much income does Intuit make each year on these interest free loans from its customers? They have our money for “approximately 8 weeks” after they receive the rebate paperwork. $55 times 4.2 million copies sold. Gee, that’s a $230 million float for eight weeks.

Second, I figured out today that I will spend considerably more time completing rebate paperwork for Intuit than I might have spent doing my taxes by hand.