Military wife Taylor Hewitt went to a tax store and was told she’d get a $1,600 refund. Not bad – until she attended a tax filing event sponsored by TurboTax and got an even better number: more than $5,700.
Caption: The Hewitt’s with their TurboTax helper Mark Dalton.
“Big difference! I was so excited,” said the mother of two boys and the wife of a U.S. Marine corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. For years Hewitt was an H&R Block user – until a TurboTax free file event showed her how to get a bigger refund and not pay hundreds of dollars for it.
Hewitt was one of 19 enlisted men and women that participated in a tax filing event at Intuit’s San Diego campus on Feb. 7. Employees and tax experts volunteered to staff the event, providing support and tax advice for military families who often face unusual situations because of deployments and moves. For the Hewitt family, that event helped her get a much larger refund compared to H&R Block, while saving more than $500 in tax prep fees.
“That was more than I anticipated when I first started talking to them,” said Mark Dalton, a TurboTax analyst who assisted Taylor and her husband, Jay. “At first I was hoping to get just a little bit more. But the longer we looked at it, the better it became.”
The event was part of a word-of-mouth campaign to raise awareness of the TurboTax Military Edition.
“San Diego is ‘ground zero’ for the military – more military live here than anywhere else in the world,” said Aliza Carpio, social media manager for TurboTax and co-coordinator of the event. “We knew we had to ‘own San Diego’ to scale positive recommendations for the product. We experimented with a community event to help military families prepare and file their returns while teaching them what key factors could affect their refund.”
Military filers used the new TurboTax Military Edition to prepare and e-file their taxes for free. Personalized to the specific needs of military filers to help them keep more of their hard-earned money, TurboTax Military Edition was created by active, reserve and retired military personnel and military spouses. TurboTax Military Edition addresses the specific considerations that come with filing taxes as a member of the U.S. military.
TurboTax Military Edition is available for free to junior enlisted personnel, rank E-1 to E-5, and at a discounted price for enlisted personnel, rank E-6 through officer.
“This was the first time many of us got to experience the TurboTax Military Edition with military families,” said Alaina Maloney, executive assistant and co-coordinator of the event. “We learned a lot about the complexity of a military family tax situation and how we can even make TurboTax even better. “Seeing customers in the lab doesn’t have the same impact. You get the real time emotion and insight when the customer is working on their return.”