"Your TaxCut Deluxe 2005 CD is on its way!" shouted the email. "This year, we're making it easy to get your 2005 tax software. We're sending you a CD that has everything you need to do your federal and one state tax return. You'll get TaxCut Deluxe federal software plus one state program for just $29.95 (a $50 value)."
Now, I've been a satisfied TaxCut user since the late 1990s. I'd even say that I love the program.
My first thought, when I received the email, was Great! Now I won't have to bother buying the darn thing next time I'm at Best Buy or wherever!
But then it hit me: Sure, it's been a year, but I really don't remember having to pay $30 for the TaxCut program last year. Or any year before that.
You know why I don't remember paying $30 for it? Because I didn't pay $30 for it. Even with last year's Deluxe edition (federal and state filings, plus one free e-file), I'm pretty sure I paid closer to $20.
I know this because that's what I paid for it today at Wal-Mart.
Yes, I'll miss out on the "free" version of Microsoft Money 2006 Standard (after rebate) which is included with the $30 TaxCut offer from my email. Pity.
Pretty ingenious marketing trick, I'd say, for the guys behind TaxCut.
They almost got me.