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Shelley Elmblad

Reader Gives Heads-Up on Glitch with TurboTax and .NET

By January 1, 2008

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Updated 01/01/08 01:08 a.m.

Reader comments benefit everyone who frequents About Financial Software. Thanks to comments from Thomas concerning my blog post, TurboTax Update: Great Stuff!, I've discovered that many TurboTax customers are having trouble completely installing TurboTax or running TurboTax due to what seems to be a problem with Microsoft .NET framework. Many of you are thinking, "huh - framework?".

The easiest to comprehend layman's explanation of .NET I found was from Tech-Pro.net: Microsoft .NET framework provides features, functions and security that can be used by programs which run on Windows operating systems. I've read in more detail about what .NET is on Microsoft's Development site, but it was from a technical programming perspective and I couldn't comprehend it well enough to pass on to readers.

The .NET issue causes an error that references 25015 in TurboTax, but may be causing other errors as well. A partial or corrupted .NET install is causing the problems, and TurboTax only detects whether .NET exists on the computer it is being installed to but TurboTax can't tell whether a good copy of .NET has been installed. So, TurboTax installs and then fails.

TurboTax .NET Fixes

Right now, it looks like TurboTax is broken for quite a few people, and here is the fix:

  1. Uninstall .NET 2.0
    • Go into Windows Control Panel.
    • Choose Add/Remove software.
    • Find then select Microsoft .NET 2.0 and remove it.
    • Restart your computer.

  2. Reinstall TurboTax. TurboTax will install .NET 2.0 when it does not detect the framework on your computer.

TurboTax Support has a list of .NET-related error codes and how to resolve them as well.

Alternatives for TurboTax

  • If you like TurboTax desktop, I don't think you should write it off just yet. If you have the .NET framework on your PC and it installed correctly, TurboTax desktop should work smoothly. If you do not have the .NET framework, TurboTax will install it.
  • Another option is using TurboTax Online, which does not suffer from this issue because it runs from your Internet browser. And, using online software has benefits that desktop software does not have as well.
  • You can also select another income tax preparation software such as:

I emailed a TurboTax insider about this issue and will post an update in this blog when I know more. Subscribe to the Financial Software Headlines RSS feed to get more information when it is available.

How to Choose Tax Software | What is eFile?

January 1, 2008 at 12:59 am
(1) William says:

thanks for the comment. One of my readers complained about a feature in the desktop version of TurboTax. I think we should hold off on downloading software until all the updates are made, including the new tax law changes. As you mentioned, users wanting to get ahead start might want to use the online versions instead.

January 2, 2008 at 11:53 am
(2) Bob Meighan says:

TurboTax customers should install and download updates now. The issues you may be reading with .Net do not originate from any problem with TurboTax and will not be fixed by a TurboTax update. As noted in this column, the Microsoft .Net issue manifests itself only when .Net is not installed properly or is corrupted. As Shelley Elmblad mentions, the issue can usually be solved by uninstalling and then reinstalling .Net. Or just uninstall .Net and then reinstall TurboTax.

We encourage TurboTax customers to download updates so they always have the most recent tax forms and instructions. We will be providing periodic updates as we receive updates from the IRS. If you’ve been reading about the recently signed tax law, the IRS is working hard to get updates out to the tax prep software community. TurboTax expects to have these changes available within the next week (depending of course on timely distribution by the IRS).

I hope this information helps.
Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

January 7, 2008 at 4:51 pm
(3) Jim says:

After installing Turbo Tax DeLuxe 2007 I cant start up Turbo Tax. get message 030226, error with internet explorer.The fix is to reinstall IE 6 or upgrade to IE 7. I installed IE 7 and am getting the same error.

January 7, 2008 at 6:00 pm
(4) Shelley says:

Jim – sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Be sure you are restarting your computer in between uninstalling/installing stuff – I know, it’s a big pain, but necessary. If you haven’t done so already, you can try resetting IE, which will change IE back to a plain vanilla installation (but you keep your bookmarks). This also is a pain if IE is your primary browser, but here’s how you do it:

  1. Start IE 7
  2. Click Tools, Internet Options
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Click Reset
  5. Click Reset to confirm
January 23, 2008 at 6:48 pm
(5) David Panoff says:

I’ve tried uninstalling the net frameworks – (all of them – 2.0, 1.1, 3.5) and then running the third party remove tool and then installing Turbo Tax and still it won’t start. It doesn’t even give me an error message. I know the install finished because the updateTT program in the 32 bit directory works fine!
I think this is TT’s problem and not Microsoft’s (although it’s really the customer’s problem – hello!) because I dont’ have ANY other problems with ANY other programs. It’s TT’s product, and they need to fix it- not just point a finger and walk away.

February 8, 2008 at 4:08 am
(6) Ben Montoya says:

I just lost a whole day with Turbo Tax Tech support. Uninstalled framework, Uninstalled turbo tax, ran the clean up tool. Turbo Tax is still running Slow. Looks like I’m going to have to try TAX CUT.

February 14, 2008 at 10:21 am
(7) James Thomas says:

If you bought a computer that had McAfee installed previously and removed it with Vista, your TT updates won’t work. It will run and run and never give an error message. The solution I FINALLY found on the Intuit Live Community site (NOT their support site unfortunately) is to use the McAfee Remover tool from McAfee’s site. Here’s the link:

December 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(8) Larry Reddig says:

I’ve tried 5 times to install Turbo Tax Deluxe 2008 from disc to my Windows XP comp. Always get the message: “TurboTax 2008 Bootstrapper Setup has failed”. TurboTax Support says they’re working on the problem. I’m not a happy camper as I’ve spent 5 hours so far on this problem. I don’t have any problems with other programs.

December 22, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(9) Gary R says:

Turbo Tx still sas it my machine and .NET. I my last conversation (today – Dec 22nd) they told me to install .NET 4.5 and have Microsoft perform a technical inspection of my machine. Are thae crazy?

December 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(10) Chris R says:

Intuit’s own website has quite a number of posts regarding installation issues with 2008. I tried for 6 hrs uninstalling various service packs, .NET framework versions with their associated service packs, deleting files in the temp folder(s), clearing the prefetch, running in safe mode, using the command line (DOS Shell), extracting files off the CD, reboot/restart (many), defrag, different CD drives, tried both discs (purchased blue label and CD you ‘give’ to a friend) all to no success. This is not a MS problem.

January 2, 2009 at 9:27 am
(11) Bob M says:

I also tried to install TT and would not completely. At instructions of TT I removed all versions of .Net Framework, still no luck. TT then stated was not TT’s problem. Stated I could download from Framework 2.0 from Internet (pay new and get refund for disk). They told me to contact Microsoft as was problem with MS Operating Syatem. I have had many contacts with MS and followed all their instructions to remove previous versions, save error messages to desktop, send that to them on email attatchment, etc. They even had me change my computer start from “Normal” Mode to “Selective Startup Option”. Nothing has helped yet. I have been working on this for about 60 days. Have spent over 60 hours on this item, have 20 temp. icons on desktop that were sent to MS and still no answer. In fact now the PC has more problems. I get an error message twice when I start PC, stating it failed to initialize properly. I have to click the “X” twice to get rid of the box. Also, now when I try to go on Internet many times it states I am not connected, even though I have Road Runner Broadband and am always supposedly connected? With all the corrected action I followed it seems each item makes it worse. Still waiting for a solution.

January 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm
(12) Rick says:

Turbo Tax 2008 Deluxe won’t install, and Turbo Tax 2007 will not open up (2005 & 2006 versions run fine). All I get is an error report screen saying the Turbo Tax engine has encountered a problem that it wants to send an error report to MS on. Zero response from Intuit / Turbo Tax support.

January 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm
(13) Harry says:

I have XP PRO with SP3 and SP3 won’t allow any net framwork to load… Hence the copy of Turbo tax that I just bought won’t load….

Guess I will have to return it and buy something else this year…

January 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(14) Raymond Sahley says:

I am having the same difficulty installing on XP.
Walmart no longer allows returns on software just replacements.
Got a new disc and it does the same thing-crashes and gives error report to Microsoft.
SO now I have a product I cannot use and I’m out $55.
That’s a poor way of running a company and I’m sure it’s easier for Intuit to say it’s a Microsoft problem and for Microsoft to say it’s a Intuit problem.
Either way it is the customer getting screwed in the end.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Any one have the contact info for someone who gives a damn at Intuit?

January 10, 2009 at 1:07 am
(15) Shelley says:

Raymond (and anyone else who needs to get a refund for TurboTax) – use this link to request a Turbotax refund.

January 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm
(16) Raymond Sahley says:

Thanks for the link Shelley. I would prefer to keep using TT. I have always been happy in the past and had no problems. Since I cannot for the life of me get this thing going from the disc or the download Valerie at the support center gave me, I would like to try the online option. It alarms me though that I have to pay extra for that and then return my disc and wait 6-8 for my money to be returned to me. Is there really no way you could just let me use the online for free since I have already bought the disc and spent about 7 hours trying to get it to work? To me that is great customer service and in my mind Intuit has always taken care of their customers. Thanks Shelley,

January 10, 2009 at 11:03 pm
(17) Nancy says:

I spent over 6 hours trying to download with no luck…I got my disk thru the mail and paid on line.. went to their website and chatted on line and got my refund that way… it takes 6 to 8 weeks.. they lady said that they are having a problem with the windows program .net and it isnt compatiable with Turbo Tax..go figure :)

January 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm
(18) Raymond Sahley says:

Finally got TT to work. First get a download copy from the support center. Then clean with Adams program and install Net 3.5
It takes forever to install, but it should work for you like it did me.
You might have to use the flush command on the disc if you have any TT partial installation remaining on there.
Hope this helps,

January 15, 2009 at 10:58 pm
(19) leo says:

I spent all afternoon on phone with TT support. they were very nice, yet
didn’t even know where to start. It was the blind leading the blind (even when talking to a supervisor)

I can install TT 2008 on Win 2000, but it won’t run. There is an exception error (from the report it wants to send to Microsoft: 0xe053534f.

I’d appreciate any guidance.


January 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm
(20) Crawford says:

I talked to TT support and they put me on a list to be contacted when they fix the install problems.

January 23, 2009 at 11:56 pm
(21) TC says:

Installed TT on Win2000 PC and TT had a Application Controller Exception error. Installed TT on WinXP PC and TT had a Target Invocation Error. Manually downloaded update file and installed on XP PC but same error problem. Uninstalled NET and TT pop ups an installation box that freezes. I purchased a retail version and a trial version of TT, with the same sorry results. Intuit TurboTax appears to be a BETA version. I am returning the $40 version to the store.

January 28, 2009 at 10:51 am
(22) Ken says:

I’ve never had problems with TT in the past from either downloads or CD installation. However, this year has been terrible and is still unresolved. Though i finally got it installed, I’m not trying to get it open.

To install through the back door, try the following… E:\setup.exe /s (browse to locate your disk drive, then click on the setup.exe file, space, forward slash, then s). This allows TT to be installed ‘behind’ windows. You won’t see it being installed but you’ll notice movement in your processing tab in the task manager. Eventually you’ll see it show up in your program list.

My next problem is getting it to open. When I try to open it, it searches for updates and then disappears. Help?

January 29, 2009 at 11:41 am
(23) Carol says:

I agree with David Panoff. This is a TT problem NOT a Micosoft problem. I have been using TT since 2002 and never any problems but after what I have been going through NEVER AGAIN. Tax Cut is looking better all the time.

January 31, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(24) Jack W says:

Last year I had the same problem with TT most of you are having this year….It came down to installing Intuit’s ‘version’ of .NET 2.0 included on TT’s disk. This year it’s a different story….no matter what I try I can’t get it to install…and no solutions on the web…..

February 2, 2009 at 10:36 am
(25) Mark says:

I spent all afternoon on phone with TT support. They were very nice, yet could not resolve my issues. Have used TT for years without any problem. 2008 says I do not have adminitrator rights, when I prove that I do. They even agreed that it should be working.

February 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm
(26) Jack W says:

Found a possible solution……at least it worked for me….

February 3, 2009 at 1:59 am
(27) leo j says:

After many unsuccessful attempts and following procedures for .net uninstall/install etc, Turbo Tax finally loaded and then opened, before downloading updates.

After re opening and then downloading updates, turbo tax would not start and it reportd many errors that TT support staff were unable to assist. They insisted it is an OS p[roblem. They 2were just clueless, even at the supervisor level.

February 4, 2009 at 10:08 am
(28) Bob Q says:

We were unable to load TT as the system kept stating that we had a prior version of TT on the computer. When everything we tried failed including following the instructions on the TT web site we found this web site which allowed us to solve the problem. Thanks to Jack W (# 26) for the solution. Our program is up and running.

February 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(29) klinsmanni says:

Followed the comments in the article above.
Was able to install TurboTax successfully!
1. Uninstall .NET 2.0
* Go into Windows Control Panel.
* Choose Add/Remove software.
* Find then select Microsoft .NET 2.0 and remove it.
* Restart your computer.

2. Reinstall TurboTax. TurboTax will install .NET 2.0 when it does not detect the framework on your computer.

February 12, 2009 at 3:57 am
(30) JAL says:

Here is another fix for those of you who still can’t get TurboTax 2008 to run after installation on non-Vista systems.

Navigate to the directory “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Intuit\TurboTax”. Right-click on the folder TY08 and go to the properties tab. Check the box next to full control, under the allow column, then click OK to exit.

I have full administrative rights on my computer, yet for some reason unbeknownst to me when TurboTax 2008 installs it does not grant full access rights to the user.

I heard all the nonsense about .NET Framework 2.0 causing the problem from their customer service agents. Several times they had me completely remove all versions of .NET Framework from my system and then reinstall, to no avail. I hope this helps some of you.

February 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm
(31) Mike T. says:

Good grief. I’ve spent three hours trying to install this crazy thing on Windows XP. I put in the CD, and mouse pointer switches to a CD image a couple times, then nothing. All I want is a simple tax program without all the fancy music, movies, and laser light shows. TurboTax – Just use the core OS stuff and stop bothering me with failure. So I installed all the OS updates, and the same failure. I’ll try uninstalling .NET 2.0 now. It makes me so angry just typing this in.

February 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(32) Mike T. says:

Lovely. “.NET Framework 2.0 cannot be removed because another application depends on it”.

February 21, 2009 at 1:52 pm
(33) Mark says:

Turbo Tax 2008 Deluxe won’t install, and Turbo Tax 2007 now gives me an error when trying to start it up….never did before. 2005 & 2006 versions run fine. I have XP Pro with .NET Framework 3.5 installed. I have been able to install TT 2008 on my laptop w/Vista, but all my previous tax years are on the XP machine. No response from TT yet, but will post if I figure this one out.

February 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(34) Mark says:

I resolved my problem by uninstalling .NET Framework 3.5, 3.0, and 2.0 each separately rebooting with each uninstall. Afterwards, I reinstalled 3.5 SP1 as well as the updates. Now TT2008 installs and 2007 opens again.

February 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm
(35) Mark says:

TO follow up my last comment, the problem was apparently a corrupt file in .NET Framework. I recently had problems installing other software that used .NET as well…..

March 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm
(36) charlie says:

I’m having problems with TT also. Error 40. Cannot download updates. Cannot down load state.

Indicating server connection error 40.


March 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm
(37) cas says:

Uninstalling .NET and installing the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 from Microsoft’s website worked for me.
Quite frustrating…

March 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm
(38) Dennis says:

I helped my Dell customer with TT08 in 15 minutes by removing .NET 2.0 and then reinstalling TT08. Customer had wasted over 4 hours with TT on the phone. That’s terrible.

March 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm
(39) Gary says:

If I had known that I would be having so many problems with installing TT08, I would have never bought it. The customer service rep said basically it wasn’t Intuit’s problem and for me to contact McAfee. I disabled McAfee so what would McAfee say other than it is Intuit’s problem. I have sending in for a refund!

March 29, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(40) newdoc.net says:

Here is a 2nd soution to try:
1. Insert the TurboTax CD into the CD drive. If a message appears, click Cancel (or No).
2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, then Run.
3. On the Run window, click Browse, select the Setup.exe file on the TurboTax CD, and click Open.
4. On the Run window, type /f at the end of the Open field, and then click OK. (Be sure to type a space before /f.)
5. The setup program deletes the remnants of the previous installation, and then installs TurboTax 2008.


March 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm
(41) vt says:

Here is a 2nd soution to try:
1. Insert the TurboTax CD into the CD drive. If a message appears, click Cancel (or No).
2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, then Run.
3. On the Run window, click Browse, select the Setup.exe file on the TurboTax CD, and click Open.
4. On the Run window, type /f at the end of the Open field, and then click OK. (Be sure to type a space before /f.)
5. The setup program deletes the remnants of the previous installation, and then installs TurboTax 2008.


March 31, 2009 at 11:05 pm
(42) kim says:

I got the the point to e-file and hit button to pay with credit card, but screen goes immediately to ‘we’re having trouble processing your request’ – but it didn’t even try to process the request. it is not browser or firewall or internet issue. I think it is their way to force people to pay an extra 29.95 to have the e-file charge deducted from refund.

April 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm
(43) wickette says:

I was using Turbo Tax was about half way through it and then it would not let me go any farther. I thought my computer was locked up but it wasn’t. Now I cant get it to work after uninstall and reinstall. What is going on the 15th is right around the corner. I have never had this problem b4, but to be half way though the program with ones taxes then not being able to finish it is like what the heck. I did call them and got no where yet this is the 2nd day trying to fix this.
So you say uninstall Net 2 and let Turbo Tax reinstall it I will try that. Thanks

April 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm
(44) cattys says:

When installing TT 2008 for Windows XP home I kept getting the message that it was already installed. TurboTax 2008 was not listed as a program in my control panel, so I could not do an uninstall and my TT install CD did not have the setup.exe file to do a /f uninstall/reinstall. What finally worked for me was to install the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301 and remove any Turbotax file and launch the TT program CD again.

April 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm
(45) turbotrouble says:

Hi Kim,

I’m getting the exact: “We’re having trouble processing your request” error message when trying to e-file. Having been getting this error for the last 5 hours.

All firewall and anti-virus were closed and tried again. Changed my default browser. No luck. All TurboTax updates work perfectly and my Internet connection is super-fast.

Contacted support and they tried to help and still no go. They said to try later since the credit card processing server may be timing out.

I have tried this at least 30 times today. What the heck is going on? I cannot e-file my taxes because TurboTax did not plan on sufficient resources 7 days before the tax deadline?

April 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm
(46) Donna says:

Carol – You said it. This is definitely a Turbo Tax issue. I too am a long time TT user. Sadly after so many complaints and issues, here it is April 8th and still, no fix. I have spent countless hours trying every possible suggestion both with tech support and via other users on the internet. You are right, Tax Cut is looking better all the time.

April 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm
(47) Carolyn says:

Okay – I can’t get TT to install either. I’ve been using it for years now & really liked it. I’ve tried numerous suggestions made by TT support. They tried to help, but it won’t even install, just stops right at the beginning with no error message. This stinks.

April 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(48) Tom says:

Turbotrouble et al,
12 April 2009

I’ve encountered the same issue as many others – when I tried to pay the electronic filing fee with a credit card I repeatedly received a “we’re having trouble processing your request” message. All the TT and Windows updates were installed at the time.

I tried virtually every fix described above with the same results. TT has known about this issue since February and has done nothing to address it. With the due date looming I just gave up and agreed to pay the additional $29.95 processing fee (note that this is the DEFAULT setting in the program).

THIS transaction processed IMMEDIATELY with absolutely NO problems. Question is why didn’t I encounter a similar issue with this (more financially complicated) transaction? Is this by design? You be the judge.

A similar thread I posted to yesterday on the TurboTax customer forum has now mysteriously disappeared.

TurboTax – your lack of integrity just cost you an 8-year repeat customer (and probably more). I’d be interested in your response but to call me “skeptical” would be a gross understatement.

April 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm
(49) PeterC says:

I know what the problem is for the credit card submit failure. Even though the screen looks like a TurboTax app screen (even with the TurboTax in the corner) it is NOT. It is actually an Internet Explorer screen. The problem is that if you have the security setting set too high for IE the submit screen won’t work properly. The way I found out was when I contacted support they had me load up a Java app that let’s them see my screen. I normally use Firefox and it didn’t work. So I loaded up IE and it said my security was too high to run. Once I lowered it their LiveLook program worked and magically my TurboTax credit card screen also started acting differently (spaces started being added automatically in the CC# and the AMEX icon highlighted after I finished typing it). I then realized this page was an embedded IE page and not a normal TurboTax page. Of course everything then worked.

April 13, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(50) Kash says:

PeterC – i could kiss you, man !!!!!

i must of been on hold for over an hour trying to fix this damm problem. the security setting on IE was too high. again, thanks for taking the time and posting the fix. i owe you big time….

April 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(51) M.G.R. says:

I have used Turbo Tax for years. I have noticed the product getting wose over that time. This will be the last time they have a chance to screw me over. I will never be purchasing any Ituit product EVER again! How pathetic!

April 15, 2009 at 8:25 pm
(52) Al says:

This is the second year in a row that TurboTax has been very troublesome. 2007 routinely crashed, and now, 2008 freezes or is glacially slow. I removed .Net 2.0 (after removing .Net 3.5 and .Net 3.0) and I uninstalled Turbo Tax 2008 AGAIN, and reinstalled allowing TT to reinstall .Net 2.0. It still started slowly, and I have no hope that it will run any faster. Face it, Intuit writes buggy, bloated software.

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