Why you can't print your TurboTax tax return

Microsoft botched another .Net Framework patch, leaving many TurboTax users unable to print their tax returns over this long tax weekend

If you made the mistake of installing this month's Microsoft Black Tuesday patches, you might find yourself unable to print your tax return this weekend.

The cause? Yet another botched patch to the bungled mess that is the .Net Framework. Microsoft sent it down the Automatic Update chute on Tuesday. There was no confirmation of the problem on Microsoft's official site until Friday. Microsoft yanked the patch, MS12-025/KB 2653638 on Friday, but as of this moment, there's no indication of when the problem will be solved, or the patch reinstated.

Fortunately, there's a work-around, and it isn't too difficult. Microsoft documents the work-around in its "known issues" KB 2671605 article that explains the problems with MS10-025.

I found out about the problem from people complaining that they can't print their TurboTax tax forms for filing this week. Apparently, the bug in the patch can knock out printing from a Windows Forms application that TurboTax uses. As the folks at Intuit say, "You are unable to print returns or tax forms in TurboTax for Windows Basic, Deluxe, Premier, Home & Business, and Business after installing the latest Windows update. You may briefly see a Generating Document message but the paperwork never prints." Intuit did release a "corrective update" today to allow direct printing in TurboTax to get around the .Net Framework bug.

As of this moment, we don't know specifically which Windows Forms applications don't work or which Windows platforms are affected. We do know that the patch is specifically for .Net Framework 4. It's installed via Automatic Update on Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3, and Windows Server 2003 SP2 systems. Apparently, the patch isn't needed on Windows 8 Consumer Preview systems; the .Net Framework 4 APIs are baked into Win8.

The work-around is simply this: Don't use TurboTax to print the forms. Save them as PDFs, then use a PDF viewing program such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader to print the PDFs.

This incident brings back bitter memories of tax weekend four years ago when Microsoft botched yet another .Net patch, taking out both Intuit's QuickBooks and TurboTax on some machines.

This story, "Why you can't print your TurboTax tax return," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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