Taxes Are Easy It’s the Filing That’s Tricky
Doing my taxes is always easier than I think. Of course, we don't have a lot of complicated financial aspects to our life that require a specialist to interpret tax law and minimize what we owe Uncle Sam. Yet, in the era of simplified tax forms and being able to file online, it's the filing part that's become the irritating part of the process.
This year, there were two very frustrating aspects to doing our taxes. First, I used Turbo Tax, which was going to charge me $29 bucks. So yeah, all the file-free ads. Baloney. Anyway, I like their software the best, so $29 bucks to use it, fine. especially since I kind of knew what our refund was going to be.
Of course, there was one tax document I needed from my wife, and after I went back in and imported that -- it changed everything, and all of a sudden Turbo Tax wanted to charge me more. Now, if that tax document didn't result in a significant increase in my tax refund, I probably would have aborted using the software and found a different company. Last year I used Tax Slayer for that very reason. Yet I was feeling lazy this year, so fine, fee me. I just wanted to get the taxes done and filed.
That's of course, where all the hoops start. Print your name here, and come up with a random four-digit code to be your digital signature. Then, here read this disclosure. Check out the pop-up asking if I want the Rooty Tootie Fresh and Fruity Max Tax Audit Protection for "X" extra dollars. Then do I want to get my tax refund faster? If so check this box... but it'll cost you "X" more dollars. Oh and don't forget the page where you plug in your banking info so you can get the refund direct deposited. And the page where you choose whether to charge your fees to your credit card or have them pull the fees out of your refund.
Finally, I got to the point where I could file. Yet for the IRS to accept the filing they needed my adjusted gross income from last year's taxes. Of course, I forget I ditched Turbo Tax for Tax Slayer last year. So once I realize Turbo Tax probably doesn't know my adjusted gross income from last year, I open my computer because I'm sure the return is on there. Can't find it. So then I'm going to the Tax Slayer site because old tax returns live on these sites forever. Find last year's return and the numbers I need.
Click back over to Turbo Tax, which has at some point, provided me with the adjusted gross income from last year that I just spent 15 minutes finding. Type that in. Sign one more document. Turn down my free prize for using their software. And finally, taxes done.
Computers and software have made doing taxes even easier. Yet, it's the electronic filing and all the mumbo jumbo designed to separate us from our hard-earned refund that's difficult to plow through these days. Of course, it could be worse, I could be having to write Uncle Sam a check. And no one likes that.