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Last night I finally did my federal tax return. (For some reason, I have this great resistance to having to work to give away massive amounts of my money.) I took advantage of the free filing program offered by the IRS. They have several companies that provide on-line tax preparation and they are all free for federal tax preparation. I chose one of the major players since I would hope that they would have a big IT staff and would have some security experts there. (The last thing I'd want is some hacker getting access to all the SSNs for my family.)

After using it, the one good thing about it is that it really is free. But, that's about the only advantage I see. Using a browser to fill out tax information is not that fun. I must've pressed the "Next" button a hundred times to fill out all the forms. And even with broadband, it takes a little bit of waiting for the next page to load. The help system was severely wanting. I ended up using my tax program from last year to figure out how to do stuff. Like I couldn't figure out where to deduct business expenses. I only do this once a year so I forgot that it was Schedule C. Also, it'd must've asked me at least 6 times do I want to upgrade and get more help by shelling out $24.95 for the premium service. And of course it asked if I wanted to file my state for a small additional charge. Why should I do that when all I basically have to do is copy the information from the federal form to the state?

Would I use the free on-line tax preparation next year? No, I'm hoping they'll abolish the IRS by then. :woot:

Posted: 2005-04-07 07:45:34


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