February 20, 2003

Taxes nightmare

Uncle Sam (no, not that Sam)

The tax season has started and I'm having a terrible time figuring out the right program to use. TurboTax on Windows is spyware, so is simply a no-no for me. I bought TurboTax Home&Business for Mac, but it screwed up by not providing all the forms I needed. I'll return the software for a refund; unfortunately I already spent few good nights entering data and figuring out various alternatives. Intuit clearly screwed up this year with their software, a lot of people are upset about their application. It does all sorts of ugly hacks to your computer to prevent you from installing it somewhere else.

Today I bought TaxCut Home&Business for Windows. It's definitely less user-friendly than TurboTax: you need to know and understand the tax rules to be able to use it. Their help system is almost useless, the questions you have are not answered anywhere. The language they use is even worse than in IRS' publications. TaxCut is also very buggy: going back and forth between fields leaves all sorts of marks in the online tax form. Hopefully they don't mess up the calculations.

I wonder why nobody does a good job of providing a decent program for taxes. I guess programmers, like most people, just hate doing their taxes. They either spend one or two weeks a year with taxes and then forget it, or they pay somebody to do it for them. Maybe because nobody figured out how to have a constant flow of money during the year writing such software? Or simply because taxes are way too boring to be bothered with?

I hate doing taxes...

Posted by ovidiu at February 20, 2003 11:54 PM |
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