How do you do your taxes?

“This (tax filing) is a ser­vice that I think the gov­ern­ment ought to pro­vide,” said Kitty Richards, a progressive tax expert and former Trea­sury official. “It’s prob­lem­atic that we in­stead pro­vide it through these private corporations that prey on peo­ple and ex­tract prof­its from tax­pay­ers that are just ful­fill­ing that civic duty.”

“A di­rect-to-IRS e-file sys­tem will be re­dun­dant, and it will not be free—not free to build, not free to op­er­ate and not free for tax­pay­ers,” said Der­rick Plum­mer, a spokesman for In­tuit, which owns Tur­b­o­Tax.

Wall Street Journal 5-16-23

I find the Kitty Richard’s comment interesting. “Prey on people” “extract profits?” Such is the progressive view. Let government do it and the extraction from people is just buried in taxes and deficits 😢 Progressives indeed have a demeaning view of average folk.

I have used TurboTax, have for many years. I’ve run into issues, but they were great in helping. Nobody forced me to use them, I could have used an AARP service for free or any number of other free alternatives, especially for seniors and low income. TurboTax provided a service and I paid for the service.

What does it cost to run the IRS? $12.3 billion in the budget plus another $80 billion over the next ten years. That comes to about $121.00 per individual tax return filed.

If people are preyed upon by tax filing services, they are probably preyed upon in other areas of their lives as well.

The real answer, of course, is making the tax code so simple anyone can file taxes if filing is even necessary.


  1. I have always done my own tax returns. Even when I had rental property way back in 1983 – 1990. Offset USAF taxable income with all the deductions for interest, property taxes and depreciation, etc. The only thing that I have done this year is the automatic extension. I do not owe any taxes but could not find my SS 1099s. Found them last week, I will get it done sometime before Oct. lol. Our tax system will not be fixed until our debt economy collapses . Until then enjoy the ride.


  2. I’m assuming Kitty Richard’s “prey” comment is based on last years settlement by TT.
    “On May 4, 2022, a coalition of state attorneys general announced a $141 million settlement with Intuit that will compensate Intuit TurboTax customers who paid for tax preparation services that should have been free for them. Approximately 4.4 million consumers nationwide will receive a payment.”
    4.4 million people were led from the free filling service to the paid for service. A couple hundred maybe would not be deceptive practice, but 4.4 million is enough to say TT preys on the consumer.


  3. I can always go to a different company if I think TurboTax isn’t doing everything they can to properly do my taxes. But if the IRS starts doing them for me – taking away my choice – and they try to screw me over, I have zero recourse.

    It isn’t broke so don’t try to fix it.


  4. I use H&R Block software and have for years because it was the first box I picked up years ago. The taxes are simple but it’s easier to run down the program without looking at paper. Takes minutes really.
    The tax code is not entirely the fault of congress, various lobbying efforts keep the code complicated because so many want their industry treated favorably in the code. But for wage earners or pensioners with only interest, dividends, RMDs and such it is not that complicated.
    I haven’t heard so much noise from all the tax preparation outfits that used to advertise instant tax return loans and inducements to come in and file. This even though people could do a simple return but didn’t know it.


  5. I’m not sure what to make of this but ……….
    Around April 15, 2022 I filed a paper return — I always file at the last minute, and a paper return —- I received my refund in October 2022 (6 months).
    This year I mailed a paper return on April 14, and I received my refund on May 16!


      1. I used to always use paper returns until it was taking more time to read the instruction than I had. I liked reading the instructions because than I knew what possible tax breaks and credits that I may qualify for if I do something different. There are a lot of tax credits available. For example are you going to get new windows? Then you might want to spend extra money to qualify or save the paperwork to get an energy tax credit because of the new windows.

        Both TurboTax and H&R Block programs will ask you questions to see if something will apply but it is not the same because it is after the fact and you really don’t know why it asked you or if it could apply to you for the coming year. It is the same thing that an accountant asks or at least the one time I hired an accountant asked.

        The only difference between the accountant and my paper return was he lied better on donations than me to cover his fee but I got basically the same amount of money that I figure out from the paper return. I listed the actual amount and he put in amount that would not get questioned by the IRS. I never went back and he was recommended by my lawyer.

        Now I use H&R Block for the speed and having all the forms required but my returns are very simply now and I should just save the money and go back to paper returns but I don’t trust it not getting lost in the mail.


  6. Your last paragraph is what I’ve been saying for a long time. If our representatives in DC cared about the average citizen that is what we would have.

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. It’s pretty bad that an entire industry has developed around filing taxes. That means it’s too complicated.
    Here’s where AI could be put to good use.
    More government is never the right solution.


  8. I have used TurboTax for years until about 2014 when they started up charging to file certain schedules. I have since been using H&R Block. The only reason I use them is because I have all forms and worksheets available when I sit down to do my taxes. I do not have to request from the IRS a form and wait weeks for it to be mailed to me. Plus electronic filing is “free”, but is it really?

    Now my taxes are really simply and I should be able to file them on a postcard as someone mention earlier this week. But he truth of the matter is that the IRS already has my information, W-2, 1099s, Social Security, Medicare, and most of the other forms that I am required to file (if the not the forms but the amounts paid). The IRS is just checking my math. Why can’t they just send send a statement of taxes owed or a refund. The same is true with the state too.

    The reason tax preparers do not want the IRS to offer free electronic filing is because they will be out of a job. New Jersey offers free filing for most people. TurboTax and H&R Block charge a filing fee for the states therefore, I print out my state return then use the free filing with the state by manually transferring my data over to online for the faster refund instead of mailing my printed copy to the state.


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