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(ProPublica)   At last, blessed bipartisan cooperation - to make sure you'll always be paying somebody to figure out your taxes, unless you have an advanced degree in postmodern tax accounting   (propublica.org) divider line 79
    More: Asinine, TurboTax, IRS, Intuit, election cycles, tax preparation, Grover Norquist, D-Ill  
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1680 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Apr 2013 at 11:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-16 09:41:54 AM
A House bill introduced earlier this year would bar the IRS from offering taxpayers software that would compete with programs like TurboTax. In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

Fark Norquist.
 
2013-04-16 09:52:33 AM

impaler: A House bill introduced earlier this year would bar the IRS from offering taxpayers software that would compete with programs like TurboTax. In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

Fark Norquist.


Its in the interest of anti-tax people to purposefully make filing your taxes difficult. It's the old plea of the man who killed his parents asking for mercy because he is an orphan.
 
2013-04-16 10:03:51 AM
It's nice to know the only thing both sides can agree upon is making sure more of your money goes into the pockets of well connected businesses and industries.
 
2013-04-16 10:23:05 AM
More complicated taxes = More opportunities for loopholes
 
2013-04-16 10:38:46 AM
Okay, since "to help line the pockets of my sugar daddies" is not an acceptable reason to speak aloud, what reason do the politicians who support this actually give as to why this is a good idea?
 
2013-04-16 10:41:44 AM
It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.
 
2013-04-16 10:43:14 AM

nmrsnr: Okay, since "to help line the pockets of my sugar daddies" is not an acceptable reason to speak aloud, what reason do the politicians who support this actually give as to why this is a good idea?


Grover threatened to release the pictures
 
2013-04-16 10:48:30 AM

Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...


The IRS could easily do this. It's not a problem with government bureaucracy, but with politics getting in the way.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/04/automatic_ta x_ filing_readyreturn_systems_work_fine_but_intuit_and_grover.html
 
2013-04-16 10:49:35 AM

Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.


Hmm.  I always assumed they did.  And it should be free, of course.  If that were the case I don't see why anyone would have a complaint.

Now if the IRS was charging you money to pay them...
 
2013-04-16 10:50:32 AM

Diogenes: Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.

Hmm.  I always assumed they did.  And it should be free, of course.  If that were the case I don't see why anyone would have a complaint.

Now if the IRS was charging you money to pay them...


If taxes are made simpler, anti-tax people would lose one of their arguments, and they can't have that.
 
2013-04-16 10:55:09 AM

Aarontology: Diogenes: Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.

Hmm.  I always assumed they did.  And it should be free, of course.  If that were the case I don't see why anyone would have a complaint.

Now if the IRS was charging you money to pay them...

If taxes are made simpler, anti-tax people would lose one of their arguments, and they can't have that.


Oh, I get it alright.  Just kills me every time I see this - hailing oneself as the prophet with the solution, when in reality you're the problem.
 
2013-04-16 11:01:02 AM

Diogenes: Oh, I get it alright. Just kills me every time I see this - hailing oneself as the prophet with the solution, when in reality you're the problem.


Yes, but he uses all the right buzzwords. And really, that's all that matters.
 
2013-04-16 11:11:35 AM
This is so ridiculous.  Turbotax doesn't really do anything.  They just repackage the IRS's forms into an easier to follow Wizard, which is exactly what IRS should be providing without charging me $70 to do it.

Why not just have the IRS hire Turbotax in some giant boondoggle contract to provide their crap as the official government forms?  At least that way it sort of hides the ridiculous cost from me.
 
2013-04-16 11:16:33 AM
 
2013-04-16 11:18:41 AM
Why does subby hate capitalism?
 
2013-04-16 11:19:57 AM
Another example of how Big Tax is ruining our lives.  Wake up, sheeple!  Id' say it's not going to get any better until you stop electing the TurboTax Senators, but it's not like the elcetions aren't rigged anyways.  We need to think about how our Founding Fathers treated taxes, and take up a Second Amendment SolutionTM.
 
2013-04-16 11:22:34 AM
Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else
 
2013-04-16 11:22:51 AM

nmrsnr: Okay, since "to help line the pockets of my sugar daddies" is not an acceptable reason to speak aloud, what reason do the politicians who support this actually give as to why this is a good idea?


"Government should not be competing with private business."  It's the same reason that asshats in Congress ocasionaly try and prevent NOAA from releasing weather data.  They want us to still produce the data, that's good for the Navy, but they don't want us to release it so the government is not competing with the Weather Channel or Weather Underground.
 
2013-04-16 11:23:26 AM

Diogenes: Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.

Hmm.  I always assumed they did.  And it should be free, of course.  If that were the case I don't see why anyone would have a complaint.

Now if the IRS was charging you money to pay them...


Isn't the basic version of TurboTax free?  As I recall, that only works if you're only reporting income from a single W2 (maybe 2 for married couples?) and taking the standard deduction.  Basically it's the equivalent of filling out the 1040EZ, which you really should be able to do on your own.
If you have itemized deductions you have to pay TurboTax $50, and another $25 f you have capital gains, or something like that.

The positive side is that TurboTax has the option to pay your refund out as an Amazon gift certificate, with like a 5% bonus.  Broke even in my case this year
 
2013-04-16 11:23:52 AM

ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else


I don't understand this. Everyone has possible deductions they might take.
 
2013-04-16 11:25:30 AM

Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.


The Free File Fillable Forms linked to from the IRS.gov website really isn't that hard to use.  Free. No income limit.  You can select a 1040EZ if you qualify for it.  You can file really fairly complicated returns with it. It doesn't hold your hand like TurboTax, but, if your taxes are simple, it's not any harder at all than the paper 1040EZ college students have been filing since the 1980s.

As far as I know, every state has free online filing at least as straightforward as that.
 
2013-04-16 11:27:54 AM

DamnYankees: ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else

I don't understand this. Everyone has possible deductions they might take.


No they don't most people who fall into that bucket simply take the standard deduction, I guess you could argue you need to always tell the IRS where to mail the check to but that's it
 
2013-04-16 11:28:28 AM

serial_crusher: Isn't the basic version of TurboTax free?


Not sure.  Possibly.  I needed a paying version this year.

But it will be the last time I use it.  It's gotten buggier every friggin year.  I revealed a bug this year early on.  Whole thing goes kablooey if you enter a zero instead of NULL in a particular field where you have nothing to report.  Unfortunately, all the automatic form/record uploads populate a zero.  Stupid.
 
2013-04-16 11:28:54 AM

ShadowKamui: DamnYankees: ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else

I don't understand this. Everyone has possible deductions they might take.

No they don't most people who fall into that bucket simply take the standard deduction, I guess you could argue you need to always tell the IRS where to mail the check to but that's it


State income taxes?
 
2013-04-16 11:29:59 AM
"In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

So... he thinks "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS" is a bad thing?
 
2013-04-16 11:30:20 AM

ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else


That's how it works in some countries. I know in Germany and the UK you can have your taxes deducted over the course of the year and then you don't need to file a tax return. You only file if you're doing something more complicated.

But again, making taxes simple and easy isn't in the best interest of "small government" proponents.
 
2013-04-16 11:32:27 AM

odinsposse: ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else

That's how it works in some countries. I know in Germany and the UK you can have your taxes deducted over the course of the year and then you don't need to file a tax return. You only file if you're doing something more complicated.

But again, making taxes simple and easy isn't in the best interest of "small government" proponents.


Isn't that what happens most times in the US, via paycheck withholding? And then the tax return is just to square accounts, plus extra info the IRS doesn't know about.
 
2013-04-16 11:35:53 AM

Endive Wombat: It really does shock me that the IRS does not have a simple, easy to use online interface for those taking standard deductions, or simple itemizations like home mortgage interest, various medical bills, charitable donations, and the like...

Paying someone to do your taxes should be left for the lazy and those with significantly more complicated returns.


I use Tax Act and it took me half an hour to do my taxes this year.  The most amount of time was spent going through my personal files for my prop tax reciept.  Import all of my data from previous years, add a new dependant, fetch my W2, input prop tax and mortgage interest.  Done.

The IRS really should be able to offer this service.  Though I do see that they do not have the driver to be as sociopathic as need be to get the most out of complicated filings.
 
2013-04-16 11:36:39 AM
Intuit only had to spend a little over $2 million/year for the past five years to ensure that all of the 6.1 billion manhours dedicated to tax prep are unaffected.
 
2013-04-16 11:39:25 AM

runin800m: "In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

So... he thinks "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS" is a bad thing?


I think Grover was misquoted, what he actually said in the letter is, "I love rich people taking money from poor people through any means they can! I love feasting on the corpses of poor people who can't afford healthcare too, ooohhhhh, another one just dropped! Yay! Nummies! *grovel grovel snack snarf*"
 
2013-04-16 11:41:14 AM
I'm no wizard, and my low and simple-to-determine income isn't overly complicated to follow so maybe I'm talking out of turn for all you complex financial instrument geniuses, but I've never found doing my own taxes to be challenging. I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

It takes me one day to assemble all the requisite documents, a couple of hours to do the math and the worksheets with the help of a calculator, one in-pencil trial run-through, and about an hour to do the "official" final version and send it off, either in the mail or over the internet.

All told I'm out about 4 or 5 hours, and that's taking it easy. I had my pleasantly large state and federal refund checks directly deposited into my account by the third week in February this year. Painless.

And I'm a goddamned English teacher. My math skills are sub-algebraic, yet I can figure it out without any real effort, so this epic butthurt I read every year around tax time confuses the hell out of me. It ain't rocket surgery. Suck it up and do your goddamned taxes like good boys and girls.
 
2013-04-16 11:42:14 AM

runin800m: "In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

So... he thinks "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS" is a bad thing?


You may want to re-read the sentence you quoted. (Hint: He was in support of the legislation.)
 
2013-04-16 11:42:35 AM
qorkfiend:Isn't that what happens most times in the US, via paycheck withholding? And then the tax return is just to square accounts, plus extra info the IRS doesn't know about.

The difference is that in the US you would still have to fill out and file a 1040EZ. In those other countries you don't have to do anything. There's no paperwork at all. Accounts are considered automatically square unless you want to dispute something or have a more complicated tax status.
 
2013-04-16 11:46:19 AM

serial_crusher: Isn't the basic version of TurboTax free? As I recall, that only works if you're only reporting income from a single W2 (maybe 2 for married couples?) and taking the standard deduction. Basically it's the equivalent of filling out the 1040EZ, which you really should be able to do on your own.
If you have itemized deductions you have to pay TurboTax $50, and another $25 f you have capital gains, or something like that.


After farking up my taxes so bad last year, I went to HR Block. 2 W2s and a Sked C cost me $400 to file, ON TOP of the $900 in taxes (I was a bad monkey and didn't file a 1099 on my contract pay) I owed.

I thought competition was a good thing. What gives? Are people really paying TurboTax $70/year to file a single W2?
 
2013-04-16 11:48:03 AM
So Grover is pushing for me to pay to pay taxes. Without Grover, the savings would be at least $500/year, but I'm probably alone in that.

At least I can afford a tub large enough to drown him in.

www.backfirealley.comwww.porcher-us.com
 
2013-04-16 11:48:58 AM

qorkfiend: ShadowKamui: DamnYankees: ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else

I don't understand this. Everyone has possible deductions they might take.

No they don't most people who fall into that bucket simply take the standard deduction, I guess you could argue you need to always tell the IRS where to mail the check to but that's it

State income taxes?


Many states don't have income taxes.  There are something like 40 million people in the US that basically just go here's my W-2 that you already have, I'm taking the standard deductions and I live here.  And its seriously not that hard to include the state/local income income taxes.

Those people shouldn't have to do anything other than say yep the info is correct and mail the check here
 
2013-04-16 11:50:19 AM

qorkfiend: odinsposse: ShadowKamui: Why does a single somebody making less that 40k w/o a house or kids have to file taxes in the first place?  The IRS has the W-2 they shouldn't need anything else

That's how it works in some countries. I know in Germany and the UK you can have your taxes deducted over the course of the year and then you don't need to file a tax return. You only file if you're doing something more complicated.

Isn't that what happens most times in the US, via paycheck withholding? And then the tax return is just to square accounts, plus extra info the IRS doesn't know about.


The UK system is PAYE, which works in a very similar way to paycheck witholding and is worked out by your employer. It's a much simpler system, particularly for employees, as there are far fewer exemptions or allowances.

At the end of the year you don't file anything, it's all already done through your paycheck, and you get sent a P-60 form that tells you how much the government thinks you earned and how much tax you paid. If it's wrong then you let them know and either pay up or get a check in the post.

For most people the only times it would be off are if you stop working halfway through the year (where you'll get a bit of a refund) or if you have some other employment on the side where you should let the taxman know and send the government a check.
 
2013-04-16 11:50:40 AM

hawcian: runin800m: "In March, Norquist and others wrote a letter to members of Congress that urged them to support the bill - what they called a "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS power grab legislation."

So... he thinks "pro-taxpayer, anti-IRS" is a bad thing?

You may want to re-read the sentence you quoted. (Hint: He was in support of the legislation.)


Ah, I see... I'm an idiot
 
2013-04-16 11:51:43 AM
And old boss of mine is totally sold on the Fair Tax.  I haven't taken the time to really read up on it.
 
2013-04-16 11:52:17 AM

Chagrin: Intuit only had to spend a little over $2 million/year for the past five years to ensure that all of the 6.1 billion manhours dedicated to tax prep are unaffected.


The best govt money can buy. USA USA USA
 
2013-04-16 11:54:13 AM

serial_crusher: This is so ridiculous.  Turbotax doesn't really do anything.  They just repackage the IRS's forms into an easier to follow Wizard, which is exactly what IRS should be providing without charging me $70 to do it.

Why not just have the IRS hire Turbotax in some giant boondoggle contract to provide their crap as the official government forms?  At least that way it sort of hides the ridiculous cost from me.


turbotax's goal:  save you money in taxes so you will use their product.


Irs goal:  get as much money out of you as possible.
 
2013-04-16 11:56:12 AM

Dr Dreidel: serial_crusher: Isn't the basic version of TurboTax free? As I recall, that only works if you're only reporting income from a single W2 (maybe 2 for married couples?) and taking the standard deduction. Basically it's the equivalent of filling out the 1040EZ, which you really should be able to do on your own.
If you have itemized deductions you have to pay TurboTax $50, and another $25 f you have capital gains, or something like that.

After farking up my taxes so bad last year, I went to HR Block. 2 W2s and a Sked C cost me $400 to file, ON TOP of the $900 in taxes (I was a bad monkey and didn't file a 1099 on my contract pay) I owed.

I thought competition was a good thing. What gives? Are people really paying TurboTax $70/year to file a single W2?


Competition is a good thing except if the government can do it for even cheaper, then it suddenly becomes a bad thing because Socialism.
 
2013-04-16 11:57:30 AM

Diogenes: And old boss of mine is totally sold on the Fair Tax.  I haven't taken the time to really read up on it.


It's a National sales tax.
 
2013-04-16 11:57:52 AM
Bipartisanship is when both sides rape you. Are you enjoying your threesome?
 
2013-04-16 11:58:45 AM

nmrsnr: Okay, since "to help line the pockets of my sugar daddies" is not an acceptable reason to speak aloud, what reason do the politicians who support this actually give as to why this is a good idea?


High likelihood of "Freedom" and "Liberty" being invoked.
 
2013-04-16 11:58:58 AM

Cataholic: turbotax's goal:  save you money in taxes so you will use their product.

Irs goal:  get as much money out of you as possible.


Should be pretty easy for turbotax to compete with that.
 
2013-04-16 11:59:11 AM

Cataholic: serial_crusher: This is so ridiculous.  Turbotax doesn't really do anything.  They just repackage the IRS's forms into an easier to follow Wizard, which is exactly what IRS should be providing without charging me $70 to do it.

Why not just have the IRS hire Turbotax in some giant boondoggle contract to provide their crap as the official government forms?  At least that way it sort of hides the ridiculous cost from me.

turbotax's goal:  save you money in taxes so you will use their product.


Irs goal:  get as much money out of you as possible.


Not always.  The last time I had to deal with the IRS I went from owing them about $8,000 in back taxes to getting a refund of about $700.  They actually caught a mistake I made which after being rectified cost them money.
 
2013-04-16 12:00:37 PM

Pincy: Diogenes: And old boss of mine is totally sold on the Fair Tax.  I haven't taken the time to really read up on it.

It's a National sales tax.


Basically.  With provisions for those of lower income who really only purchase necessities and not luxury items.  At least as she was able to briefly explain it.
 
2013-04-16 12:01:01 PM
I pay my uncle $50 to do my taxes. He is a CPA and has a tax company so not a bad deal.
 
2013-04-16 12:01:37 PM

serial_crusher: This is so ridiculous.  Turbotax doesn't really do anything.  They just repackage the IRS's forms into an easier to follow Wizard, which is exactly what IRS should be providing without charging me $70 to do it.

Why not just have the IRS hire Turbotax in some giant boondoggle contract to provide their crap as the official government forms?  At least that way it sort of hides the ridiculous cost from me.


I love it when my favorites perfectly summarize a poster. Case in point: "corporate apologist in every way."

The IRS wantd to release its own program that doesnt cost anything. Norquist and your precious tax program companies dont want that because their business relies only on charging you for that product. If the irs offers a free program they would all go out of business, so norquist spins it as the irs trying to take control and removing freedom of choice from tax payers, when it is of course just to ensure these companies still make a profit.
 
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