Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Subtle Syntax

This year I've been undecided as to exactly how I am going to go about filing our taxes. This is typical for January, I spend the month eventually working up to the fact that it is just easier to buy some software rather then risk a shady-looking free site or mail our returns in. This year, however, there is a legitimate free option, which is the new online fillable forms that the IRS is offering to taxpayers of all incomes, complete with free federal e-filing.

Having free online e-filing with support for automatic math calculations makes far too much sense, so clearly I never thought it would actually happen. Unfortunately the free forms don't really help with the state filing, I would still have to mail that in or buy a program.

While I was sitting around complaining about tax-filing utopia still being a ways off, Linzy just went out and bought me TaxCut since it was on sale. Now what was interesting there was that we bought "TaxCut Premium Federal + e-file + State". Which sure sounds like it would cover everything right? Wrong.

What it doesn't actually include is support to e-file your State return. That according to the fine print on the back is an additional cost. And not like a $5 cost, but a full $20. Just to file a state return with a program that already costs $45.

Last year, the same product was called "TaxCut Premium Federal + State + e-file" and did include State e-file in the base price of the product. Apparently moving e-file to before the +State was intended to clearly call out the fact that state e-file was no longer included.

Obvious, right?

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