Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,
Rowyn
rowyn

Taxes Wheeeeeee

So, thanks to terrycloth whinging talking about finishing his tax return on multiple different days, I remembered that I had to do mine.

I actually did them online. Again. Like last year, because I hadn't learned my lesson yet. NOW I HAVE.

I did learn three things from last year's nightmare adventure.

1) Never, ever, use TaxACT's* site. Ever. Okay, if they were personally going to pay me at least $500 for using their site to file my taxes, I might think about it. Maybe. Basically, their site made you answer roughly a thousand questions, each on its own page. With a fresh page load between each question. "Are you a veteran? Y/N" Click no. Click continue. Wait for page load. "Did you buy a home in 2008? Y/N" Click no. Click continue. Wait for new page load. Repeat 998 more times. To add to the unbridled joy of the process, my desktop computer has inexplicable problems loading webpages, so about 75% of the time the next page didn't load properly. x.x

2) Don't use my desktop computer to do taxes. See #1.

3) Don't wait until 4/15 to do your taxes online, because any problems you have with the site will only be exacerbated by thirty million other people doing their taxes at the same time.

Armed with this knowledge, I waited until 3/29 to start doing my taxes this year. I picked a new site, eSmartTax, and used my netbook to file them because my netbook is not cursed doesn't have the page-load problem that my desktop does. ESmartTax was not as bad as TaxACT. This should not be taken as a recommendation. The most annoying part was (still) the stupid repeated page load issue. Not nearly as many pageloads as TaxACT, but it made up for this by making you click through every screen in a section if you needed to change one thing. The tax portion had six sections: Personal Information, W-2, 1099s, etc., Schedules and other forms, Federal, State, and File. I forgot to pick "schedule A" when I was picking which tax forms I wanted. So when I got to the standard deduction part in the Federal section, it made me go back to the schedules, pick schedule A, fill it out, click through all the other schedules that I didn't want to change, and then click through all the Federal pages that I also didn't want to change.

Then I needed to check on one of my deduction amounts. Then I forgot about it for a week, until terrycloth wrote about taxes again. Last night, I finished filing them while exercising (because hey, as long as you're suffering anyway, why not do taxes?) This required that I change one line on schedule A, to update my deductions. Which necessitated about 15 click-throughs and page loads on the ESmartTax site BECAUSE WE HATE OUR CUSTOMERS.

This morning, I got an email saying my tax return had been rejected. x.x

So I went back to their site, which told me that the employer EIN on my W-2 didn't match the IRS's. I'd typed a 2 instead of a 3 in the EIN field. Okay, I need to change one line on the W-2 form.

Which on eSmartTax meant 5 clicks-and-page-loads to get to the W-2, and then 40 more clicks-and-page-loads because DID I MENTION WE HATE OUR CUSTOMERS? #$%^$# FREELOADERS eSmartTax wanted me to look at every screen involved in my return again because I'd changed one line on my W-2 that affected absolutely nothing else on the return. Oh, and trying to get me to file my state tax through them again. No, thank you, I'm not paying you to do my state taxes when the form from the state's website will do them (a) for free and more importantly (b) FASTER.

So this year's lesson:

4) Don't do your taxes on a website. Any website.

Next year, I think I'll just fill them out manually. Yeah, I could pay $25 for a program to install, but frankly, I am not convinced that the software is actually going to save me any time. My taxes are pretty simple: I have one job, in the same state where I work, all my investments are in IRAs or 401(k)s, and while I do itemize my deductions, that's just one extra form. It doesn't seem like the software is spotting anything for me that I didn't already know, and it's been in many (many, many) ways more annoying than just filling out the stupid forms myself.

I still need to download the forms to my desktop, and fill out and file my state taxes. But the state taxes take like five minutes to do on the state website. I'm betting downloading the completed forms from eSmartTax will be more arduous. 9.9

* Possibly the site was named TaxCut, but I'm pretty sure it was TaxACT**. I'll never use TaxCut either, though. JUST IN CASE.

** OK, I double-checked and yes, it was TaxACT. My apologies to TaxCut for the unfortunate similarity of your name. Really, I'm sorry. Because I'm still never going to use you.
Tags: life, taxes
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