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Subject:  Direct-Form Entry Tax Software Date:  2/4/2009  1:17 AM
Author:  chris319 Number:  104225 of 127513

One of my main complaints about consumer-level tax software is that they treat you as if you've never filed a tax return before. They take you by the hand like a total n00b and walk you through tedious, time-consuming "interviews". The thing is, my income taxes don't change from one year to the next and haven't for years. Just the numbers change. Forms 1040, 4952, schedules A, B, D and I'm done.

Does there exist any tax software which allows you to bypass the interview process and let you enter directly into the forms, either on-line or client-side? Is there software which also allows you to override the program's calculated entries? Sometimes these programs get it wrong and you have to "customize" the calculations. For example, one on-line program I tried this year wants to count union shop steward pay and juror pay as "income from property held for investment". Um, no.

While I'm ranting, another complaint about consumer tax preparation web sites is that they have pictures of pretty people grinning at you. I realize it is a psychological marketing tactic intended to tell the masses "we're friendly and we're approachable". I don't want people grinning at me, I want to file my taxes, so get the heck off my screen.
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