April 3rd, 2004


Deceptive Click Buttons

Federal income tax filled out - my first as Married Filing Jointly. It definitely helped this time around, what with harrock being a starving writer for most of last year. I am, however, irritated by the amount by which both the IRS and the Mass DOR push efiling (quick refunds! Easy! Fast! Almost free!) but the extent to which it is not free.

In this case, we used the "free" version that the IRS links to, which is free for federal but not for state, if you do not accidentally click on any of the dozen recurring "For more information about this feature, click here" buttons which take you to the deluxe non-free version, which does not really mention that it's the non-free version until the time comes to submit it.

I suppose they need to make their money somehow, but I disapprove of them trying to do it by annoying me into not wanting to go back and click "no, I have no depreciation on the 'business' I seem to be because I did some consulting" fifteen times.

It's not like I object to paying for software, really. But I don't like the combination of it being something that is free on paper, and the strong advertisement by the government to efile - it saves them tons of money, that's why they push it. I'm sure they could just give one of these places a federal grant and everyone would be happy.
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