Thursday, March 23, 2006

TaxFreedom Not What it Seems

Last year I discovered a way to file my federal income tax return electronically for free using the online income tax forms on the intriguingly-titled website (Please see this post.) This year Intuit improved the website to support non-IE browsers. But it also imposed a fee for individual taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is greater than $50,000.00.

This fee seems to flow down from the IRS. It's discussed on their Free File page.

Intuit offers two other options. The first is called "Essentials," which costs $9.95. The second is "Deluxe," which costs $19.95 ($39.95 after March 31.)

Unfortunately, after I filled out the free form and was ready to submit the data, Intuit informed me I'd have to upgrade to the "Deluxe" version. It didn't offer "Essentials" as an option.

I suppose it might have something to do with the complexity of the return. I needed to enter some extra 1099 forms of an unusual nature. And as a home owner, I chose to itemize deductions. I later found out that a $9.95 package can be used only for 1040EZ returns.

Well, I need to use an online service. I have little choice. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows NT 4.0 quite a while ago. As a result, tax preparation software no longer supports Windows NT. And paying an H & R Block moonlighter $200 to enter data into their program is an outrage.

Anyway, good luck with your tax-filing endeavors!

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