A taxing situation

by fmhilton

It used to be far easier to do one’s taxes.

You got all of your forms in the mail, and filled them out. If you had deductions and such, you had to include a separate itemization form. You even had a paper W-2 to send in with it.

In about a month or two (depending on when you filed your return), you’d get a check in the mail.

Simple then.

Not so much now.

I’d gotten my W-2 on-line from my employer, and had to install a program to view that piece of information.

Of course it was encrypted (for my personal security, of course) but I didn’t realize at that time that this was a harbinger of things to come, because I had to remember my personal password from the employer’s website to even view it once I had the program that was able to read it.

Step one accomplished with a little difficulty and a bit of swearing.

Like many people I’ve done my taxes on-line, using a free tax program. I’d used the same one for the past 2 filings and thought it was about time I did them-yes, I do procrastinate.

So: I go to the tax program’s website and attempt to log in. No go, because I immediately find that I need to not only create a new account, but also download and install another separate program to just view that site, let alone do my taxes.

Ok, no big deal. Once I created a new account, I got the other program and installed it. (thankfully, it’s not a large one, either). When that installed, I logged back into the tax website..and found out that not only had the program changed the rules: that my earlier tax forms “were unfortunately not available to carry forward from last year.” to “We’re sorry, you do not qualify for the free filing option.”

Which really stinks-the part about my forms isn’t good, but the part about now not qualifying because of age restrictions really doesn’t play well with me. I guess everyone being poor has something to do with their changes.

You’ve got to be 62 or older to use the program if you make less than $57,000 a year. I’m not that old yet.

But the part about not carrying forward my previous year’s forms is a really terrible thing. You would think that they could even plan for some changes by emailing them to you and making sure you had a copy in plain encryption. I do, but it’s password protected and I’m trying to remember that password, from the old program that doesn’t work now.

Then I went to the IRS’s free program site..and found that I need last year’s forms to fill out this year’s…which I can’t read because they’re encrypted from a program that has been changed and that I can’t even use!

This is getting ridiculous.

So I give up. I’m going to break down, and get the paper form from the library, print out my W-2, fill out the paper tax form and use the US Postal system to send it to the IRS.

At least I won’t have to have a password to view the paper copies I make of it!