For once I did my TurboTax without steam coming out my ears. They finally provided sidebars that explained things as you moved through the software. So they are getting better.
Of course they took the opportunity to try to upsell their products to the sucker (me), using fear and anxiety in subtle ways.
Amazingly they wanted another $40 to do my state taxes. (My state prefers we use a free program to do our state taxes.) Most state's taxes just work from a certain line in your federal taxes, such as the adjusted gross income, and add one or two things, usually optional. Done. Simple. And TurboTax wants $40 for that!
How stupid we must be to pay for tax software, when the IRS has essentially already written the software that calculates what you owe, and what you would be penalized for. Of course, somebody would have to make a simpler and more taxpayer-friendly version of the IRS software.
But, really, the IRS should just do our taxes for free.
Some people are in such a good business, like TurboTax. All they have to do is glom onto the absurd American tax system, and exploit the customer's fears and anxieties. And if you don't like their product, you -- the customer -- must be a dummie or computer-illiterate, you see.
Contrast a livelihood like that to, say, the guy I buy rye bread from at the local farmer's market: he showed me a photo of his little rye field. His wife handpicks the rye. He grinds it with some little milling machine. Then they bake the delicious bread. It is as heavy as a brick, just the way I like it.
If it was gooey in the center or burned on the outside, the customer would know they made a mistake and be angry. The customer could not be blamed.
That was just the example that came to mind. You could make much the same argument for the guy who fixes your flat tire, drives a UPS truck, or builds cars. What old-fashioned fools they are. They should offer to do people's state taxes for $40.