Why are taxes so complicated? They aren’t, but TurboTax, H&R Block, and the rest of the tax preparation industry want you to believe that they are. With the right tools, 90 percent of tax filers could complete their tax return in less than 10 minutes. However, the big tax preparation companies want you to feel as if taxes are so complicated that only they can file your tax return correctly.

In part, taxes continue to sound complicated because TurboTax and H&R Block lobby Congress year after year, spending millions of dollars to ensure you feel the need for a tax “professional” to enter your information in a step-by-step software to justify their upgrade fees. TechCrunch reported on it in 2013, the LA Times reported on it in 2015, NBC News reported on it in 2017, and Vox reported on it in 2018.

These tax preparation companies also spend millions of dollars on marketing to convince you that they are the best option to find “hidden” tax deductions, that only they seem to know to exist. Don’t let Turbo Tax and H&R Block trick you into any more upgrades because you are expecting, or at least hoping for, magic.

There is no magic. There is only one key ingredient; the U.S. tax code. Thanks to technology, the complex U.S. tax code can be simplified into a software solution. The same law that is in the TurboTax software, your tax professional’s software, your CPA’s software is also in IOOGO Tax’s software (my software). The simplified software solution is what has allowed my future mother-in-law, my aunt, my fíance, and my little brother to file their taxes on their own.

The software lays out steps to follow, simple questions to answer, and the IRS approved solution calculates everything for you. As long as you copy and paste numbers correctly from the forms sent to you in January, then you will get the same correct output, regardless of the software used.

For most taxpayers, tax calculations are simple math: 1+1=2. But there are inevitably some taxpayers that want to hear that 1+1=5. Who wouldn’t?

If you have a “magical” tax preparer that always “finds” you a magically inflated refund (1+1=5), BUYER BEWARE. You are still responsible and on the hook for all penalties and criminal action that can come from an imminent IRS audit, like Oscar Sotelo from California in 2013. The IRS also keeps an annual list of examples of abusive return preparer investigations if you want to read more examples of this type of abuse.

I don’t have millions of dollars to lobby Congress to do the right thing for taxpayers, but I do have a solution that ensures that filing your taxes is simple, quick and absent of constant costly upgrade pressures. At the end of the day, whether you use IOOGO Tax or your other preferred way of filing taxes, don’t expect magic… at least not magic that won’t flag an IRS audit down the road.

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