I finally filed my Income Tax and I am livid; not because I wound up owing an unexpectedly large amount, but because I had to jump through hoops to get the return sent to the IRS, wasting nearly two days on what should be a simple process. But nothing is simple with this dysfunctional system anymore.
I’ve been using TurboTax since it first came out in the last century, but never will again. The only reason I still have to buy it is thanks to living in New York, which has an income tax and worse still requires a long form with an endless number of asinine additions and subtractions on it, so it doesn’t have any equivalency with the now relatively simple federal return.
Since the feds limited deductions for state and local and there’s too much potential hassle in claiming other items so I don’t bother. TurboTax then tells me I’m better off just using the standard deduction. Fine with me because I can’t have any audit problems like in the past, when in this supposedly digital age the IRS insisted on paper receipts for everything. Now this should have been as simple as it was in the past.
Only it wasn’t due to bureaucratic lunacy. Here I am simply trying to pay what I owe but can’t because there was no way around a request for last year’s Adjusted Gross Income. They have our Social Security numbers, why the hell do they need this? So now I can’t file any way other than filing a paper return with a check unless I add that information. But I don’t have it because when I loaded the prior year file the TurboTax program for last year insisted on updating itself, and in the process zapped most of the information on my return. Unfortunately after looking everywhere I couldn’t find a paper copy, nor did TurboTax site have the information, leaving me stuck.
Then I try to at least file my NY State return electronically because the state will only accept it in that format, only the program won’t let me because the fed hasn’t been filed. Okay, so at least the IRS has the return, right? Only when I try to sign in on the account I had established with them I find out that they have discarded old accounts and couldn’t be bothered with transferring the information so I am now required to set up a new one with something called ID.me.
That process is sheer torture because you have to do all sorts of back and forth verification, and the information already provided won’t suffice because you have to then take a picture of the front and back of the license, and on top of that take a selfie of yourself. The assumption of course is that you have a smart phone. So here you have the government of the United States demanding a selfie, using that exact term. Not only is it insane, but it is potentially repressive. But at this point I don’t care. Fuck them. They can’t do anything to me that hasn’t already been done and I have no reservations about expressing my contempt publicly.
This is personal but it is also just the final straw for me in ever increasing alienation from this government. It is rotten to the core, has lost all legitimacy, even as it forces its ideology on nominally private institutions as well, so that our freedom continues to evaporate and we find ourselves constrained by their lunacy. The regime must be replaced if we are to survive in any meaningful way as a free society.
Anyway, I was ultimately able to get access to the information I needed from my previous return, and was finally able to file and pay this really stupid, inept, rotten government. As I said I don’t mind paying but I deeply resent the intrusive hurdles and waste of time for the dubious privilege of paying them, but even that isn't simple anymore.