You Gotta Pay

This year is the first in a while that I’m going to have to pay to have my taxes done.  And it’s not because I have to, it’s because every one has fucked it all up.

Going back a few years, I had my taxes done by an actual CPA, until one year, through miscommunication, I thought she was no longer doing taxes, so I went and did it myself, using a free online tax service.  That worked out well for me, even as my tax situation got more complex over the years.  I was pleased with Credit Karma’s service, both for credit monitoring and taxes.  Then some asshole had to come and fuck it all up.

That asshole is Intuit, whom I have a grudge against anyway for forcing Microsoft Money from the marketplace and becoming a shitty alternative to money.  The fuckery they pulled this time is buying Credit Karma, because you know, nice things can’t exist on their own, they must be owned by someone clearly jealous of success.

Because Intuit has TurboTax, owning Credit Karma Tax would make them too powerful, so they agreed to sell off the tax portion.  If you want to be sure your own success, you sell the part that is going to compete against you to someone shitty.  And Cash App seems to fit the bill.  So Credit Karma Tax is now owned and run by Cash App.

So as part of that bullshit, you have to install the Cash App mobile app to log in to the desktop website.  I am equal parts impressed and disgusted by this because I can’t tell if the security is better or worse, but I do know the usability factor is way down.  So I need this other bullshit software on my phone to file my taxes.  Count me out.

So I research my other free options and there’s none that really fit my new, expanded needs.  The most likely best choice is H&R Block, so I begin my process with them.  Most of the way through, I get to the part where I have to enter my HSA information.  The site says i can’t do that in the free version, I have to buy the software.  Fuck me.

So I guess I’m back on to Cash App.  I hold my nose and download the app and get logged in.  It prompts to import my Credit Karma data, which is nice.  I fill in my CK email and they send me a verification code to that address.  I wait.  Nothing.  I try again.  Nothing.  Ok, so that doesn’t work.  Might as well get started fresh then.

Writing an app that guides you through doing taxes is not easy, I would imagine.  But remembering how CK did things and now experiencing how Cash App does them… You should know when you don’t have it quite right.  And Cash App doesn’t have it right.  While usable, the process did not feel comfortable.  And a lot of it was simple stuff, like the way things were worded and explained as you stepped through.  Quite simply, I did not like it.

But that whole experience was moot when I got to questions about, of course, my HSA.  On one particular question, no matter what I chose as an answer, I was sent to an error page that stated "403 forbidden".  That is very low-level error, someone really has some fucked up code for that to come up.  So I hopped on their support chat and explained the situation.  The general response was, "it works for me" and the suggested remedy was to clear my cache and try again.  That’s it for tonight.

The next morning I went back (oh, there’s my verification codes for the CK import, delivered hours later) and tried again.  Nope.  Same error.  So that leaves me only a couple options.  Do my taxes like a Neanderthal on paper, or pay H&R for the capability to enter my HSA information.

This is 100% Intuit’s fault.  I hate them so much.

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