This year more than three-fourths of all individual tax returns will be filed electronically, and a growing number will come from people who used tax-preparation software. As modern and efficient as this is, the law has not caught up. Taxpayers who employ an accountant or other preparer have some protection from daunting penalties if the IRS finds mistakes. Software users who prepare their returns without help have little or no protection.
The most famous software fiasco had a very atypical ending. During the confirmation hearings of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner three years ago, we learned that he failed to pay self-employment tax on income from the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Geithner partially blamed the oversight on the TurboTax software he had used, claiming it wasn't formatted "in a way that caught" his embarrassing mistake....
It's unlikely you'll receive an IRS tax audit. But if you do, free audit support and audit representation is part of our guarantee. Our audit support helps you understand why you're being audited and what kind of response to prepare. If you need representation, we can communicate on your behalf through an audit proceeding.
Wait, the tax code is now so complicated that the only hope citizens have to protect themselves from the government (which created the tax code in the first place) is to pay a tax professional to indemnify them against mistakes?
If the professionals who do nothing else but write tax software can't get the tax code right, how are citizens who do taxes one weekend per year supposed to understand it?