Stupidity taxes

Towards the end of preparing my tax return, I came upon a tax screen that asked if I wanted to pay the filing fees using "Simple Pay". The text explained that the fees would be deducted from my tax refund and so I wouldn't have to plug in my credit card number. But there was a worrying asterisk right by the name, so I found the fine print that led to the popup window that finally explained that the "convenience fee" for the $20 filing fee was $29.95!

A quick Google Search points out that there are enough suckers who fell for that ruse. This is probably the sort of thing that a Consumer Finance Agency should help put a kibosh to.

But while we are at it, why on earth am I filling out taxes in the first place? The IRS already had nearly every bit of data that I entered in, and so it could have simply sent me a prefilled form that I could have corrected in 10 minutes. This one turns out to be the doing of Intuit and right-wing nuts. So, whatever time and effort you spent filing your income taxes is another stupidity tax. Only, this time no amount of trawling through the fine print would have helped you avoid it.

p.s. Once H R Block has decided to take advantage of its customers by piling a $30 fee on top of a $20 one, why do they feel the need to put in that pesky asterisk?

1 comment:

  1. Good post, again! And a good question - indeed, why bother with the asterisk? Unless they're identifying the intelligentsia for some evil purpose ...