2023.02.27 Tax Return Reflections

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Doing taxes is weird.

Starting from the premise that it's up to individuals to process their own tax calculations and propose how much they think they should have paid in comparison to how much they may have already paid - when then governing bodies generally already know what this should be automatically. It seems... wasteful. Why not just have the government do the standard re-alignment they do anyways, and give taxpayers an opportunity to argue with it only if they feel there is a worthwhile discrepancy?

Then there's the whole parasitic tax-preparation industry that preys upon the vast majority (including me). The fact that it has successfully lobbied the government to both increase the inscrutability of the tax system and repress the IRS from providing a standardized and free tax entering mechanism is a typically capitalistic kind of awful.

After completing the wasteful/parasitic/labyrinthine preparation process, then comes the amazingly awkward navigation of how to actually get a refund. I just want it in my bank account. Why isn't that the first option? Why isn't that an option on the very first page? Why does it have to be an exercise in futility looking for it, only to realize that the first pages are traps to lure users into another parasitic subscription or fee service.

The simple fact that we can't even avoid making the necessary alignment of taxation with the state non-horrible for most people doesn't build much confidence that we'll be able to accomplish the much harder task to improve the tax code so that the super-rich pay their fair share (again).