TurboTax: Created by Baboons, for Baboons.

16 Feb

The longer I am out of college, the more time I’m having to realize that I’m kind of an adult. Like seriously becoming someone who supports themselves financially and makes all of their own decisions. And with this title comes new responsibility.

Now don’t get me wrong. When you’re a kid, you have responsibilities, too. You have to do your chores. You have to feed the cat. You have to get an A+ on your 6th grade spelling test because if you don’t, your mom won’t get you a Furby for Easter. You hear your parents say things like, “Have you SEEN gas prices!?” and “Welp, gotta file my taxes! I wonder if my W2 is in the mail yet…” But you don’t really process any of these statements.

Perhaps, as a child, I thought a W2 was the name of R2D2’s dearest droid friend or something. Now that I am… AN ADULT! (Dun dun DUN!!! cue: lightening and thunder) I’ve realized that I have new responsibilities, and a W2 isn’t the adorable droid friend of R2D2. A W2 is basically the scariest piece of paper in the world.

I mean has anyone ever SEEN any more boxes, numbers, letters, or combinations of the three on one sheet of paper before?!? Not only is it intimidating, but like… this is MY MONEY. The stuff I work hard for all year. If I mess up, accidentally type some wrong number into my TurboTax thing, that could mess up my entire tax return! I WANT MY MONEY, Y’ALL!

So I log on to TurboTax feeling slightly intimidated. I mean other than voting for our president, or paying tolls, I don’t usually have any direct contact with the government, you know? Talk about super duper adult stuff.

So. I have all of my W2’s laying on the table, in neat little organized sections, and I log in.

Me: Okay TurboTax… let’s see what you got!
TurboTax: Welcome to TurboTax! Don’t worry… we make this really easy!
Me: (Thinking) Okay, cool.
TurboTax: First, we have to ask you some personal information!
Me: Okay. Obviously, I understand that.
TurboTax: What is your FIRST name? (Shows a box where you type in your first name with a caption that reads: Type your FIRST name here.)
(I type my first name, and click NEXT.)
TurboTax: GREAT!
Me: (Beaming to myself.) Maybe this won’t be as scary as I think it will be!
TurboTax: OKAY! Next question. What is your LAST name!? (Shows a box where you type in your last name with a caption that reads: Type your LAST name here.)
(I type in my last name, and click NEXT.)
TurboTax: NICE JOB!

TurboTax sure was doing a good job of making me feel awesome. While I did appreciate the constant flow of reassurance, the further along I went with the whole process, the more I started to feel like the programers of TurboTax had programed it for baboons. And not just any baboons. Baboons who had been the test subjects of a mind-altering drug whose side effects make you lose all common sense or reason.

TurboTax: Okay. Are you ready for this next question? Where… do you live? (Shows a box to fill in with your current state.)
Me: (Selects “FLORIDA”)
TurboTax: YES!!! MAN YOU ARE GOOD!!!
TurboTax: Next, we need your social security number. It is taxes, after all!
Me: (Types in my social security number, clicks NEXT.)
TurboTax: Okay! Do you have your W2? Let’s start filling that out!
Me: (picks up the first w2 that I want to file.)
TurboTax: What is the IDENTIFICATION NUMBER of your EMPLOYER? (This is the number that identifies who employed you!)
Me: Yeah… I get that. (I locate the number on the form, and type it into the little box. I press NEXT.)
TurboTax: Okay next question. Fill out the corresponding boxes below. If nothing, leave blank.

(I look down and see empty spaces for boxes 1-20.)

BOX 1: Hey girl! I’m the box for your WAGES. Type your WAGES in me! Do you UNDERSTAND!? WAGES GIRL! WAGES!!!!!
Me: (I locate Box 1 on my W2, and type in my wages.)
BOX 2: Wassup!!?!?! I’m the box for FEDERAL INCOME TAX WITHHELD! This is like, all of your money the government has already taken out of your paycheck, chick. YA FEEL ME!?
Me: (I type in the Federal Income Tax Withheld.)
BOX 2: Are you a descendant from Einstein? No, but seriously…. Either that… or BABE RUTH. Because you are honestly just KNOCKING THIS OUT OF THE BALL PARK!!!! WOOO!!!! WAY TO GO CAR-O-LYN!!!!

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. It just felt like I was sooo apprehensive and intimidated about my taxes, and then I finally just went onto TurboTax… and it was a program actually designed for baby crackheads. Which, you know what? Works for me and my life style. That’s okay. As long as I get my money back from The Man, that is just peachy.


2 Responses to “TurboTax: Created by Baboons, for Baboons.”

  1. M. A. Hauck February 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Carolyn: Allow me share a more seasoned perspective on this thorny issue … your sarcasm not withstanding, TurboTax can be a terrific app for those who would rather keep more of their return money than fork it over to some HR Block agent who does essentially what you could do on your own. If you are lucky enough to get away with having to use just the 1040EZ, you don’t need the free on-line TurboTax. What may seem mind numbingly simple is designed for this essential need– no one wants to endure the pain and suffering of being audited for stupid mistakes. The IRS can and does perform this evil deed on randomly selected tax filers, especially those who present flagrant red flags, such as gross miscalculations or claiming thousands in deductions vs. only hundreds in actual earnings. The last time I filled out a 1040EZ, I remember it taking less than an hour to complete. The U.S. Tax Code is purposely convoluted to create sidebar cottage industries to help simple folk like us decipher it. By “simple folk,” I mean anyone who is not a tax attorney, not trying to equate it with “simple minded,” which would be an inaccurate characterization.

    P.S. I’m getting the distinct impression your Mum is purposely avoiding my attempts to reach out and correspond. Does she read your blog and know I’m here? Thanks.

  2. Lauren February 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Yes! Haha, I used TurboTax, too, and was nervous about it because I have never really done taxes before. It was super duper easy and straight forward. I totally understand your conversation with TurboTax. I only got stuck when it asked if I wanted to pay $28 and have my state taxes done. I panicked and opted not to, so now I have to use a company made for baboons but not by baboons to do those. Questionable choice on my part.

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