Wednesday, April 04, 2012

If Tax Prep Options Were Airlines

1040EZ Airlines
Upon your arrival at the airport, you are given a red Radio Flyer wagon with the airline logo on the side, and a bag of peanuts.

Private CPA / Accountant Airlines
You book your own private jet.  The pilot meets with you and then decides how you are going to get where you are going.  Because of a ton of transportation regulations, the route ends up going half way around the world, and stops at 18 airports before you finally arrive back at the place you actually started from.  All of the ticket price is refunded, and you walk away bewildered and empty handed.

H&R Block Airlines
You line up with other passengers at the front door of the aircraft.  Eventually the flight attendant comes the door, and directs you to a seat.  The seat is a perfectly square box with only enough room for an average size man or woman.  Depending on your luck, the pilot is either a seasoned, ex-NASA aeronautics expert, or a nervous young pilot fresh out of flight school.  When the plane takes off, it goes directly to Kansas City, MO, regardless of where you bought your ticket for or how much you paid for it.  When you land, you're told that you owe thousands of dollars for your ticket, with no explanation given as to why.  Everyone is given a folder, business card, and a mint as they deplane.

TurboTax Airlines
You walk down the jetway and are shown into the cockpit of your own plane.  You are told you will be flying the plane yourself, however, instead of touching any of the actual controls, you will be just be interviewed by a computer program written by an ex-pilot.  As you fly, the computer program asks questions like "Where did you fly last year?", "what does the gauge labeled 'airspeed' read right now?", and "do you see any other planes in the sky?".  As the flight progresses, the altimeter reading varies all over the place from -10,000 to 30,000 feet, seemingly without any regard for what's actually happening to the aircraft.  Finally, either you safely land at the airport and are given thousands of dollars for reasons you don't fully understand, or the plane runs into the side of a mountain.

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