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2014 Tax Season
anime
he_the_great
Taxes are simple. It is just a bunch of information gathering and following very specific instructions. Ok, those instructions span hundreds of pages and any action has like 10 exceptions and sometimes you can doing things EZ. Gathering the needed information and placing that information in to the correct boxes, isn't simple and gets more complicated the more exceptions you want to take advantage of.

Free File Fillable Forms is a great place to do taxes yourself. Even if TaxAct and H&R provide even simpler options which are also free. I don't know why but the Free File forms changed their provided service so you no longer get to include 1099-DIV/1099-INT and other similar forms. Yes they do allow the W2, but originally all of these forms were used to "calculate" into the appropriate location.

Anyway, the point of this post is to draw attention to the worksheets that also need to be filled out. For the "2014 Qualified Dividend and Capital Gain Tax Worksheet" I throw this program together which asks direct questions and does the specified math.

I have not used this myself, I still need to compare it with my personal taxes. Please review the logic for yourself when running your own calculations.

https://gist.github.com/JesseKPhillips/6f15d9e35f989060adb6

There is a similar, and possible more complete tax preparation software over on sourceforge. I haven't used it, but I think there needs to be a different approach for FOSS tax software. The software needs to be broken into solvers per form/sheet. Each program should be readable to review based on the form. The programs are given a "review count" that indicates how many people have compared the logic to the form/worksheet. The sheets need a way to communicate, save progress, and reset. This makes for uniform way of adding sheets, provides indications to suggest personal review, and keeps the sheets simple to review their logic.

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