Holy cow, I wrote a book!
The Government Accountability Office paid nineteen visits
to chain tax preparers, presented information on two hypothetical
families, and asked for assistance in preparing the tax return.
"Only two returns showed the correct refund amount, but both of those
returns included errors."
The article goes into specifics of what sorts of mistakes were made.
A Marketplace report added
that mistakes with tax credits were
particularly bad because messing them up can render you
ineligible for claiming them in the future.
Add to that the plans for the IRS to
permit tax preparers sell information about their clients to marketers
and the fact that major tax preparation firm
got its own taxes wrong
[found a not-yet-404'd link - 2pm],
my decision to do my own taxes by hand
doesn't seem so kooky after all, now, does it...
tax-day news, I will be heading to San Francisco on the 15th
for a family event.
I don't have a precise agenda, but
I left time to be a tourist on Monday the 17th.
I'll most likely take the
War Memorial and Performing Arts Center tour at 10am,
then head north to check out the
(which was still a military base when I lived in the Bay Area).
If you want to meet up, you can drop me a message today or tomorrow
I won't be checking my email much while I'm away (that's why it's
called a "vacation", see),
but before I leave I'll
set up my voicemail to forward to my mobile phone.
Call Microsoft Corporate Headquarters, press "2",
then say my name.
(The voicemail lady will say, "Calling the office".
Don't be alarmed.)
When talking to the voicemail lady,
be careful to enunciate clearly, because there are also a Raymond Cheng
and a Ray Chen at Microsoft.
We get each other's stuff occasionally but it usually gets sorted out
without too much trouble since we each work on completely different
(Bonus trivia: When Raymond Cheng first arrived at Microsoft,
I was his mentor!)