[Novalug] Tax Software Example
mstone at mathom.us
Tue Jan 23 19:50:41 EST 2007
On Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 05:37:58PM -0500, Keith Casey wrote:
>On 1/23/07, Michael Stone <mstone at mathom.us> wrote:
>>On Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 03:29:59PM -0500, Keith Casey wrote:
>> >I don't think the solution is to implement standards for this at the
>> >Federal level.
>>Umm, the federal taxes are implemented at the federal level, so it makes
>>sense to implement the interface for submitting the tax return at the
>>federal level (in fact, I struggle to think of any level where it would
>>make sense to do that).
>Actually, my point was: Are you trying to solve the right problem?
Yes, I am; I'm not sure what problem you're trying to solve, but I'm
trying to solve the problem about evolving to use modern technology. 50
years ago the feds printed forms and people typed/wrote on them and
mailed them in. Fast forward to today and people use computers on the
internet--why doesn't the IRS provide tools for those people. Once upon
a time (don't know if they still do) the IRS allowed people using the
1040EZ to file by telephone. Remind me again why that is fundamentally
different than filing online?
>It's like the classic urban legend of NASA spending millions to
>develop a pen that could write in zero gravity while the Soviets used
And like most urban legends, that sounds really good and is wrong. Turns
out that NASA didn't particularly want highly conductive dust floating
around the cabin, nor did they want anything flamable after the apollo
fire. Fisher developed the pen on their own dime for terrestrial
customers and sold them to NASA at retail after the agency expressed
interest. The russians bought the same pens. Calling it a "space pen"
was a stroke of marketing genius.
>If you can simplify the problem to be solved, your solution
>is likely to get easier.
And your proposal is what, exactly? Throw out thousands of entrenched
special interests who each want their own turn at the trough and a
special deduction and simplify the tax code? That's supposed to be
simpler than writing a computer program? (Or, more specifically,
*reimplementing a computer program that's already been written more than
once by many different groups*.)
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