eFiling: How much is postage?

I’ve been using TurboTax to file my state and Federal income taxes since 1990 or so. I started when I had a rental property and the idea of computing depreciation and keeping track of it made my head spin. Fortunately for me, TurboTax started life out (for me at least) as MacInTax. As the years went by, I continued to use MacInTax and then TurboTax and ultimately started to file electronically about 10 years ago or so. The folks at Intuit (who produce TurboTax) used to give me a little coupon in my software package that rebated the electronic filing fee for my Federal return so all I had to pay was $15 or so to file my New York State return. The convenience was worth it.

Last year, dutifully filed my Federal and state taxes electronically and went to fill out Intuit’s rebate form but it wasn’t in the package that contained the software dvd. I emailed Intuit for another copy of the coupon. A couple of days later, I received an email from Intuit that they didn’t provide electronic filing rebates for 2006. Huh? OK. I must have missed that in the updated FAQ so that’s my bad. Turns out the total cost to efile is $36!

So this year, I did my taxes using TurboTax and guess what? I printed my returns out and stuck ’em in the mail. Total cost to me for postage was $1.95 for both returns. Call me a penny pincher but how the heck can you justify $36 for electronic filing fees? Isn’t it supposed to be easier for everyone involved? I’d rather pay a buck or two and keep some nice Federal/state employee gainfully employed by opening the envelope and doing whatever it is that they do with paper returns. About 10 steps backward progress wise but I can’t see why I want to participate in that kind of ‘progress.’

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