Self prepared tax returns

Does tax software prepare your returns?

I believe that if you go through the software’s interview process then the software is preparing your return.

However remember that the software is preparing your return based on what you told it. Therefore it’s important to review returns before you send them out just as you would if some tax professional was preparing your returns.

From what I’ve seen from IRS audits the software’s artificial intelligence is not the same as the intelligence of a thinking human being. For example it keeps on asking you questions and you keep on entering the same amounts at different places until the IRS finds them for you. That’s why it’s important to look over the tax return before you send it out or e-file it.

The Tax Court still looks at errors in self prepared returns as (GIGO) garbage in, garbage out. I believe however that as artificial intelligence evolves, in time, software developers will have to take the moral and ethical responsibilities for what they’re doing. You’re seeing this already with self driving cars and drones and robotics.

Even if eventually tax software developers will be penalized as preparers nevertheless you as a taxpayer still remain responsible for any taxes and penalties and interest.