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TaxGeek 2006 Ideas Page

NOTE: This is currently a work in progress.

Idea 1: Greening out 1040

Form 1040 in TaxGeek supports all the requisite calculation consistently with IRS standards. However a number of forms that branch off of the 1040 are not supported: the user must compute those forms by hand and enter the result in the 1040. Such forms show up in red in TaxGeek, whereas supported forms show up in green. We wish to "green-out" the 1040 showing full support for the major branching forms by Summer's end 2007.

Idea 2: Direct writing to PDFs

Currently there is a dependency on PDF::Reuse for writing data to the PDF files. Because PDF::Reuse cannot work properly on IRS supplied fillable PDFs, the PDFs must be flattened first, one page at a time. Then, the data must be placed manually at specific x-y coordinates on the page. Etc. Being able to write directly to the fillable PDF files using the XPCOM capabilities of Mozilla-based browsers would provide a tool that would make TaxGeek platform independent (in a true sense as most Windows users will not be able to install Active Perl), and would provide a tool that other web-based application users would find valuable.

Idea 3: Development IDE for Forms

Whether using PDF::Reuse or Direct Writing to PDFs (see above), development of new forms requires the linking of TaxGeek internal variables to either coordinates or internal PDF field names. This process could be considerably simplified and thus speed up any future development, as well as aid in being able to update forms in the future when the IRS invariably changes things.

Idea 4: Interview Option

Most tax programs have an interview option for users who are not knowledgable about taxes. Instead of requiring the user to know apriori that wage-based income should be entered on line 7 and self-employment income from proprietorships should be entered on line 12, an interview would ask the user if he/she has received any W2s or if there is any proprietorship income. As TaxGeek is now at a stage where many of the internal recalculations are happening correctly, an interview option is now possible. The caviat is that since Form 1040 is not fully "green", the interview option must be written cleverly enough that additional questions/forms can be added without too much disruption.

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