Over the past year I've dived head first into starting my own business, doing my own accounting, and the most recently frustrating, doing my own taxes. The IRS has done a great job of making it as complicated as possible to figure out taxes on your own so that tax professionals can exist and in turn generate more tax money for the government. (That's my interpretation anyways :)
I am lucky enough to have a close relative who is a CPA and has helped me though this painful process, but without them I would be forced to hire one...and that is lame.
Taxes are not as complicated as the IRS makes them and it doesn't have to feel like your going to the dentist to get teeth pulled!
There is a better way.
It is clear to me that if the IRS hired a rock-star team of information architects and designers to come in and organize the tax worksheets, publications, and god forbid make them smart working online applications, there would be no need for anyone to hire a tax professional.
Imagine that after receiving a reminder email, you log-in to your user-kind IRS website, it tells you which documents need to be filed (and when), you input some numbers into some form fields, which instantly does some math and auto-populates other related fields for you, then...woops, theres an error with some data you entered, not to worry, the application is smart enough to diagnose the problem and help you fix it with ease. You type in your name at the bottom, enter your CC# or bank routing info, and hit submit.
Ahhh, now wasn't that easy?
Maybe next year ae? (in government time that is 10 years BTW)