Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner implied at his confirmation hearing that the mistakes in his tax returns were caused by his use of the TurboTax software program. Of course, as any tax professional knows, TurboTax (and any of the other leading software programs) easily calculates self-employment tax (as well as the disallowance of a dependent care deduction for the cost of your kids' overnight camps). The errors here were entirely Geithner's, not TurboTax's.
Update: Jim Lindgren (Northwestern) installed the 2004 and 2005 TurboTax programs on his computer and conclusively demonstrates that "neither of the two major errors in Geithner’s returns ... would have been covered by interactive prompts in the 2004 or 2005 versions of TurboTax."
Once again, the New York Daily News has the best headline and snarkiest article: TurboTaxed:
Let’s hope the economy is easier to figure out than TurboTax. That’s the software that Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner used when he failed to pay about $34,000 in taxes, he admitted this morning in a confirmation hearing that was delayed because of his tax flubs. “I used TurboTax to prepare my returns,” Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee, looking just a little embarrassed, and prompting laughs in the hearing room. He wouldn’t blame the software for his errors, but he didn’t say it helped him spot them, either.
Under questioning from Senate Finance Committee Republican member Chuck Grassley, Geithner was very reluctant to disclose which tax filing software he used. He quickly suggested the software wasn’t the problem; he was.
But Grassley pushed back, again asking what software he used. Geithner said, “Turbo Tax.” Grassley then asked if Turbo Tax has brought it to his attention that Geithner needed to pay more taxes. Geithner said, “No.”
Software goblins ate Tim Geithner’s taxes. Why does Turbo Tax want our global economy to fail?