The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 January 2005

1040 or fight (part 3)

Last year I did my electronic filing through eSmartTax.com, for reasons having nothing to do with their cumbersome name, and things went well, so I went back to them this year.

The interface somehow seemed a little clunkier this time around, and I had a lot more stuff to include, what with an actual Schedule A and all, but things still seemed to go well, and I got through the entire return in less than half an hour, which is probably about as fast as I could do it by hand. The fee, $14.95 this year, wasn't outlandish. And there's more incentive to do this early if there's an actual refund at stake (last year there wasn't).

Posted at 9:36 PM to General Disinterest


January 25th?!

Neither of us has even gotten our W2s. :-( And we're getting a BIG adoption refund this year.

Posted by: Dan at 10:33 PM on 25 January 2005

Company policy at 42nd and Treadmill has always been to get the W2 out as quickly as possible; I've had mine for at least a week now, and was waiting on the 1098 from the mortgage folks.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:33 AM on 26 January 2005

Couldn't you gather that information online?
I did mine yesterday too :)

Posted by: ms7168 at 10:10 AM on 26 January 2005

About the time I was thinking about that, the form showed up. I knew the real-estate tax already, of course.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:52 AM on 26 January 2005

I own a domain that I use for giving out email addresses to companies that I do business with (eg I gave eSmartTax the contact esmarttax@mydomain.com). Now I got an email directed to that address that has a virus. Should I be concerned (should we all?) that my personal information I've given to esmarttax is available to an infected computer?

Posted by: Underclocker at 4:26 PM on 27 January 2005

It's possible, I suppose, but since they're apparently not running a Microsloth server these days, there's a smaller collection of security holes that can be exploited.

Also, if your domain doesn't have a catchall email address, but specified addresses only, it's possible you got hit with a directory attack, which inserts every conceivable address at whatever domain in the hopes of getting a hit. (We got one of these over at 42nd and Treadmill last week; thousands of emails came in, trying to hit one of our two dozen or so actual addresses.)

And it may well be that it came in from somewhere else and spoofed an address in your address book or in your browser cache.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:44 PM on 27 January 2005

I forward *everything* into a yahoo account and I don't filter out spam (can you believe it, I don't get much!) and this is the only address hit so I don't see how this and only this address at my domain would get the virus. I am also not set up to send email from addresses on my domain so I don't think I'd have it many places on my machine. I guess it wouldn't be impossible...

And it appears that I've done the unthinkable and posted previously with an email address that I actually somewhat care about if I would have to block it permanently.

By the way, since their pages are .asp doesn't that mean they use MS products?

Posted by: Underclocker at 5:04 PM on 27 January 2005

Hmmm. I didn't even look at any of their URLs; I sent a query through Netcraft to see what they were running, and it came back with a non-MS name and "Unknown OS". The IP matched a Whois search for nameserver, too. Maybe I did jump to conclusions.

It probably wouldn't hurt to drop eSmartTax a line and tell them of your concerns.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:20 PM on 27 January 2005

Oh, and I changed that previous email address you gave, just in case.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:21 PM on 27 January 2005

Thanks for helping me 'talk it out'. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't specifically being crazy (...that still leaves generally crazy as a possibility...) or if there was an obvious explanation.

Posted by: Underclocker at 5:59 PM on 27 January 2005

It gets better. Five little darbs which claimed to be from webmaster at oktax.state.ok.us, each of which was severely infected, showed up at my inbox this afternoon with, they said, a follow-up to my request for blank forms. Of course, I didn't request any blank forms.

Posted by: CGHill at 3:01 PM on 28 January 2005