This December, IOOGO Inc. is launching a mobile and web app that is designed to make doing taxes simpler than it’s ever been before.
The team at IOOGO brings more than four decades of collective experience in software design, accounting, and tax preparation to the table. That experience has taught them that many existing tax preparation programs are over-priced, frustrating, and tedious.
“It’s frustrating to start your tax return for free, only to be inundated with a suggested upgrade at every turn, or worse, forced into an upgrade after spending 20 minutes inputting your information,” said co-founder and COO Kristy Campbell. “If you are tired of being punished with upgrades when you’re doing all of the work, say goodbye to upgrades and hello to IOOGO.”
IOOGO’s tax preparation app takes the required upgrades out of the equation—along with all of the other worst elements of the tax prep business. The interface is as simple and easy to understand. As long as the user has all of their information in hand, they can file most tax returns in as little time as 10 minutes.
The IOOGO business model also allows the company to keep the app affordable and accessible to everybody.
But don’t people need to go to a professional to handle their taxes? Not so, experts say.
“H&R Block and Intuit want to make it difficult for you to file on your own,” law professors Joseph Bankman, Daniel Hemel, and Dennis Ventry wrote in a 2018 article for Politico. “The anti-tax activists think that if taxpaying is too easy, voters will be less likely to resist the federal government’s growth. Both want to make it as painful as possible for you to do your taxes yourself.”
The qualifications to be a tax preparer are simple; anyone with a Social Security number can obtain the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) required to advertise your services as a tax preparer. This means that it can be hard to tell how qualified a tax preparer really is.
Even the Free File service that many taxpayers choose to access through the IRS’ website is difficult and vexing to use, according to many observers.
“Only 3 percent of taxpayers use Free File in any given year,” Ventry wrote in a recent article for The Hill. “Of that fraction, less than half use Free File the next year, indicating user dissatisfaction, confusion over inconsistent offerings (eligibility criteria varies based on income, age, and state residence) and the common practice among FFA companies to push Free File users toward paid products.”
IOOGO offers a solution. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a service someone could do themselves in 10 minutes, or puzzling their way through outdated software, they can download the mobile app and make the tax preparation process as easy as filling out a job application.
“Not only will we simplify tax preparation, but we are doing it in a way that fully leverages technology,” said IOOGO co-founder and CEO Josh Alballero. “Our low-cost, transparent pricing will make you at least want to try our application, and at the end of the day, you will see that tax preparation is truly simple.”
As part of its mission, Alballero said that IOOGO is working to raise $850,000 from different sources to help make its app even more valuable for its users.