Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 27, 2007 1:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was Musical interlude. The next post in this blog is As the planet groans. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, December 27, 2007

TurboTax Oregon kicker hassles aren't over

You know that mess that appeared when hundreds of Oregonians discovered that the computer software (such as TurboTax) they used to prepare their state income tax returns mistakenly donated their "kicker" refunds to the state school fund?

It hasn't completely gone away.

A new page has appeared on the state Department of Revenue (DOR) website, entitled "Kicker Donation FAQ." It indicates pretty clearly that some folks who claim they didn't elect to donate their refunds still aren't going to get them back.

Here's the line, right at the top, that's gotten people's backs up:

If the return you submitted shows the kicker box checked, you did make the election, whether you intended to or not. By law, the department cannot issue your kicker to you in that case.
And later on, in the Q&A, it says:
3. I filed using 2-D Barcode. Will this apply to me?

We won’t refund 2-D and other paper returns showing the box checked. A 2-D barcode return is paper so the taxpayer must sign it before sending it to us. If the taxpayer checks the "donate" box and signs it, that confirms that the taxpayer chose to donate their kicker.

It sure looks as though the DOR is making a distinction between electronic filers and paper filers who used TurboTax, and that's not going to be a popular decision among the latter group. Especially since some of them definitely could have filed such a return without knowingly ever checking that box. At first, I thought that the revenuers were going to treat e-file and paper TurboTax users equally, but I see now that I was mistaken.

We've been through this before in several installments, but let's see if we can get the pertinent details out in one place to make the situation clear. If you use TurboTax to print out a paper return and manually sign it, there are three different screens on which you can check the box -- the interview, the information worksheet, or the on-screen return. And on one of them, the on-screen return, the box is not labeled in any way. A user could easily check that box inadvertently. Ever had your laptop register a click when you were just trying to move the cursor with a touchpad? I know I have, many times. If you did that in TurboTax, and it checked that box, nothing on any of the three screens would alert you to what you just did. There would be an "X" floating alone in space on the on-screen return -- even the word "kicker" does not appear -- and nothing would be checked on either the interview or the information worksheet.

Now granted, when you printed out the paper return and signed it, there would have been a box that said "Donate Kicker," and it would be checked. But should a taxpayer have to read the printed return form all over to confirm that it matches exactly what he or she already saw in the on-screen return? Apparently, the DOR is saying that he or she must. To me, that sounds unfair.

"If the return you submitted shows the kicker box checked, you did make the election, whether you intended to or not." Is that really true? If you checked an unlabeled box with a stray click and didn't notice the error, did you really "make" an "election"? An election is a conscious choice, not one made by mistake.

"If the return you submitted shows the kicker box checked, you did make the election, whether you intended to or not." Isn't that every bit as true of an electronic filer as it is of a paper filer who used software? It's hard for me to see how a taxpayer who filed electronically has a better claim to correcting a mistake than a paper filer who used TurboTax.

"If the taxpayer checks the 'donate' box and signs it, that confirms that the taxpayer chose to donate their kicker." If they inadvertently clicked on an unlabeled box, did the taxpayers "check" the "donate" box? Or did they just check "a" box?

If the DOR is indeed making a distinction between e-filers and paper filers, and if it indeed holds up in court (where it will surely head), I'm sure there will be some taxpayers who will be looking to the deep pockets of Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, for a remedy. I can't say that I'd blame them. That on-screen form should have matched exactly what was going to be printed out. Either that, or clicking on that box should have opened a big electronic dialog box seeking the user's confirmation.

On a broader scale, any such distinction would make for some fairly shaky precedent. Is an electronic signature on a tax return somehow less valid and binding than a manual signature? Stay tuned.

Comments (52)

The difference I see between the paper and electronic filing, is that with paper there was a box labeled "Donate Kicker" that was checked, which you could clearly and easily see before it was signed. If you filed electronically, you don't have the ability to see anything similar. (As you said the screen you can see just has an unlabeled X floating in space.) Now if the donate kicker was only contained inside the 2D barcode, then I would say it should be treated just like the electronic filers, since human can't easily read and understand the 2D barcode.

Just like any contract, the person should completely read, understand, and agree with it before signing it.

If you open it so that someone can claim no that isn't what I selected/agreed to even though it is plainly on the paper I signed, I would think that opens a whole world of problems, couldn't it apply to deductions, donations, dependents, or anything else on the form as well?

which you could clearly and easily see before it was signed.

Not on any screen. How many times should you have to read the form before signing it? I think every user has a reasonable expectation that the form that appears on the screen is exactly the same as the form that is going to be printed out on paper.

If you filed electronically, you don't have the ability to see anything similar.

Whose fault is that? Shouldn't the e-filer have to print out the paper return and review it, just as you're making the paper filer do?

Just like any contract, the person should completely read, understand, and agree with it before signing it.

Isn't the e-filer electronically signing what was e-filed? If not, the whole e-return is not valid. And what was e-filed in the cases in question here had the "Donate kicker" box checked -- otherwise, they all would have gotten their refunds.

couldn't it apply to deductions, donations, dependents, or anything else on the form as well?

Only if TurboTax is allowed by the DOR to continue to sell a product in which the form you see on the screen is not what actually prints out on paper. If the program shows a deduction or credit on the screen, but then doesn't take that deduction or credit on the paper form printed out, I would think that the taxpayer should be entitled to correct the mistake and get a refund -- even if the law said that "failure" to "claim" the deduction was an irrevocable "election."

Remember, too, that the state bears some responsibility for this; it reviewed the TurboTax product before it was sold.

The state's position seems grossly unfair. On the other hand, we've had the concept of "unintended elections" at least since the presidential one in 2000.

This is the tax version of the hanging chad, I think.

'dimpled' chad. Dimpled chads don't count, either, like 2-corner hanging and 1-corner hanging chads.

Just for the record, this problem doesn't only affect Turbo Tax users. There are a number of documented cases that I'm aware of where people who used H & R Block's Tax Cut, TaxAct, and MacInTax experienced similar problems. The numbers are small and the reports are not as widely publicized. While there is no escape from the fact that the Turbo Tax problem can be documented and that there is clearly something wrong with the way Intuit implemented the kicker instructions in Turbo Tax, I'm still betting that the ultimate smoking gun will be found in the instructions issued by the DOR to tax software preparers. Lessons learnt from writing code is that the first thing to be done is to get a clear problem statement from the client, in this case, the DOR. If the client's instructions are ambiguous, vague, or susceptible to multiple interpretations, the programmer should go back for clearer instructions. Obviously that didn't happen, but why four separate and independent vendors have experienced problems still baffles me. Note that the DOR's FAQ doesn't specifically implicate TurboTax.

It would be really helpful if someone could get hold of the instructions that DOR sent to all tax software vendors regarding the kicker, starting with the earliest set of instructions up to the latest instructions, which seem to have resulted in an update to the State tax versions released around March 7, 2007.

I mention TurboTax because that is the only software that I have access to, and I can see on my own computer what went on there.

>which you could clearly and easily see before it was signed.

Not on any screen. How many times should you have to read the form before signing it?

Once, but you should read and check the one you are actually going to submit.
Remember, unlike the electronic filing you aren't signing on the screen.

Whose fault is that? Shouldn't the e-filer have to print out the paper return and review it, just as you're making the paper filer do?

That is TurboTax's fault. Reviewing what is printed isn't totally valid, because that isn't what is actually being filed. I'm sure this is why the state made an exception and is allowing e-filers to change their mind. (Or correct an error if one really existed.)

Only if TurboTax is allowed by the DOR to continue to sell a product in which the form you see on the screen is not what actually prints out on paper. If the program shows a deduction or credit on the screen, but then doesn't take that deduction or credit on the paper form printed out, I would think that the taxpayer should be entitled to correct the mistake and get a refund -- even if the law said that "failure" to "claim" the deduction was an irrevocable "election."

That is where TurboTax's "100% accuracy guarantee" would kick in and they would have to reimburse you for your loss. Which is what should be happening with the Kicker if TurboTax is really at fault. (But someone would have to be able to prove that TurboTax screwed up, which I don't think anyone has yet, at least not that I have seen.) I'm not sure if the other software companies (TaxCut, MacInTax, etc.) have the same guarantee or not.

Remember, too, that the state bears some responsibility for this; it reviewed the TurboTax product before it was sold.

Did they actually review the product? I thought they just reviewed the submission of test cases that were given to the software companies to input and submit to ODOR for verification/approval.

If the Department didn't review TurboTax then they bear even more responsibility than if they did and an unexpected glitch appeared. I hope you're not implying that just anybody can ginny up a tax return/filing program and people can use it without DOR approval.

Prof. Bog,
I'm having a hard time ginning up much sympathy here, since here the three ways you've supposed someone could elect to donate: checking the box on "the interview, the information worksheet, or the on-screen return."

In two of those cases, the box is labeled and in front of the taxpayer: no sympathy.

In the third case, you are required to suppose that everyone who elected by accident has had their trackpad set to "click when touched," AND/OR managed to affirmatively click the one small part of screen real estate that hits the box: this is unlikely enough to approach unreasonable.

Here is a link to a ODOR document about how someone gets approval for their paper forms for the 2007 tax year: https://secure.dor.state.or.us/taxforms/PDF/Voucher_Handbook.doc

Note that they don't review the actually software just the results in test cases.

Yes, I assume anybody could create and sell a program that passes the test cases without ODOR actually ever seeing the program.

Jud writes:

"Prof. Bog,
I'm having a hard time ginning up much sympathy here, since here the three ways you've supposed someone could elect to donate: checking the box on "the interview, the information worksheet, or the on-screen return."

The issue is that people who DIDN'T check the box at all on any of those forms and then filed electronically had the box checked on the form submitted. The form presented for review differed from the form transmitted to the DOR.

In the case of printed returns, the cases discussed involved people who reviewed their returns on screen, where the box was not checked, and then submitted a paper return in which the box was, inexplicably, checked.

In the first case, the DOR is cutting some slack. In the second, the DOR is cutting no slack. If there is a printed form showing the box checked, the taxpayer is SOL.

While "user error" may be a problem in some of these cases, I can replicate the problem easily on my Windows machines, but not on my Mac versions of TurboTax.

The DOR may have issued some funky instructions that confused more than one company. The test cases supplied must not have pushed the software to the limits, or didn't test the circumstances where the kicker was involved.

But, I think your lack of sympathy is unfair. In a significant percentage of these cases, the users followed instructions to the letter and have a paper trail that exculpates them. Those who filed on paper will have a more difficult time proving the error even though the screenshots may easily show their intentions. The problem is that the DOR won't accept the screenshots.

Jack, can you actually just click once on the unlabeled box to check it? I thought you had to override it somehow. (I don't have TurboTax handy to play with it.) And I'm pretty sure that overriding boxes leads to warnings/errors, at least in older versions. I guess I need to play some more.

While "user error" may be a problem in some of these cases, I can replicate the problem easily on my Windows machines,

Can you share the steps for the Windows TurboTax on how to make it check the box on the paper form when the user hasn't said yes or checked it in any of the three places?

This is one of the sillier discussions I've seen on this blog.

What Michael said sounds right. It sounds like the Department of Revenue only certified that the output was an acceptable representation of the tax form. Quality assurance over the software is, as it should be, up to Intuit.

Should a user have to read over and verify his own output after he has entered the data? Yes. Absolutely. Only an idiot would say "no" to that question. If someone didn't bother to check their work, and then lost their kicker, then they learned a valuable lesson from this.

A solution for next year is to get rid of the kicker. The kicker was a lousy idea.

Ultimately, this is quite simple. The e-filer has no capacity to view the end product being sent in, while the paper filer does.

I paper file. I review my current years form to last years form looking for any obvious errors. I go over the form line by line looking for anything the looks "out of place."

Those who paper filed with the box checked should live with the consequences. Maybe next time, they will look a little closer.

A solution for next year is to get rid of the kicker. The kicker was a lousy idea.

There won't be a kicker next year. It is only possible every other year. So 2009 is the next time we might see this.

You can see a history of the Kicker here: http://www.kickerfacts.com/?page_id=4

You can see why people might have chosen to donate it, since it is normally only around 20% of what is was this year, and have now changed their mind.

"Once, but you should read and check the one you are actually going to submit."

Your failure to turn off the italics means you have to forfeit your kicker.

You can see why people might have chosen to donate it, since it is normally only around 20% of what is was this year, and have now changed their mind.

What nonsense.

Michael asks:

"Can you share the steps for the Windows TurboTax on how to make it check the box on the paper form when the user hasn't said yes or checked it in any of the three places?"

While the default is to answer "No" to the kicker question, if the user checks yes initially and then goes back and amends the election to "uncheck" the box on the interview form, the program forgets to change it in the datafile. Since I don't use the Windows version, but it comes on the same CD as the Mac version, I just installed it on my machine running VMWare Fusion. I could easily cause this to happen in the version shipped on the disk. I didn't update to the current version of the 2006 software. So, out of the box, TurboTax was able to screw up the output, but it did require the user to do something first. I couldn't not replicate the results if I let the interview proceed with the defaults. Also, if it matters, I always import data from the previous year. This might be a factor as well, although not in the Mac version. I'm pretty sure the Mac and Windows versions use a different codebase, at least that's what my limited review of the object code reveals.

Hope this helps in your case with the DOR.

can you actually just click once on the unlabeled box to check it?

Yes. Just go onto the form on the screen, hover your cursor around to the right of the name field, and start clicking. There are at least two places there -- not even marked with boxes -- that if you click on them, you get "X's" placed. There is no way to ever find out on the screen what those X's mean, and it doesn't enter the X on the interview or the information worksheet. A TurboTax VP has already confirmed on this blog that entering the X on the form does not enter it in either of the other two places. That hierarchy is all a purposeful part of the product design.

And I'm pretty sure that overriding boxes leads to warnings/errors, at least in older versions. I guess I need to play some more.

No warning, no error, and the X isn't even red. Yes, please do figure out what you're talking about.

In two of those cases, the box is labeled and in front of the taxpayer: no sympathy.

Yes, in two of the cases, the box is labeled, in front of the taxpayer, AND UNCHECKED, even when it's been checked on the form, which is totally confusing by any reasonable standard.

In the third case, you are required to suppose that everyone who elected by accident has had their trackpad set to "click when touched," AND/OR managed to affirmatively click the one small part of screen real estate that hits the box: this is unlikely enough to approach unreasonable.

It's an explanation of one possible scenario. Mr. Fearless has just described another. To me, it is far more reasonable than assuming that several hundred Oregonians changed their minds about the kicker donation and are now lying about it.

Only an idiot would say "no" to that question.

Bye.

Mr Fearless has seemingly made another case for not using Windows. [can I close the italics with this? ]

Jack,

Is it really hard to believe that HUNDREDS of Oregonians failed to thoughtfully consider the question "do you want to donate your kicker check to the schools?" UNTIL (8 months later) THEY REALIZED IT WAS NEARLY A THOUSAND DOLLARS?

The abstract affirmative "sure, I'd love to help the schools" is a more tangibly difficult proposition when you see your friends and family members receiving $500+ checks just before the holidays.

I'm not suggesting that TurboTax software is infallible (nor is the DOR's processing of electronic files); rather, it is quite plausible that hundreds (nee thousands) of Oregonians might experience donor's remorse when they relize the kicker was orders of magnitude larger than previous kicker checks.

Please stop shouting.

They're not all lying. The challenge is to come up with a remedy that sorts out the fakers from the honest people who were betrayed by their software.

The faking versus not-faking dividing line remains far too squirrelly for me to see entrusted to folks whom I believe to be financially self-interested criminals. I like a wrap-around argument that does not ask anyone to lie about their present desire to donate a sum that is known today and not known at the time of the X. Perhaps a parallel argument could be made (for argument sake) to the court's effort to avoid "excessive entanglement" in the context of religion (and schools).

Who could rebut the argument that the words children and schools have become words that trigger folks act on it as an act of faith? If someone had 100 bucks on the line and they were willing to spend 10 grand to get it back it would be hard to view that as anything but a battle on a matter of principal, borderline religious zealotry. Likewise, the insistence on the isolation of debate to the nutshell view (extra ordinarily myopic) of the definition of "election" in the context of tax law is equally absurd religious zealotry.

--- step out from the tax law framework for a moment ---

Are you an organ donor? Do you trust the fancy real-time DMV electronics as the best evidence of your intent? Can you (or your survivors) change your (their) mind? A decision can't wait too long . . .

What if you learned that there was private profit to be had in cadavers?

In either case . . . ask what would be the harm from changing one's mind? Suppose that the body part traders tried to assert that an X means an irrevocable election . . . because they have "property interest" in your body? What precise interest is it that the state claims to the donation (of uncertain value at the time of the expression of likely intent to donate)? Is there some reliance interest? If the tax man claims reliance how can this be squared with the lack of knowledge at the time of the X of what the value would be?

In my opinion the refusal to simply ask someone to reaffirm their intent to donate is likened to a blind assertion of power by the state over the individual. It certainly is not an economic type issue as with electing to use the accrual versus cash method of accounting, where it is the filer's self-interest that guides such a decision at the outset and not the state's self interest.

The tax collection system in the US still relies to a large extent on the taxpayer's honesty. (Kind of like Tri-Met's fare system.) This requires a couple of things: (a) a collection process that does not invite fraud, or create extra opportunities for it; and (b) a fairly harsh consequence for those who commit fraud and get caught. The kicker election seems to have failed this year on (a), since there has been a software problem (or perhaps more than just one) that opens the fraud window, and (b) is going to be fairly inoperative since there's not a very good trail of evidence for catching those who may have had a change of heart. But a solution that treats most claimants as a liars is pretty unsatisfactory and goes against the spirit of the whole system.

the Couv writes:

"Mr Fearless has seemingly made another case for not using Windows. [can I close the italics with this? "

That wasn't my intent. I use Macs but I am stuck continuing to use Windows as VM's because the same company (Intuit) refuses to make the Mac version of Quicken file compatible with the Windows version. I'm not about to throw away 15 years' worth of data to use the lightweight version of Quicken for the Mac. I continue to use Quicken for Windows.

I like the Mac better, but it wasn't my intent to start a Mac vs PC war here.

While the default is to answer "No" to the kicker question, if the user checks yes initially and then goes back and amends the election to "uncheck" the box on the interview form, the program forgets to change it in the datafile.

If that is the case, then the people that suffered this problem should file their claim against Intuit/TurboTax under their "100% accuracy guarantee," it isn't the DORs responsibility to fix Intuit's problem.

I could easily cause this to happen in the version shipped on the disk. I didn't update to the current version of the 2006 software.

I thought that the state software didn't come on the disk, that you had to download it.

it isn't the DORs responsibility to fix Intuit's problem.

The precise legal issue for the state taxing authorities is whether the taxpayer made a valid election to donate the kicker. Intuit's "problem," if it has one, would certainly be relevant to that determination.

Jack, are you distinguishing this situation (i.e. unintentional election based on software error) from the tax court case you posted over a week ago (unintentional election based on paid tax preparer error)? I would assume the DOR would disagree with you.

Intuit's "problem," if it has one

Like MrFearless, I think Intuit has more than one problem.

Jack, are you distinguishing this situation (i.e. unintentional election based on software error) from the tax court case you posted over a week ago (unintentional election based on paid tax preparer error)? I would assume the DOR would disagree with you.

Who cares? It's what the Oregon Tax Court (or Supreme Court) will think that counts.

My main complaint here is with the distinction that is being made between e-filers who used TurboTax and TurboTax users who printed out their forms and mailed them in. I'm just not buying the distinction.

With TurboTax I did my and my daughter's taxes and "donated" her refund but not mine. At no time did I elect this option and my biggest complaint is the box is in an obscure place - in upper right where you specfy deceased, extenson,form 24 etc - not to related to donations. The logical place is lines 56-64 which is easy to see.
Since her's was simple, I did not take the interview path - maybe that is the problem.
Since she is in college and owed taxes, there is no way I would have elected this option so somehow it got checked on hers and not on mine.

I’ll try to be as brief as possible, but many issues and suggestions have been raised in this blog that warrant responses. I would like to preface my comments by saying that I truly empathize with those taxpayers who intended to receive the kicker refund instead of contributing it to the school fund. The kicker refund law and the proposed remedies are terrible, and I have expressed these opinions to the OR Dept of Revenue. In all fairness to them, they have been empathetic too, but their hands are tied by the way the law (they carry out the laws, not legislate them). They seem to be looking for wiggle room and there just isn’t much unless legislators jump in to help.

Now as to the issues of the kicker refund (or as some suggest, who to blame)…

Many in this blog have suggested that TurboTax is at fault for marking the kicker refund check box when the user never elected this. We have tested this so extensively by now (and asked our customers to do the same) and in every case, the tax forms accurately reflect and report the election made. It does not matter if you answered the interview question, or marked the information worksheet, or inadvertently marked the box on the form. Whether you electronically or paper filed it does not make any difference either. We tested the kicker refund end-to-end to ensure no process alters the input. Not a single line of the kicker refund code in the TurboTax product changed since August 18, 2006. Subsequent changes to forms/help were made in the TurboTax product during the tax filing season to reflect updates by OR, but these changes have not changed the kicker refund code. Extensive regression testing confirmed this. And I’ll mention this point again since it still comes up… entries made in interview go directly to the tax forms / entries made on the worksheets go directly to the tax forms. For example, when you answer the interview question about kicker refund the actual tax form that gets populated is shown in the lower half of the interview screen assuming you have “show tax forms” selected.

Some now argue that they may have by accident clicked the check box on the unlabelled form. As remote as this may be (because few of our customers ever do data entry on the form itself— 90+% use interview, the rest use the worksheets—and getting to the appropriate check box is difficult), even if they did, our Final Review diagnostics would have flagged this and cautioned you that the election is irrevocable. I don’t know how to attach a screen shot showing this, but the Final Review diagnostic screen says:

___________
"School Kicker Refund Donation (headline in bold)

If you check the box to donate your Oregon income tax kicker refund to the State School Fund, you cannot change your decision for the current tax year."
___________

The same diagnostic appears if you marked the kicker refund box on the information worksheet. The kicker refund election is irrevocable and that’s why we flag it in Final Review (before you file). If you’re wondering why we don’t display this if you complete the interview, it’s because we have it flagged (and called out from the rest of the interview question) on the interview screen for the kicker refund election. So, TurboTax correctly reports the kicker refund election and on top of that, also provides reasonable final review diagnostics that alerts customers to the impact of the elections made.

For those who suggest that TurboTax is at fault because the onscreen and printed forms are different seems to be misdirecting blame. In all cases, the tax forms (printed and onscreen) do reflect the correct elections. There is a reason the onscreen and printed tax forms are different. Several of the OR tax forms (like Forms 40 and 40S) are scannable, which means we MUST reproduce these forms to comply with scanning requirements specified by OR. Scanning requires that we drop many descriptions and frame elements from the form to ensure a high scanning accuracy rate by the Dept of Rev scanning machines. All our forms meet OR specifications and are approved. Additionally, OR does test our electronically filed data files to ensure data specifications are met. These test cases include scenarios with kicker refund elections and all passed.

We encourage everyone to print and review their return prior to electronically or paper filing their return. The same applies for running the Final Review diagnostics. This is just a good practice and is disclosed in the TurboTax product.

With all that said (whew!), let me talk about remedies. The existing procedure outlined by OR applies only to those who electronically filed and can show the printed form without a kicker refund box checked. Well, as far as I’ve been able to determine, I do not know of a single person in this situation. I do, however, know for a fact that some have doctored up the printed form and made the claim. But I’m not aware of any issue with electronically filed returns where they was an inconsistency between the efiled and printed return. So I don’t know why this special exception was allowed, but it is there.

The other reality is some will be reprinting their tax returns (without the check box marked), signing the statement and hoping for a refund. Without getting into the ethics of this, I will say that those who told me they plan to do this feel very strongly that their intention was never to check the box and so this is not an ethics/integrity issue. It simply reflects their honest intentions and they are doing what they believe is right. That is a call each person must do and I’m not passing judgment on this.

I hope this responds adequately to the issues raised on this blog. My apologies in advance if this comes across too defensively. Like many others, I too am weary of the issue and would like to direct more of my energies to working with OR officials to find a better solution to those who are affected. If I have more information that will help you, I will post it here.

Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

Bob Meighan: Can you address the situation that mrfearless47 has said causes TurboTax to check the box even after the user has changed the interview form:

While the default is to answer "No" to the kicker question, if the user checks yes initially and then goes back and amends the election to "uncheck" the box on the interview form, the program forgets to change it in the datafile.

It appears that Bob/Intuit is disclaiming any culpabililty for the kicker confusion.

IF he is correct, then human error and/or poor recollections may constitute a majority of these exceptions.

The only remaining culprit is the DOR.

There is a reason the onscreen and printed tax forms are different. Several of the OR tax forms (like Forms 40 and 40S) are scannable, which means we MUST reproduce these forms to comply with scanning requirements specified by OR. Scanning requires that we drop many descriptions and frame elements from the form to ensure a high scanning accuracy rate by the Dept of Rev scanning machines.

And this is why the paper filers deserve a break from the DOR, just as the e-filers do.

As Meighan has pointed out, e-filers are urged to print out the return and check it over before they e-file. If they didn't, then the election they made should be every bit as binding on them as it is on paper filers. An electronic signature on a tax return is a signature, just as binding as one made in ink on paper.

There is a reason the onscreen and printed tax forms are different. Several of the OR tax forms (like Forms 40 and 40S) are scannable, which means we MUST reproduce these forms to comply with scanning requirements specified by OR.

Actually that is no reason for the on screen to be different than the printed. What is on screen should be the same format as will be printed. (Or should exactly match the state issued paper form, neither of which I think have an unlabeled check box for the kicker.) Is the on screen form that has the unlabeled check box trying to match a DOR specification that is different than the printed one?

And this is why the paper filers deserve a break from the DOR, just as the e-filers do.

As Meighan has pointed out, e-filers are urged to print out the return and check it over before they e-file. If they didn't, then the election they made should be every bit as binding on them as it is on paper filers. An electronic signature on a tax return is a signature, just as binding as one made in ink on paper.

I think that is why Bob was saying that the DOR should not have made the exception for the electronic filers.

In response to Michael... "Can you address the situation that mrfearless47 has said causes TurboTax to check the box even after the user has changed the interview form: While the default is to answer "No" to the kicker question, if the user checks yes initially and then goes back and amends the election to "uncheck" the box on the interview form, the program forgets to change it in the datafile."

We have never seen a single case of this happening. Regardless of how many times you change the kicker election in interview, the proper response is reflected on the tax forms.

Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

There is a reason the onscreen and printed tax forms are different. Several of the OR tax forms (like Forms 40 and 40S) are scannable, which means we MUST reproduce these forms to comply with scanning requirements specified by OR. Scanning requires that we drop many descriptions and frame elements from the form to ensure a high scanning accuracy rate by the Dept of Rev scanning machines.

Bob, I'm not buying that one. Oregon may be telling you what the printed-out form has to look like, but it isn't telling you what has to show up on the screen. In this case, what you put on the screen is not helpful, and it's less than what's on the printed-out form, which Oregon approved. The lack of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) is Intuit's doing, not the DOR's.

Bob:

Did you check in my particular scenario (I doubt it, but I ask because it may be relevant). I'm running the Windows version on a Mac, via a virtual machine. I'm using Windows XP Pro under VMWare's Fusion. I understand that you can't replicate what happened to me running Windows on a Windows machine. I'm just providing more detail on how I caused this to happen when doing some testing of my own.

Bear in mind that I have no dog in this fight. I use a Mac. I use Turbo Tax for the Mac, and I'm anal about checking every box about a dozen times before pushing the "send" button. I would never directly enter anything onto the actual forms. I don't always go through the interview, but I do use the worksheets because I do my taxes in stages over a period of about a month. The state forms are trivial compared to the Federal, but I still check everything and then I had the printed output to my wife to do a sanity check. We'd have never made the mistake others are reporting.

Final question. In doing all your regression testing, what other software do you typically have running on your testbeds. While this seems unlikely, I've written enough software myself and have seen some pretty ugly encounters among different pieces of software to be suspicious that TurboTax itself may not be the problem here, but that TurboTax plus something else may be at the root of this relatively rare issue.

I guess I'm not ready to take Intuit completely off the hook. I do like your strategy of working with DOR to figure out a fair resolution. We've also got a legislative session scheduled in February, so it might be possible for a legislative solution if there is some demonstrable evidence that this isn't *user* error. Good luck in your efforts.

Michael writes and asks:

"I could easily cause this to happen in the version shipped on the disk. I didn't update to the current version of the 2006 software.

I thought that the state software didn't come on the disk, that you had to download it."

I'm sorry. I wasn't clear. I used the Windows version of TurboTax that came on the same disk as the Mac version of TurboTax. The state version was downloaded automatically, so I presume that I was using a later version of the State. But, I deliberately stopped the TT engine from updating TT itself so that I would have it in its out-of-box form. I didn't make that clear. Hope this clarifies.

mrfearless47... I have a Mac on my desktop and have tried duplicating what you described today with the exception that I'm running Parallels with Windows XP. I get the same results as I do running on a PC. I'll get someone to test on Fusion. However, this would be so incredible surprising if we would see a different behavior.

We test on many different configurations with many different applications installed. We also use an outside testing firm that does hundreds of different scenarios. While they have not specifically tested the Kicker Refund, we have not seen any compatibility issues in all other tests.

Bob Meighan
VP, TurboTax

Bob:

I shut down everything running in OS X that could be shut down without closing out the whole OS X. I've restarted Fusion and can no longer replicate the error. I have quite a number of applications running at boot time - an antivirus software(Intego), VersionTracker, Crashplan, Earthdesk, Missing Sync for Blackberry, iSeek, Google Mail Notifier, Savvy Clipboard, Spotlight, Google Desktop (that's off the top of my head). None of these are particularly common to the people running Windows on a Windows machine, but the idea that shutting down all these applications makes the problem go away suggests that there might be a common theme to some of the reported cases, obscure though it might seem.

I only report what I've been able to ascertain from my own experiences. I have no vested interest in the outcome, and you've been very upfront with people here. I have no idea whether this problem is real, is "donor's remorse", or some combination of the two. I'm going to bow out of this discussion for now as I've contributed what I can to the resolution of the problem.

It seems to me that the ultimate resolution might be at the legislative level. The DOR doesn't have the power to unilaterally change the "irrevocability clause" in the statutes. Perhaps the appropriate avenue would be to the taxwriting group in the legislature.

Best regards.

Disclaimer: I own Intuit stock.

The DOR doesn't have the power to unilaterally change the "irrevocability clause" in the statutes.

Neither for paper filers nor for e-filers... but they surely seem to be doing so for the latter group.

Bob:

Since you have not responded to the post I made in the Intuit Live Community discussion board a week or so ago, I figured I would repost my observations here in the hope that you could provide some feedback.

You state that both the interview and the Information worksheet "flow directly" into Form 40. This appears inconsistent with the program's behavior and, in particular, with what seems to be occurring in the "My Tax Data" screen in my version of TurboTax Deluxe 2006 for Mac. (I should add that I'm not using any emulation software, just regular old OS X running on a Mac.) Here's what I see when I've got "My Tax Data" open:

Scenario 1 (Interview method, check box value stored in one location): Using the interview method, click on the "yes" button on the kicker screen. A "Kicker Box" value appears in the Form 40 table in "My Tax Data" (or "MTD" for short). An X appears on the displayed Form 40 at the bottom of the interview screen and the donate kicker box is checked when the return is printed out.

Scenario 2 (Form method, check value stored in one location): Using the form method, click the donate kicker box in the information worksheet. A "Kicker Box" value appears in the Information Worksheet table (but not the Form 40 table) in MTD. An X appears on the displayed Form 40 and the donate kicker box is checked when the return is printed out.

Now, here's the interesting part:

Scenario 3 (Value substitution; check box value stored in one location): Using interview method, click "yes" button. "Kicker box" value appears in Form 40 table in MTD. Then, switch to information worksheet and click kicker donation box. "Kicker box" value REMOVED from Form 40 table in MTD, and ADDED to information worksheet table. An X appears on the displayed Form 40 and the donate kicker box is checked when the return is printed out.

Scenario 4 (No Value substitution; check box value stored in two locations): Using form method, click donate kicker box on information worksheet. "Kicker box" value appears in information worksheet table in MTD. Then, switch to interview and click "yes" button on kicker page. "Kicker box" value appears from Form 40 table in MTD, but also REMAINS in information worksheet table. An X appears on the displayed Form 40 and the donate kicker box is checked when the return is printed out.

Scenario 5 (No value substitution; check box value stored in one location): Using form method, click donate kicker box on information worksheet. "Kicker box" value appears in information worksheet table in MTD. An X appears on the displayed Form 40. Then, switch to interview and click "NO" button on kicker page. "Kicker box" value REMAINS in information worksheet table in MTD, but X is REMOVED from displayed Form 40. X does not (re)appear on displayed Form 40 during remainder of interview. However, donate kicker box is checked when the return is printed out.

So, in at least one of the above scenarios, the user can select the default "No" answer in the interview, not see any "X" on the displayed Form 40, only to have the program subsequently check the box contrary to the user's actual election. And, while I will go back and confirm this, the Final Review diagnostic did not catch the discrepancy or display a warning screen.

The results observed in Scenario 5 were not a one-time occurrence. Rather, I have been able to replicate the results and invite others to confirm whether they can do the same.

I have a REALLY hard time believing what VP Bob is saying about their extensive testing. If what he says were true, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all. My own experience with TurboTax on my PC, where there is nothing special about the setup, yields different results (both when I filed last year and with subsequent testing I've done recently). I said "NO" to "Donate Kicker?" during the interview and there was an "X" in that box on my printed form, which I paper-filed. Simple as that. No, I didn't review the form thoroughly enough. Didn't think I'd have to.

My last glimmer of hope of getting my kicker comes from reading this on the DOR's FAQs:
"8. Are you going to go back and check the validity of the claims?
We may. "
If they compare the form recently submitted with my "intention" statement with the actual form I filed, I guess I won't get my kicker. If they don't do that, I guess I will. I'm completely fine with the ETHICS of the claim I submitted because I HONESTLY stated my INTENTION, which was NOT TO DONATE.

By the way, the distinction they're making between e-filers and paper filers is ridiculous. All who got screwed here should at least be treated the same during the "remedy process".

It appears that this will be a TurboTax and Oregon State Dept of Revenue issue.

I paper-filed my Oregon State Income Tax but I did NOT check the box on the Turbo Tax Oregon Information Worksheet Part VI--Other Information for the statement, "Donate any kicker refund to the State School Fund."

However, when the Oregon State Tax Form 40 was "Auto-Filled" by the Turbo Tax Software application, it filled in under the heading, "FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY (X) DONATE KICKER"

i.e. The TurboTax software application made an error by incorrectly filling in an (X) on the tax form. I did NOT make that selection and the form did not allow me to uncheck anything in printing because the final print is "FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY."

How would you suggest getting TurboTax to admit the error and work with the State of Oregon to correct the error?

Before I submitted my return electronically, I printed out a copy to review. I focused my inspection on the actual numbers that had been entered on the form and did not pay attention to the box that was labeled “FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY”. The placement of the DONATE KICKER box within this “FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY” box , where it was not likely to be reviewed, made detection of the error highly unlikely. When I received my “Notice of Refund Donation”, I reviewed my return to see if it indicated an intent to donate the kicker; I had to read over the return three times to locate the DONATE KICKER box. Within the “FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY” box, the DONATE KICKER box was placed below such disparate check boxes as “DECEASED”, “EXTENSION FILED”, “FORM 8886 FILED”, and “FORM 24 FILED”. The logical place for this information would have been line 64, immediately below the lines that address the donation of refunded amounts. Was this placement (at the top of the front page in the “FOR COMPUTER USE ONLY” box) intentional in order to trick people into making the donation? I believe that if the DONATE KICKER box had been placed in its appropriate location, I would not have missed the error when I reviewed my return and consequently would not have lost my kicker refund. The same is true of my partner’s return; even though he submitted his return via the mail, and not electronically, I believe he should also receive his kicker refund.

Also, if there was no problem with the software or system, why did so many people complain that they had not intended to donate their kicker to the State School Fund? Did a similar number also complain when the last kicker was distributed? I submit that if thousands of people complained, there was an error somewhere in the system.

Has anyone consulted an attorney about representing those who feel we should have received the kicker? If every one
"kicked in" a hundred bucks or so, we could afford to have someone make a case.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 382
At this date last year: 241
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics