Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Reminder that Intuit is an insidious company:

https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-turbotax-20-year-f...




What are the best Mailchimp alternatives for those who do not want to support Intuit in the future?


Not sure about the best, but this seems to be the field depending on what your needs are...

  Active Campaign
  Boomtrain
  Campaign Monitor 
  Cordial
  Amazon SES 
  Eloqua
  Emma
  Experian Cheetahmail
  Exact Target
  Hubspot
  Maropost
  OneSignal
  PostUp
  Responsys
  Sailthru 
  SeconStreet
  Sendgrid
  SparkPost


Good list, although some still feel like the 2000's. I would add Mailerlite and Mailersend and if you have a few bucks to spare Mailercheck. With this suite your email communication will be tip top They have a simple UI that feels like fresh air among mostly busy screens.


FYI: Second Street, PostUp, and Adestra are all owned by one company (Upland Software [UPLD]).


SendGrid is owned by Twilio btw


Sendy


Exact Target has been Salesforce Marketing Cloud since 2014.


PostMarkApp?


Something like Braze (or many competitors) will do all sorts of messaging.

It really depends on your business... variables like do you just want to do email, or do you want to message in app or on website too? Selling physical goods? There are a million ways to do app or marketing automation comms.


Lots of recommendations in this thread but not many descriptions about what the commenters like about their choice. Is it price? Usability? Deliverability?


Klaviyo is ok, way cheaper than braze


Another option, for Mac users: Direct Mail (https://directmailmac.com). Disclosure: I work there.


Mailerlite is good and way cheaper (p.s i do work for the parent company)


Mailgun


And since they already screwed all their free users and early adopters you don't have to worry about it happening again (for a while).


I tried them a few years ago, everything was great except the email servers in the free tier had terrible reputation and most of what I sent was rejected by the receiving side.

I guess that's to be expected, free tiers of any email services are going to be horribly abused. Hopefully the paid service is better.


Postmark


Sparkpost


So is Mailchimp. PITA to figure out blocking rules for their spam.


Does anyone not know that by now?


Most people think of Intuit as the company that helps them to deal with government bullshit and they are happy to pay for that.

The average consumer doesn't know that Intuit has a gross business model that is entirely based on the idea of deliberately keeping bureaucracy alive. They think the exact opposite.

They believe Intuit is giving them a solution to deal with the government's outdated and overly-complex tax filing system. And unsurpisingly the government has no issues with being the escape goat on this one, because the way you pay your taxes will never be as politically contentious as determining who gets to pay taxes and how much they pay.


Anyone else still waiting on their 2020 refund?


And yet I don't see any real backlash against Grover Norquist's "no new taxes" pledge being applied to "making filing easier / automatic" - which is in my mind a prerequisite to any real improvement on the filing process since essentially half of the government at any given time has only been allowed to be elected because they promised not to improve things.


You still hear people saying "if you're not paying for the service, you're the product" as if they're enlightening people, so <shrug>.


IIRC from the last time I read it, the article only provides evidence for Intuit not wanting taxpayers (including themselves) to fund a competitor to their product, which is very reasonable.

I also don't want the government to get in the business of writing tax software.


> I also don't want the government to get in the business of writing tax software.

Filing taxes in the rest of the developed world is essentially a one-click process, because every tax authority in the rest of the developed world already have all the information necessary to create such software (and so does the IRS).

This is a problem entirely caused by lobbying efforts. It literally does not exist for the rest of the developed world. Why insist on having it worse than everyone else, for the sole gain of the likes of Intuit? It's baffling to say the least.


>Filing taxes in the rest of the developed world is essentially a one-click process

I'm a little fed up of this canard. No. This is not the case. I've lived in the UK and had to do self assessment filing. It was not "essentially a one-click process". I have lived in Japan and filed taxes there. It was also not "essentially a one-click process".

>have all the information necessary to create such software (and so does the IRS)

No, it does not. A significant chunk of social programs are run in the US via the tax system (primarily through the forms of various credits) and are dependent on facts that the IRS does not know.


The proposals aren't that you have to use a 1 click process, just that it's the default starting point. People will of course need the ability to add deductions and other information if they so choose. But for someone who just needs to fill out a normal return with information that the IRS already has, and is already using to verify that return, why on earth shouldn't we just make that automatic?

It's a massive waste of time to require millions of people needlessly fill out forms that the IRS already fills out on their end! It's a manufactured problem to benefit a scummy company.


>I'm a little fed up of this canard. No. This is not the case. I've lived in the UK and had to do self assessment filing. It was not "essentially a one-click process". I have lived in Japan and filed taxes there. It was also not "essentially a one-click process".

On the other hand, where I live in Sweden the process is essentially one-click, and there are several other countries in Europe where the same is true. No idea why U.K would still be bad, but I can see Japan being bad given their stamps on paper-culture. Pity.

>No, it does not. A significant chunk of social programs are run in the US via the tax system (primarily through the forms of various credits) and are dependent on facts that the IRS does not know.

Is information from these social programs a necessity for filing taxes? If so, the fix is simple: have them report these numbers into the IRS. Otherwise, have a base case of 0 and allow this information to be added as needed.


>Is information from these social programs a necessity for filing taxes? If so, the fix is simple: have them report these numbers into the IRS.

You misunderstand. The IRS implements the social program via the tax system.

For example, most European countries operate some kind of universal child benefit for parents. So maybe parents can receive a weekly payment of some kind.

In the U.S. this program does not exist. Instead, there is a refundable tax credit (the Child Tax Credit). When you file your taxes, you tell the IRS how many children you have, how old they are and so on and if your taxes are low enough that the credit offsets your taxes, the IRS sends you a check for the difference.

Similarly, many European countries have some form of government income support for low earners; again typically paid by some social security agency.

Although there is a program called TANF that does this for the most needy, the majority of benefits are delivered through another refundable tax credit (the Earned Income Tax Credit). Again you end up sending the IRS all the data necessary about why you qualify for this social program and maybe you get a check back at the end.

Basically, a significant amount of the transfer payments for social programs in the U.S. are implemented directly in the tax code, so the "tax filings" that people have to make combine both income information as well as qualifications for social benefits.


Those kids have social security numbers that the IRS definitely has, and social programs are based on income, which is reported to the IRS.

If it wasn't possible, Intuit wouldn't bother lobbying.


Probably depends on the filer's situation.


I am always baffled by the augment of "well the rest of the developed world does X"

Seems to strike me as a lesson I learned when I was young.. "Well if your friends all jumped off the bridge would you?"

Simply because other nations do X, is not IMO a valid justification for X...


Except that in American political culture it’s extremely common to argue that such and such thing is either impossible or will introduce a parade or horrible consequences. Those that make this argument depend on voters being ignorant of the existence of other countries that have successfully done that thing or not experienced those consequences or, when those examples are cited, rush to American exceptionalism or other baseless appeals to distinguish them.


Or we recognize the fact that the United States has a system of government that is Unique in the world, we also have a culture and demographic that is Unique, as such many of the policies that would apply to say a EU nation can not work the same in the US for a wide range of issues from constitutional limitations, to cultural ones...

The rush to make the United States in to a EU nation should be opposed IMO, if I wanted the laws and regulations of the EU I would move.. I have no desire to be subject to the rules of the EU nor do I look to the EU for guidance of how things "should be done"...


Jumping off a cliff is obviously bad because of what happens when you hit the ground at the bottom. One click taxes seem a bit different.


It is more along the lines of "all your friends can excuse themselves to use the bathroom, why do you keep pissing yourself?"


While appeal to consensus is a common logical fallacy, we can make stronger arguments to support government tax software. Tax preparation is 100% deadweight in an economic sense. Nothing useful is created in that time, and yet billions of hours are spent on it each year in the United States. Streamlining the collection of tax revenue seems to be in the best interest of the state and the people, even if a very small minority will be harmed in the process. The additional product of those billions of hours of work time per year would pay enough dividend to cover the development cost virtually overnight.


I am not saying I disagree, personally I think they tax code should be extremely simplified so the need for software is not needed. One should not need an accounting degree or depend on the IRS to figure out what you owe in the first place

The tax code should be simplified to where a person with a High School education can understand it, and process what they should owe the IRS.

however that is not the argument. the argument was "Well the EU does it so American should too" I find that argument to be very lacking


The answer to if your friends all jumped off the bridge would you? is obviously yes, my friends aren't idiots and they haven't all lost their mind at the same exact time.


I'm not saying you should do it because of the fact that the rest of the world does it - this is merely evidence of its feasability.

You should do it because the alternative is downright dumb. That is to say, what you are doing right now is downright dumb.


If all my friends jumped off a bridge they must've had a really good reason to, so yes I might as well.

Same logic applies here. Just maybe, if everyone does it, we should consider it too.


If the government is in the business of collecting tax from 300+ million people and has power to punish these people if they don't, government already is in the business of writing tax software.


I find it very unlikely the IRS is not already writing tax software. They would need fairly sophisticated in-house software to evaluate returns, so it would just be the creation a new UI to be tax-payer facing. I would imagine all the required logic is already coded.


I know at the least they seem to entirely outsource their Free File Fillable Forms to Intuit:

Search this page for Intuit https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/static/fed_terms_of_se...

And here's where you search for xml error codes when your return gets rejected.

https://www.irs.gov/filing/individuals/free-file-fillable-fo...

This thread a replier expresses first hand knowledge of doing government software development contracted out to their company: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28003793


"Very reasonable" if you're prioritizing Intuit's profits above the interests of every U.S. taxpayer; Unreasonable if those priorities are reversed.


.. because they lobby to keep taxes complicated?

I'm not saying they don't, but don't you think the tax code is complicated because politicians have to be doing something, and they get donations by adding special provisions for their donors?

A prerequisite to a simple tax system would be a rate so low that (1) no deductions are necessary, and (2) it's not worth making any special effort to avoid the tax or to cheat.

On (1), that's right: no child deduction, no mortgage deduction, no charitable deduction, no state & local tax deduction, no nothing. Just pay 15% of your income, period, full stop. And TurboTax got no further reason to live.


> .. because they lobby to keep taxes complicated?

No, because they lobby to keep filing taxes complicated. Yes, taxes most likely will always be complicated, but if there's no artificial barriers to filing (like in most of the rest of the developed world), there can be real competition in the tax-solutions-software space and most likely there'll also be acceptable open-source solutions that can be used for free.


OK, fair point.




Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: