It’s tax season, in case you didn’t know. Today, most people do their taxes online, via some preparation software or via a third-party service that invariably uses custom software, or some electronic filing system down the line. to get the actual data to the IRS.
30 years ago, however, it was a different story. Electronic filing and processing of returns was a very new thing. In one episode of Computer Chronicles, a news segment at the end of the program stated that the IRS was now accepting returns filed electronically.
This episode, however, is dedicated to tax preparation software proper, and features various companies and their software, each program behaving somewhat different from the other, but all designed to, in the end, help people get their taxes done.
Now, I don’t know too many details on United States Federal Tax Codes during this time period, so I can’t comment on the software beyond what is explained and demonstrated in the video. There really isn’t anything to say, honestly, since it is just old boring tax software, but what good are computers without practical applications and usages? Tax calculations seem to be the perfect demonstration of just how useful these machines could be to someone.
Remember, in 1987 computers were still quite new to most people.