Known bug:'s Tango cannot actually e-file my taxes!

April 2, 2007

UPDATE 4/11/2007: Rita and Sarah of the Tango team responded to this post down in the comments. Looks like they’re working on the problems and hopefully will have everything good to go by next year. Thanks for following up 🙂 I’ve posted a follow up as well.

Now this is unbelievable. H&R Block, one of the largest retail tax filers in the country I’m sure, released a product called Tango this year. It’s supposed to be an online e-file web application except for one thing: there’s a known issue where the program can’t actually e-file. The workaround? Print out the tax return and mail it in.


While using the app, I could definitely tell it had quite a few bugs, but I figured it’s a new product, whatever, I’m not here to evaluate the UI, I’m here to file my taxes. Except it can’t actually file my taxes either. That’s a pretty major bug in my opinion – when the only feature that matters is broken.

For anyone else who’s tried Tango or is thinking about trying it, let me fill you in on what you’re going to run into:'s Tango sucks

Above is a screenshot of what will happen after you spend about an hour wrestling with the insanely slow and bad UI they built in Flex. That’s right, the IRS will reject your tax return because you need to fill in some info about dependents – which I don’t have.

While we’re on the topic of bugs, the second biggest one is performance. I know what you’re thinking: it’s just a tax program. However, when it takes minutes to fill in text input boxes and save the data (equivalent to a simple HTML form), something is seriously broken. If you’re using Tango, you better get used to seeing this screen:'s Tango sucks

Since you’ll probably be staring at it more than 50% of the time you’re using the program. What is the program saving exactly? I’m just clicking the navigation!

Hey QA team, here are a few more for you to file:

  1. If you specify ‘S’ or ‘L’ for short term or long term cap gains in the “Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds” section in the Income tab, Tango will flag it as an error – even though that’s what you need to do.
  2. A bunch of the “Learn More” buttons actually just show a yellow box that says to click on the general purpose “Help” icon on the right – both of which give no info.
  3. Quite a few of the “Help” content sections are actually blank. You’ve even got the accordion style control, but when you expand it, there’s nothing there.

Wow. Quite poor if you ask me.

They even have a blog; except that they seem to have a duplicate entry in there called “Ba dum, Ching: Rhythm and Meter in Language” (duplicate here). Maybe I’ll get some blog love? Help Rita! My Tango experience is terrible! 😦 

Last thing: I call up the customer support where the guy tells me all these are known issues. And I say, “ok, can I have a refund at least?” and he says, “Yeah, I’ll put your refund request into a queue. We’ll get back to you.”



20 Responses to “Known bug:'s Tango cannot actually e-file my taxes!”

  1. hollyster Says:

    I love their workaround for not being able to e-file taxes… hahah

  2. erin Says:

    mark – why aren’t you using turbo tax?!?! c’mon now….

  3. markjen Says:

    I know, I know. Silly me, trying out new products 🙂

  4. lisa Says:

    this is poorly worded or I’m just missing something. You can’t efile because the irs requires information you don’t have. isn’t that your problem not hrblocks?

  5. markjen Says:

    Hi Lisa – I don’t have any dependents. There’s a bug in the program that makes it think I have dependents and then submits the wrong data to the IRS. The IRS then rejects my tax return and I can’t fix it.

    I contacted their support and we wasted about an hour going over everything. Then the customer service rep helping me found out that this is a bug in the software and there’s no fix for it.

  6. […] tipped me off yesterday that I Google had indexed my blog post about H&R Block’s Tango e-file tax web app (or rather, lack of e-file web app I should say ). Check out the Google search for “Tango […]

  7. Rita Says:

    Hello? Mark? Is someone calling me? Seriously?

    Me? I feel like Batman.

    I am so sorry you had a bad experience with Tango. Also, I’m embarrassed that my blog post was up twice. But I’m more sorry you had a bad experience with Tango. Be it known, though, that you have been heard. I talked to someone this morning who remembers working on your case, and I know as of now several people are looking further into your complaints.

    It’s our extreme wish that we never cause anyone to bang their head against the monitor in frustration, and it sounds like that’s exactly what you did. While it’s hard to be on the receiving end of a post like this, if that was your experience, then we’re glad to at least know about it so that we can improve our products. Thanks for sharing. And don’t give up on H&R Block. We’re quite nice once you get to know us.

  8. markjen Says:

    Hey Rita! You found me eventually 🙂

    Thanks for responding; looks like you guys are on the right path with the Tango blog and all. Do let me know if you guys get to the bottom of the issue I ran into; hopefully you’ll be all ready for Tax season 2007 😉

  9. Andy Says:

    … just finished my taxes, can’t file . I may be a beta-junkie, but who would have thought that a major corporation would release a product that, when used correctly, could result in you being sued by the government?

  10. Rita Says:

    Calling all beta-junkies – we could use all the feedback you can give us. It’s more helpful if you can be specific about your issue, though – Mark was uber-specific with all those screenshots, and that *is* helpful. Getting feedback through usability and customer contacts is how we continue to identify areas for improvement.

    Andy, if you have Tango problems, please contact us. My e-mail is on this, even though I recognize the foolishness of that move. Hopefully you aren’t interested in selling me an island off the coast of Florida.

    You can also contact our service center from within the product by clicking on the Contact Us icon on the right side of the screen. You can call, e-mail or chat from there. It’s free!

  11. Rita Says:

    And Mark, please tell me you’ll be back for TS08. C’mon, now.

  12. […] got some great comments back from Rita and Sarah over at H&R Block on my previous post now. So, it […]

  13. markjen Says:

    Thanks for responding Sarah and Rita. I’ve posted a follow up on this post and hopefully everything will be all ironed out by next year! Good luck 🙂

  14. david capino Says:

    i too got pwn3d by Tango Tax….
    work around for e-file magic….. snail-file it…..
    alas…. off to the post office….


  15. remo Says:

    tango is still a piece of crap. I could not re-import my last years return. I have sent feedbacks/emails…no one is even bothered to respond. Seriously, some people just like to waste other’s time.

  16. Bev Says:

    At the last minute choosing tax software – is it the thrill of the last minute, the masochism of the pressure, or just plain stupidity?

    Anyway, Tango looked good – but the comments here have given me pause for thought.

    Has anyone who tried it this year (2008 for 2007 tax year) LIKED it?

    Is TurboTax best?

    – The Great Procrastinator

  17. remo Says:

    update: TaxSlayer had everything I was looking for.

  18. JarJar Says:

    Tango is (was) a nice idea in theory but competed with H&R Block’s online products… Block officially pulled the plug for Tango, Oct. 2008

  19. Michele Says:

    LOL, they sure “knocked our socks off” huh?? I really loved the Tango UI too…and was looking forward to it again. H&R block made a huge mistake pulling it. I’m going to Turbo Tax!

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