There are 10+ different organizations that have to give me some kind of tax form so that I can file my taxes. I'm really happy that they are now all electronic. It is much easier to download them off the organization's website than to get them in the mail.
However, if these organizations are going to generate a PDF, can't they also generate a .irs file? A .irs file is an imaginary XML format that I wish existed. It would include all the data from the PDF but in a parsable format. I could take all the .irs files put them on a USB stick and hand it to my tax preparer or feed them into TurboTax.
I know it wouldn't completely automate tax preparation, but imagine how much easier tax prep would be if this existed? I wouldn't have to suffer though watching my tax preparer slowly retyping things (Why am I paying him to do that?). Tax prep software would take each file and, possibly with a little human help, know where to apply the numbers.
I can't be the first to have thought of this.
Why doesn't it exist?