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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Tax Heaven 3000 Should Be How Tax Prep Is Done... or Eliminate Tax Prep Altogether

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I admire the thought that went behind it and want it to be real.

Millions of people have recently learned about the existence of Tax Heaven 3000, a United States income tax return preparation software dressed as a dating simulation developed by MSCHF Product Studios Inc. It... was on the Steam platform, but has now been removed. You can still try to access it from its website, The output, according to the terms of service, is an unreviewed and unmailed self-prepared paper federal tax return for the 2022 tax year that is not comprehensive of all possibilities, and assumes you are a single-filer without dependents. State taxes are not included.

Tax Heaven 3000 Iris social security number SSN 021-83-9566
I have seen many people remark not to trust an anime girl with your social security number.
...You can still put a fake one in and revise it later on the printed paper copy.
But why do you trust Intuit with your social security number over Iris?

For its part, MSCHF describes itself as “an art collective that engages art, fashion, tech, and capitalism. The collective subverts mass/popular culture and corporate operations as tools for critique and intervention. MSCHF, as a practice and as an entity, manifests the ambition for creative work / a creative entity to wield real tangible power (in culture; On the world stage; As measured against the cultural power held by world-straddling companies, celebrities, and media entities).” In non-pretentious language, they like to make fun of things that capitalist societies take as normal when they should be viewed more critically, such as when tax preparation software developer Intuit lobbies the government and anti-tax crusaders to keep American citizens frustrated with doing taxes, when completing it COULD be easy AND free and already calculated for you, since the government already knows that information anyway due to employer-provided information throughout the year.

I like the thought that went behind making Tax Heaven 3000, which is supposed to release on March 30, 2023 for free, though there is a collector's edition that apparently includes a body pillow. (Tax Day is April 18, 2023...) And there is an antagonistic character named Turbo who is into confusion and corporate lobbying. Unlike Iris, who appears to be a wonderful girl.

Tax Heaven 3000 Iris character biography income taxes likes tortoises stationary caffeinated drinks reading
I like Iris's hair, and best of all, she likes tortoises. Does Intuit like tortoises? I doubt it.

Why shouldn't tax software be fun and interesting? That mindset should also apply to various other stuffy, dull industries. Like insurance and accounting. If Tax Heaven 3000 was produced by a reputable company that tried to be comprehensive and wasn't just doing it for a bit, that could be a very interesting shake-up. Game developers are doing this for education purposes. People pay more attention and are more engaged when something is presented in interactive and playful forms than when it's so serious. That said, if your goal is to fill out your tax return as fast as possible, then the dating sim stuff will serve to slow you down. And this means that the developers will have to create a new scenario every year (to go with new revisions in the federal income tax code), because you probably won't want to replay the exact same story with Iris every time.

Alternatively, abolish the federal income tax altogether and replace it with a national sales tax. Look forward to KoopaTV's article in April about that. Or go read about it in our previous Tax Day articles in other years. I'm quite passionate and outspoken on this issue, so writing about a videogame that is about this topic seems pretty fitting as KoopaTV article material.

KoopaTV isn't recommending you use Tax Heaven 3000 as your tax preparation software, but he is recommending that you pay attention to critiques of the current income tax system in the United States. If millions of people now accept how broken it is, then MSCHF has done a good thing by putting attention to the topic, even if their policy prescription probably isn't the same one that Ludwig would choose.

Back in 2017, Ludwig rejected the idea that a gamified tax preparation software could be fun.
Let's talk about the national sales tax!


  1. This entire thing is hilarious. I love it actually.

    1. At the moment I'm most curious about whose SSN that is in the screenshot.

  2. This is very creative, it would be fun to see more approaches like this for other mundane things. Edutainment games don't have to be bad, or at the very least they don't have to be bland. This does however raise the question, why is it when companies make video games or video games are made from non-traditional things it always seems to fall under the dating sim genre? Are they easier to make? KFC made one a couple years ago, to similar fanfare.

    1. Dating sims are easier to make, which is important because KFC and MSCHF don't have a wealth of videogame development experience to draw from.


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