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Tom Daschle is "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" over his failure to originally pay more than $120,000 in taxes.
Tim Geithner was rightfully raked over the coals last month, when the eventual Treasury Secretary owned up to underpaying his own taxes.
These tax-filing specialists are already gearing up for their busiest season, as citizens ready their 2008 tax returns. Daschle and Geithner's public missteps seem perfectly timed to prod even more potentially lax filers into getting right with the IRS.
This would normally be great news for accounting software makers, too. H&R Block's TaxCut, Intuit's (Nasdaq: INTU ) TurboTax, and 2nd Story's TaxACT are popular programs this time of year. Over on Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) , five of the six best-selling software programs right now are tax-preparation titles. The lone standout on the list is Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Office suite, though one can always argue that the public has spreadsheets on its mind.
But in this case, Geithner did use TurboTax in filing his flawed return. He takes full responsibility for the mistake, and Intuit was quick to defend its program and error-checking safeguards, but that's just the kind of situation that may nudge taxpayers to head out to their local Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block office, even after preparing returns with a software program or for free online.
The question now: Which company will first be bold enough to play off Daschle and Geithner's tax stumbles in its marketing?
April is now just two months away. Let the clever ads begin.