If you still haven’t filed your taxes (tax day is April 18th!), MSCHF’s free dating simulator that’s launching soon might be able to help. The art collective’s latest stunt is Tax Heaven 3000, a “visual novel dating game that actually prepares your 2022 US federal tax return,” according to the game’s now-removed Steam page (and I’ll talk more about removal in a second).
The game’s description, which seems to be written from the point of view of the game’s anime waifu, Iris, is largely a rant against the infuriatingly complex tax filing process in the US, and Tax Heaven 3000 seems like it could make the process easier. When I used to use TurboTax, the experience was largely just answering a series of questions about my finances. Preparing taxes could be a lot more fun in the context of a dating sim, which is usually also about answering a series of questions.
MSCHF says that Tax Heaven 3000 is “suitable for single filers without dependents,” so depending on your situation, it may not be a fit for what you need. It strongly cautions that “if you prepare your taxes in the game, you prepare your taxes in real life,” so if you do actually prepare your taxes using the game, make sure you’re using your real financial information. And you’ll still have to find a way to do your state taxes. The game only prepares your federal taxes, MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg tells The Verge.
Just to be clear: we haven’t tried Tax Heaven 3000, so we can’t vouch for the quality of the game or its ability to prepare your taxes. Use at your own risk.
Sometime on Wednesday, however, Tax Heaven 3000 was removed from Steam, and in an update to the game’s store page, MSCHF claimed that Steam was “deplatforming” the game. In an email, Greenberg tells The Verge that the game went through Steam’s “standard verification process” and was set to launch on April 4th, but “out of nowhere it was de-verified and removed from the platform without explanation.” We’ve asked Valve for comment.
MSCHF still plans to launch Tax Heaven 3000 on April 4th on itch.io or as a free direct download, according to Greenberg. In the meantime, you can see more about Tax Heaven 3000 and its collector’s edition (which comes with a software box, disk, and naturally, an Iris body pillow) on the game’s dedicated website.
Update March 22nd, 6:11PM ET: Tax Heaven 3000 is no longer on Steam.
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