I noticed that the tag was added to the following question:

Filling form 8889 Part I and form 1040 line 25

Although the question mentions the use of the Free File Fillable Forms site, it is not really about the site; it is about the HSA and the 8889 form, and could be asked by anyone filling out their taxes by any method.

When should this tag be used?

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One member added this tag yesterday, as I saw many old posts come to the top of the list, due to the edit required.

I agree with your observation. The tag should be used when the form itself is part of the question. Similar, I believe, to when a member is asking a tax question, and happens to use TurboTax, vs the member who has a question that's about using the software itself, i.e. the question only applies to the TurboTax user.

I'd think we should remove the tag from the question you cited.

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In my opinion, tags should only be used when the question depends on them. For this tag in particular, I think we should only use it for questions that are about the use of the Free File Fillable Forms site specifically.

For this question, since the exact same question could be asked by any American filing their taxes using any method, I don't think the tag should be applied.

This is consistent with how we use other tags, such as state tags or software tags.

I think it is good when a question asker gives lots of details about his or her situation; the asker doesn't know which details are important for the answer. However, when it comes to tagging, after the answer is known, if it is found that a particular tag is not necessary for a question, it can be removed. The details should still be left in the question text, however, to allow for the possibility that it is realized in the future that the detail is really important.

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  • Having said all that, I would like to say thanks to @PeterCooperJr. for bumping that question. I like to answer the HSA questions, and somehow I missed that one when it was asked 2 years ago. :) – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Apr 26 '17 at 13:08

Wow, I guess need to go check Meta here occasionally.

Yes, I added the tag to several posts, as I saw that there were several questions about it and it seemed analogous to the tag and the like.

For the referenced question in particular, I interpreted the question as confusion over why the form software calculated a value in a particular way. That is, I first read it as a question as much about the use of the software as about the tax form itself.

I agree with the general principle that software-specific tagging should be limited to questions about the use of particular software. This does lead to the problem (not unique to this site) that sometimes one doesn't know whether the issue is related to the software or not until after one has the question answered. That is, many questions can be "Am I using the software wrong (clicking the wrong button for the thing I want), or are my inputs wrong (the software isn't really the issue at all), or is the software buggy (rare but not unheard of)?" And it's hard to know which is the case ahead of time, so one might be inclined to tag it with the software specifically just in case it is a problem with the software itself.

I can see how once the answer is known, it can be helpful to remove tags that are superfluous, particularly if the tag isn't likely to help future people looking for the same issue. And this question was a borderline case, and perhaps it wasn't needed here. But I think that it could have been useful, and a reasonable thing to have done before the answer was known.

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