I played the anime dating sim that does your taxes for you

Yes, there is an anime dating sim that does your taxes, and it actually works.

Tax Heaven 3000 is a game produced by MSCHF, the venture-funded creative studio behind projects like Push Party, the Lil Nas X blood shoes, the big red Astro Boy boots and Dead Startup Toys. Basically, they just make a bunch of absurd ideas into reality, which is perhaps the most noble possible use of VC money.

In Tax Heaven 3000 (or TH3K, for those initiated), you have just moved to a new town, and you don’t know anyone. You need to buy a pencil to fill out some forms for your new lease, but — oh no! You’ve bumped into a pink-haired anime girl named Iris! You hit it off, despite the fact that she immediately asked you if you’re a U.S. resident, which your character describes as a “weirdly nationalist” first impression. You meet up for coffee later, where she asks you more about yourself, like whether you’re filing taxes single or jointly, your employment situation, your phone number and if you’ve invested in crypto (if that’s the case, she abruptly leaves and the game ends).

Your romantic love story with Iris (get it, like IRS?) continues similarly throughout the game — while getting to know you, she asks you further questions, like what your address is and whether you have dependents (TH3K only works for single people without dependents, because Iris doesn’t want to get involved in a complicated situation and/or MSCHF did not make the game that complex… also, it doesn’t do state tax.) She even gets nosy enough to ask you for your annual income, tax withholdings and even your social security number, but you’re so enamored by Iris that you’re willing to look past her invasive questions — and the fact that she seems to love talking about taxes. A lot.

Image Credits: MSCHF

By the end of the game — and after you’ve verified your information is correct, you’ve uploaded your tax forms, etc. — you get an actual PDF of your tax return, which you can just print out and mail to the IRS. Just make sure you remove the two top pages of the document before you put them into an envelope, because they’re littered with Lisa Frank-style graphics. But you don’t need those pages, they’re just informational! For you! Iris wants you to feel empowered to do your taxes without the evil corporate lobbyists like TurboTax!

Is Tax Heaven 3000 safe? That’s up to your own discretion, because there’s no doubt that someone on the internet has been duped into giving a devious anime girl their social security number before (people do crazy things for VTubers). But for what it’s worth, this is a piece of software that you download onto your computer, which doesn’t connect to the internet. I was able to play through the whole game while disconnected from Wi-Fi. But, for the record, I did not give the cute anime girl my social security number, in part because I have already done my taxes (not to brag).

Like any manic pixie dream girl, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Iris. She has a dark streak — sometimes, she looks at you sternly, and the cute soundtrack completely stops.

Image Credits: MSCHF

“Don’t ever get involved with TurboTax,” Iris will tell you, her cheeks reddening. “They’re dangerous.” 

In the game, you notice it, and it feels a bit fishy, but you don’t think too hard about it. But of course, this is MSCHF, so there’s always more to the story.

On TH3K’s website, there’s a button to download the X-rated patch of the game (the actual gameplay is pretty PG-13, though there are a few innuendos). This is not an actual X-rated patch (and I only clicked on it for journalistic purposes) — it’s a link to a Wattpad story about Iris’ abduction from TurboTax. Yes, MSCHF appears to have written fan fiction about Iris the tax prep anime girl (there is even some fan art). At least we got a little closure about why Iris is so tortured by corporate tax prep software.