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Old 02-05-2018, 03:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 16, 2016
Posts: 5,925
Default Taxes, Taxes, Taxes!

Here’s how preparing your taxes could work: You sit down, review a prefilled filing from the government. If it’s accurate, you sign it. If it’s not, you fix it or ignore it altogether and prepare your return yourself. It’s your choice. You might not have to pay for an accountant, or fiddle with software. It could all be over in minutes.

It’s already like that in parts of Europe. And it would not be particularly difficult to give U.S. taxpayers the same option. After all, the IRS already has your financial information.
But, the makers of TurboTax — and H&R Block have lobbied for years to derail any move toward such a system. And they continued in 2018.

Turbotax spent more than $2 million lobbying last year, much of it spent on legislation that would permanently bar the government from offering taxpayers prefilled returns. H&R Block spent $3 million, also directing some of their efforts towards the bill.

The bill, called the Free File Act of 2016, looks on the surface to be consumer-friendly. It makes permanent a public-private partnership in which 13 private tax preparation companies — called the “Free File Alliance” — have offered free online tax filings to lower- and middle-income families. The Free File Alliance include both Turbo-Tax and H&R Block.

But the legislation would also permanently bar the IRS from offering its own free alternative. Filing taxes could not only be free for everyone, but much
much easier!
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