Listen: Bill Would Ban IRS From Creating Free Electronic Tax Filing System
"Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from American pest as the leading provider of safe sustainable pest control solutions across the DMV. Let American past help you to take back your home or business. From menacing pests. Visit them today at American pest dot net. It's April fifteenth, which means you have to file your taxes before midnight. If you've not already done. So if you wanna file online, you typically have to go through a private company like h NAR block or Intuit the makers of turbo tax. Why do you have to use them? We'll in agreement with the IRS and private tax prep companies prevents Americans from filing directly online with the IRS. And that rule could become permanent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle or trying to pass the so-called tax payer. I act which would permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electron ick tax filing system. Rachel Martin talked with propublica. Reporter Justin Elliott about why this Bill is needed one of the. Things this Bill does is it caught. If is an existing agreement between the IRS and the private tax prep industry, so companies like the maker of turbo tax and one of the things that agreement says is that the IRS will never create essentially its own version of turbo tax. So the IRS won't essentially compete with the industry. So what that means is that many Americans will have to continue paying fifty or sixty dollars to use turbo tax rates on our block instead of having essentially like a government option to file their taxes. So this has gotten bipartisan agreement. Yeah. I mean, it's it's a longstanding program, and it's also something that the industry has been lobbying for for a long time. So h NAR blog and Intuit had been pushing for this for years, and you know, they do offer a free option if you make below a certain income threshold, but very few people ended up actually finding that. And a lot of people end up using the paid version. So essentially this Bill would continue this deal. The IRS and the industry under which the industry offers this free option, but the IRS agrees to never create its own version of these tax prep services. It's essentially that means Americans have fewer choices. Yeah. Exactly. And you know, one of the remarkable things that happened is after we wrote about this. I people from other countries were sending tweets to me on Twitter saying that in Germany and Finland and other places doing their taxes took like five minutes because the government actually provides their forms pre filled out because the tax agency already has their salary data. So is it safe to assume that there was just a lot of lobbying on the part of companies that get paid when consumers come in and say these are too complicated for me to do. Can you do them? Yeah. I mean, just HR block and intuitive is the two biggest together they spent over six million dollars lobbying on issues, including this one last year have been pushing for this to make it into law for many years now and the current Bill contains a lot of other provisions, including some that are supported by consumer advocates. And I think that's one of the reasons I it's now getting bipartisan support and might might make it into law. But consumer advocates do support this consumer advocates oppose this provision. But there's other totally unrelated provision in the Bill that, you know, speak to the IRS is debt collection practices, for example, that consumer advocates have supported so you know, that's one of the reasons I'm told that that this bills getting bipartisan support in congress just an elite with propublica. We appreciate it. Thanks, justin. Thanks a"