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Should the IRS prepare taxes for free for most Americans?

Posted at 4:21 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 17:21:39-04

As reform legislation is debated in Congress that could eliminate free IRS-created software for taxpayers, freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested that most Americans shouldn’t even be preparing their own taxes.

Instead, Fox Business reports that the New York congresswoman suggests that the IRS should be preparing taxes for them.

Ocasio-Cortez termed it a “huge scandal” that lawmakers aren’t holding the IRS accountable.

“Long-term, we should be looking at a solution where everyday people do not necessarily have to spend hours every year preparing tax returns, when the majority of Americans have relatively simple and straight-forward returns,” she said.

Fox reports that bipartisan reform legislation advancing through Congress – The Taxpayers First Act – contains a provision that would prevent the IRS from creating free tax preparation software.

This act, they fear, would compete with private sector offerings from companies like TurboTax.

Pro Publica notes that a free IRS-created program would cut into profits for private companies. And according to the publication, Intuit and H&R Block spent $6.6 million on lobbying related to IRS filing. The companies also have contributed $16,000 to House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) over the last two election cycles.

Should the IRS take an active role in helping Americans prepare their taxes as well as collect them?

Would you trust them?