Tax Day is almost here. And just in time, the federal government will effectively ban itself from offering free tax filing in another massive victory for the tax filing services lobby. The for-profit tax service industry will finally have one of their long-awaited goals achieved: the IRS not taking money out of their pockets.
The House Ways and Means Committee, headed by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), passed the Taxpayer First Act, a bill that makes a drastic administrative change to the way the IRS is run. The bill is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA.)
One of the provisions of the bill bars the IRS from creating or utilizing a free online tax servicing system. This effectively serves as a boon to for-profit tax preparation companies like H&R Block and Intuit, the maker of TurboTax. The two corporations have been lobbying for years to convince the government that the IRS should not create its own system because it would hurt the delicate ecosystem of the tax-service industry.
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