CREDO Action

Demand free online tax filing

Sign the petition

Petition to Congress:

"Instruct the IRS to offer free online tax filing to every American. Reject provisions in the Taxpayer First Act that would bar the IRS from offering this service and force Americans to pay for-profit tax preparers."

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    Demand free online tax filing

    Want to skip paying a for-profit company and file your taxes online, simply and easily, directly with the IRS? Too bad.

    The House of Representatives just passed a bill that would ban the IRS from ever offering its own free online tax-filing tool. It is a major win for companies like H&R Block and Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, which lobbied for years to secure protection from any competition.1

    There is still a chance to remove the IRS ban from the overall legislation but we need to speak out soon. Congress needs to hear immediately that Americans demand free online tax filing without a for-profit middleman.

    Tell Congress: We want free online IRS tax filing.

    Tax preparation companies spent millions of dollars to force people like you and me to pay for their products. The IRS receives information about most Americans' taxes directly from employers. In other developed nations, taxpayers can access this data, correct or confirm it and file their taxes without going through third-party tax-preparation software. But the IRS has a long-standing agreement not to compete with H&R Block and TurboTax.2

    Unfortunately, Democrats like House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal – and, sadly, even progressive champion Rep. John Lewis – pushed to transform that agreement into an outright ban as part of the Taxpayer First Act. Because the overall bill is progressive, other Democrats voted for it even while voicing objections and House progressives like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Katie Porter and Ro Khanna promised to work with the Senate to strip the provision and push for a permanent solution.3

    Without a public option for tax-filing, Americans are at the mercy of for-profit companies. To avoid criticism, these companies currently offer sham "free" services that mostly serve as advertising for their paid products and put your sensitive data in the hands of a third party.4 Congress must reject the ban and instead instruct the IRS to offer a free online tax filing service as soon as possible.

    Tell Congress: We want free online IRS tax filing.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Justin Elliot, "Bill to Limit IRS’ Ability to Offer Free Tax Filing Service Is Getting New Scrutiny," ProPublica, April 10, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.