Imagine a world where you wouldn’t have to file taxes through the mail or online tax programs. A world where the IRS would simply send you a refund check or a bill for taxes owed. Granted, this would only apply to Americans, and that the IRS actually tried to begin a simple filing program, but failed.
The IRS has enough information to ease the majority of Americans the headache of filing taxes every April 15th. If they instituted a simple filing program, it would save billions of dollars, and millions of hours each year. What went wrong was the tax preparers saw a money-making avenue closing and lobbied against it being passed.
Intuit, H&R Block, and a few others made sure that filing taxes should stay as complicated and difficult as possible, so that Americans would come to them when doing it. A lot of these preparers offer free services, but always try to up charge, promising a bigger return, or protection if a mistake is made and the IRS comes after you.
Additional charges can stem from simply importing your previous years return even if you used the same program as last year. It’s a way to nickel and dime so that each year they can continue to make billions of dollars and keep our tax system as archaic as possible. There will always be people who need tax preparers for more complicated forms and companies who need to file taxes themselves. Tax preparers will never go away, but they shouldn’t be needed for the average American who has simple, straight forward taxes.
- H&R Block’s Push to Make Tax Forms Harder for Low-Income People
- Tax preparers lobby heavily against simple filing