> Sec. 1102. IRS Free File Program. The IRS currently works with electronic tax preparation services to provide free tax preparation software and electronically fillable forms. This program is known as the IRS Free File program. Generally, there is no fee for taxpayers using the Free File program provided they meet certain income thresholds. This provision codifies the existing Free File program and requires the IRS to continue to work with private stakeholders to maintain, improve, and expand the program. The provision also requires Free File program members to continue to provide basic fillable forms to all taxpayers. This provision is estimated to have no revenue impact over the 10-year budget window.
Unfortunately, the people most effected by this bill are likely too busy working to afford the time to contact their representatives.
> The Free File Alliance, a private industry group, says 70% of American taxpayers are eligible to file for free. Those taxpayers, who must make less than $66,000, have access to free tax software provided by the companies. But just 3% of eligible U.S. taxpayers actually use the free program each year. Critics of the program say that companies use it as a cross-marketing tool to upsell paid products, that they have deliberately underpromoted the free option and that it leaves consumer data open to privacy breaches.
I've never used it so I wouldn't know if it's chockful of upsell adverts. It's certainly very hard (I couldn't do it, at least not in the past 5 minutes) to find a reference to the Free File Alliance on freefillableforms.com. But this is what is buried on IRS.gov:
> Free File offers a multi-year agreement between IRS and the Free File Alliance to provide free service(s) to more taxpayers. Previously, free offerings were not consistently available and were subject to modification or discontinuation from year-to-year. With Free File, taxpayers have easy access to IRS.gov, which offers a list of all free offerings on a single web page. Under our agreement, Free File Alliance companies offer both free preparation and free e-filing services. There is no cost to qualifying taxpayers.
> Note: We do not endorse any individual Free File Alliance company. While the IRS manages the content of the Free File pages accessible on IRS.gov, it does not retain any taxpayer information entered on the Free File site.
I've been happy, but this year I couldn't e-file my state return and Indiana claims my daughter's was figured wrong.