Has anyone used Turbo Tax or H&R "free" versions to file? I can't use them & last time I tried they charged you to submit your taxes electronically but otherwise it was simple & easy.
I also know many cities offer services to help people file simple taxes for free.
I believe this bill also states the IRS cannot send debt collectors after people making less than $66,000.
This bill may not be as bad as it looks. I don't expect the IRS to make software for complicated taxes as that's a very difficult challenge. I question if it's necessary to bar it, but I'm guessing that was to keep their deal with the Free File software.
Either way it would be nice to see representatives state their position & reasoning behind this bill. It seems it has wide support across the aisle which is rare these days.
You did not. You can contact the private companies such as H&R Block and request Their free service if you make less than 66k - and subject yourself to their upselling and scam artistry, to try and get you to pay anything more than "free."
> I don't expect the IRS to make software for complicated taxes as that's a very difficult challenge
The vast majority of people file extremely simple taxes, as they're salaried workers with minimal assets. Most first-world countries provide a pre-populated tax form with the relevant data (since your employer already submits it), for you to peruse, edit, and hit the submit button on. If other countries do it without a problem, I don't see why it's too technically difficult for us to do the same.
I can only suspect that this hasn’t happened because of strong lobbying.
I went back to school full-time for most of last year to get some helicopter ratings and didn't have much taxable income, so I used the free H&R Block service.
There was exactly 1 attempt at an upsell, and it was at the very beginning of the process where I was told if I used the free service I would have to enter all of my information but if I used the paid service they could pull my information from prior filings to save me some time.
Was your experience with one of the free programs different?
I don't think the IRS should build software for complex taxes & strategies is all I'm saying. That's what accountants are for.
I do understand the argument that a simple pre-done tax solution would mean some people would miss out on deductions. But if you calculate the time & cost it currently takes to submit your taxes, it probably equals out.
Don't forget data mining. Dunno if these apps have ads, but if they do, be sure to add that in as well.
The IRS already has this software. They are literally the best placed people in the world to make this software.
How do you think they check taxes for 300,000,000 people + businesses? And their software is already pre-populated with data from employers, banks, brokerages, and all the other places that automatically file data with the IRS.
I 100% agree that the IRS should handle the majority of simple taxes. I just don't think it's reasonable to expect them to find all the possible deductions or suggest complex strategies for you. They could offer common suggestions & try to remind you of common deductions though.
Well, I do expect them to:
1. Verify 99% of taxes automatically anyway, and that's a very difficult challenge. There's no way IRS can use a human to verify every single tax filing.
2. Make a public service off it for those 99%.
3. I suppose that even for complex cases it's probably even _easier_ to make a software for that. There's no human that can remember thousands of pages of tax code.
Humans are still needed, but for correcting/adjusting/verifying the software itself.
Yeah, I've used H&R's free filing for 4 years or so now. When I lived in a state with state income tax, they charged me for that, and offered to charge me to remember my data for next year (I declined). their website indicates that state tax filing is now free, I wonder if it depends on the state, or if things just changed since 2015 tax year filing.
unfortunately I don't have any other tax experiences to compare to, but it was very easy. as a student, I don't have complex deductions or income, but as long as I can use the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and it doesn't take too long, I'm happy.
The IRS doesn't provide any electronic filling services.
Those "free" services are provided by a consortium of private institutions.
There is no way to efile without giving all your data to private companies.
Say what you will about the greed of tax companies, there absolutely is merit in those arguments. However, there is also something to be said for the effect of large numbers of people being lazy and not fighting to keep every dollar they are entitled to.
(The recent tax bill went a long way in this direction by increasing the standard deduction)