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Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

Justin Elliot, ProPublica

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.

Gah, curse you again Wyden.

I just spent days doing the most simple federal form. It’s now 3 times more complicated, requiring 2 extra federal tax forms, to incorporate my god damn Obamacare marketplace unusable health insurance. The instructions for the 1040 are now 117 pages long, most of which doesn’t apply to me, but which I can’t tell doesn’t apply to me without reading it. How hard is it to just say “skip to page 75 if you are not a blind railroad retiree with a kidnapped step child who is half on your health insurance and half on someone else’s??” There’s no earthly reason to make it so difficult, except to force people to go through a third party.

I still refuse to use the “free” third party software and e-file system. Remember, if the platform is “free”, the product is you.

I object to sharing personal information with a third party, I object to having to download software to my boss’s computer, and I object to having to pay for the privilege of doing my taxes. What’s that you say? It’s free? First of all, no it isn’t, and second, just wait until all other options are extinguished.

The federal 1040 instructions repeatedly beg me to use e-file or whatever. My family keeps offering to let me use their super slick private company software. No! I’ll be doing it on paper again this year, and mailing it in paper with a stamp. And I wish more people would join me. This is how “we” all became dependent on social media. Everyone stampeded onto the platform for free goodies, and now we are all at their mercy.

And again like with the Obamacare, it always was, and still is, unconstitutional to force people to do business with a private company. Clearly the Supreme Court doesn’t care, but I do.

5 Likes

Yeah, sure, free my fanny!

For the past several years I used TurboTax online, and paid nothing for both Fed and State (Oregon - thanks, Ron) returns. This year, because of the changes, and one new (?) form required, a simple single line of data, they wanted, depending on the day and when I logged in, anywhere from $40 to $75.

And going to the IRS site, where they refer/link you to a bunch of options for free filing, they all had criteria I did not meet, mainly being the wrong age, living in the wrong state, etc and so on.

So, yes, I too filled out my returns online, printed and mailed them in via snail mail.

Curse this corporatized nightmare we’re all suffering through!

3 Likes

Didn’t Donny-little-hands promise us a post card filing system? Bah

What is next?
Pay to vote online?
Why do schools charge fees for schools sponsored programs like band and gym and clubs? I recall these things were free, once upon a time.