June 16, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Filing taxes directly for free may be possible after the 2024 IRS test run

Filing taxes directly for free may be possible after the 2024 IRS test run

We’ve come a little closer to filing our taxes directly with the IRS. The agency just submitted a report to Congress with details It plans to launch a test run of free government-run tax filing software For filing season 2024. If the free direct e-filing system succeeds and the government unleashes it on the rest of the country, we’ll probably take a definitive run around tax-filing giants like Intuit when we file without thinking through countless complex forms and calculations.

who do you know Perhaps this will open the door to pre-filled tax forms that we just have to confirm instead of anxiously filling in numbers the government already knows. After all, the IRS seems to know when you got it wrong, so why not let it tell us what we owe or what we’re going to get back in the first place?

According to the statement, The IRS is directed by the Treasury Department to start the pilot program, which will include an unspecified number of taxpayers, allowing it to gather more information about the IRS’s ability to administer such a system.

Required as part of the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year a report (PDF) Shows how difficult it will be to develop direct deposit options, what it will cost, and surveys taxpayers’ opinions on the program. In the end, the IRS concluded that “many taxpayers are interested in using a free tool provided by the IRS” to do their taxes and that creating one is within its capabilities, provided it gets sustainable representation in the government budget.

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The statement quoted IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, who submitted the report to Congress, as saying that government-run Direct File programs are common in other countries:

β€œThe IRS is committed to providing significantly improved services by providing taxpayers with tools, information, and assistance to make it easier to comply with their tax filing obligations. Direct File β€” which is used by many tax authorities around the world β€” has made it easier to comply with their tax filing obligations,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. It has long been discussed as an option to improve the customer experience for US taxpayers.”

This news is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that has its latest roots in the bombshell of 2019 ProPublica report It details how electronic file companies like TurboTax creators Intuit are preventing the public from accessing free and easy file alternatives.

In short, ProPublica showed the ways companies like Intuit reneged on an agreement with the IRS where it promised to offer free Direct File options to low-to-moderate income taxpayers, all in exchange for the IRS not creating such a program of its own. And they created them – didn’t link to them or talk about them and added code that stopped them from appearing in Google searches.

Following ProPublica’s report, the IRS updated its free-file agreement to explicitly restrict commercial tax preparation entities from hiding those pages while also sticking to its commitment to leave simple filing software creation to companies like Intuit and H&R Block. The IRS can now create its own program.

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