(ROLLING STONE) – Filing taxes is not fun. Congress wants to keep it that way.
On Tuesday, ProPublica reported that the Taxpayer First Act passed last week by the House Ways and Means Committee includes a provision that makes it illegal for the IRS to create an online tax filing system. Why would Congress do this? If the IRS were to offer a simple, free online portal into which Americans could file their taxes, it would cripple the for-profit tax industry. H&R Block and Intuit, which makes TurboTax, are among the companies that have long been lobbying lawmakers to do what they can to prevent the IRS from creating an online filing system.
Heading up the Ways and Means Committee is Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), who may have something to gain from keeping companies like Intuit and H&R Block happy. According to ProPublica, he’s received $16,000 in contributions from Intuit and H&R Block.
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