Demand Progress

Filing taxes should be free and easy!

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    Filing taxes should be free and easy!

    Petition to Congress and the IRS:
    The IRS should make online tax filing free for everyone. Now that the two dominant tax prep companies have pulled out of their sweetheart deal with the IRS brokered under George W. Bush, it's time for the IRS to create a free public tax filing program! 

    Tax season is now open. Between now and Tax Day, lower income Americans will pay private tax prep companies an estimated $2 billion in order to file their taxes — a service the IRS is legally obligated to provide for free.1

    The private sector shouldn't be allowed to profit off our tax filing.  

    The government is legally required to provide a free option for tax filing that serves the needs of Americans with more basic tax returns. But since 2002, the IRS has fulfilled this requirement by partnering with big tax prep corporations Intel (TurboTax) and H&R Block, which in turn went out of their way to hide their free services from Google searches so they could maintain their government-granted market dominance without upholding their end of the bargain.2

    Now, both companies have dropped out of the IRS Free File program. Good riddance. 

    As Senator Elizabeth Warren recently wrote on Twitter: "There's no reason to force Americans to deal with profit-seeking middlemen when they're trying to file their taxes. It's long past time for the IRS to use its power to create its own free tax preparation and filing system."3

    Sign the petition: The IRS must create a public website that most Americans can use to file their taxes at no cost immediately! 


    1. The New York Times, "Opinion: Americans Need a Real 'Free File' Program," July 19, 2021.
    2. ProPublica, "Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax," April 9, 2019.
    3. Elizabeth Warren on Twitter, January 10, 2022.