Elizabeth Warren has a great idea for making Tax Day less painful – Vox
On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill that would make doing taxes vastly easier for Americans — and would strongly push back against the tax prep industry’s attempts to keep taxes difficult.
The Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016 would order the IRS to create a free online tax preparation and filing service comparable to TurboTax or other commercial programs. Moreover, it bans the agency from working with the tax prep companies, as it’s been doing for years.
Currently, the IRS collaborates with tax software providers (mainly Intuit, which sells TurboTax) on what’s called the Free File program. The program is supposed to provide free access to commercial software for low- and medium-income taxpayers. But because the eligibility rules are so complicated and the system is so poorly advertised, only 3 percent of taxpayers use it, and the National Taxpayer Advocate has repeatedly called for the program’s abolition.