Free File Tax Reform: Warren Seeks To Save Millions of Taxpayers $240 a Year With Latest Bill

Congress Price Gouging, Washington, United States - 14 Jul 2022
J Scott Applewhite / AP /

In a bid to cut down the cost and time spent preparing tax returns, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and 22 other government lawmakers have presented new legislation to simplify the tax filing process for millions of Americans.

The Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2022 was introduced by Warren and her colleagues on July 13 and would oblige the IRS to establish a new online tax preparation and filing service without third party provider sharing, according to Accounting Today. Additionally, the new legislation will allow taxpayers to download third party-provided tax data into their preferred tax prep software and make it easier to calculate benefit claims, using something similar to the current Child Tax Credit non-filer tool.

According to Senator Warren, 77% of Americans polled recently approve of the bill, reported ThinkAdvisor.

“The average American spends 13 hours and $240 every year to file their taxes — that’s too much time and too much money,” Warren said in a statement Wednesday. “This is the result of corporations like Intuit sabotaging the Free File program to rake in large profits. Congress should pass my Tax Filing Simplification Act, and the IRS itself can and should adopt my plan to simplify the tax filing process for millions of Americans and lower their costs.”

Back in April, Senator Warren and Reps. Katie Porter and Brad Sherman penned a letter to Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi, accusing the financial service advisor of deceptive practices and “influence peddling,” stating, “The Free File program has been a failure, scamming taxpayers into paying for services that should be free. Free File was supposed to cover 70% of American taxpayers, but as of 2018, only approximately 3% of taxpayers participated each year.”

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Congressman Sherman, a CPA and co-chair of the Bipartisan CPA Caucus, said of the new bill: “The Tax Filing Simplification Act represents a common-sense solution to a problem that’s burdened taxpayers for too long — simplifying the tax filing process with fewer costs and complications,” per the Sierra Sun Times.

According to Accounting Today, many national groups are in support of the bill, including the Children’s Defense Fund, Public Citizen, the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Teachers, Americans for Tax Fairness, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Disability Rights, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Economic Policy Institute, the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program on Inequality, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the National Consumer Law Center and many more.

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