The Biden administration is continuing to push for the development of a direct e-file system for taxes, despite a recent internal study showing it is unpopular with Americans. The nonpartisan Mitre Corporation conducted the study earlier this year, which found that Americans overwhelmingly prefer commercial tax preparation software over an Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-managed system under a series of scenarios.
For example, the study found just 15% of Americans would use an IRS direct e-file system even if it was able to prepare state returns and provided the same functionality as free commercial software. In that scenario, 48% preferred the current software they use, and 37% would use a system in which the IRS automatically filed individuals’ taxes for them.
This is alarming, given that the Inflation Reduction Act requires a truly nonpartisan, independent, third-party review of the feasibility, cost, and taxpayer opinions on the matter. Instead, the administration handpicked a think tank with ties to the liberal wing of the Democrat party that has already advocated for this bureaucratic expansion.
Can we really trust the IRS to file Americans’ taxes for them in a fair and impartial way when it already stacks the deck towards a predetermined conclusion to gain more power?
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., told Fox News Digital that the Biden IRS has not been transparent about MITRE’s independent findings, and that “Tax filers want fast, easy and free.
However, they will exchange cost over convenience showing a willingness to pay for commercial service when it comes to filing federal and state returns at the same time.” It’s clear that a lack of trust in the government is a key reason for those selecting current software, regardless of what the IRS can offer.
The study also noted that the IRS would need to include a feature allowing taxpayers to file state returns along with federal returns to make its e-file more attractive. The study further stated that “established filers” would be hard-pressed to leave current software since it contains historical information.
The only scenario where a direct e-file system would be preferred, according to the study, is for the minority of Americans who file complex returns. The main reason for the disparity between the two options is the cost of commercial software for complex returns.
In conclusion, the Biden administration’s continued push for an unpopular direct e-file system is cause for concern.
Americans overwhelmingly prefer commercial tax preparation software over an IRS-managed system, and a lack of trust in the government is a key reason for this preference. The IRS must be transparent about independent findings, and taxpayers must have choices that work best for them when preparing their taxes.