Even though the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report showing that taxpayers are uninterested in the IRS serving as their tax preparer, the agency is unleashing the program on 13 states, prompting House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) to release the following statement:
“Forcing Americans to accept the IRS as their tax preparer, filer, and auditor isn’t a step forward. Working Americans are rightly skeptical of an agency that consistently abuses its power, violates trust, and is currently implementing a plan to target more middle-class taxpayers with an audit. They certainly don’t want the same agency to tell them how much they owe the federal government. The entire forced e-file scheme lacks support from taxpayers, who were misled to believe this program would be a one-stop shop where they could file federal and state taxes at the same time, and they were undersold on its cost. Ways and Means Republicans will continue to stand up for taxpayers and hold the IRS’s feet to the fire.”
Americans’ Actual View: IRS Has No Business Preparing Taxes
A survey given to the IRS months before the release of its forced file feasibility “study” showed that a majority of Americans don’t want the IRS to prepare their taxes, especially since the IRS lacks the authority to prepare and file state taxes.
- According to the survey, only 37 percent of taxpayers with simple returns would use an IRS system.
- That figure drops to 29 percent, however, if the system doesn’t include state income tax return preparation and filing.
Watchdog: IRS Cooked the Books on Direct E-File Study, Misled American Taxpayers
- The IRS study failed to provide a “neutral” option, putting survey participants in a forced-choice scenario where they were more likely to agree with the idea of establishing a direct e-file program.
- The survey prompt misled taxpayers by suggesting direct e-file would give them the ability to file both federal and state tax returns. An independent study shows 60 percent of taxpayers would stick with their current software if state returns were excluded.
- The IRS could not provide TIGTA with any documentation to support the agency’s cost estimates or its assertion that there would be at least 5 million users.
Wall Street Journal: Cooking the IRS Books