Really disappointed to learn how much Intuit is lobbying AGAINST measures to make tax filing easier for individuals.
There are plenty of things in my taxes that the government does not already know about, like I have some self-employment and there is not one thing about it they would already know about. Even though my investment sales are reported, I still have to deal with cost basis. (Even on the covered shares, because the financial company isn't using the same method I am.)
Furthermore, I don't trust the government. You really want them taking control of your taxes? Just like I don't do anything else on "auto," I don't want my taxes on auto. That just gives them more control. I have twice had letters from the IRS saying I owed more tax because of something "I screwed up" on my taxes, and yet, both times they were completely wrong, and I had to waste a ton of my time proving they don't know their own tax laws.
If it was simply my W-2 income, that might be one thing. But it's not. For people who do have simple taxes, they can probably use the free stuff anyway. I can't use any of that stuff. And I can't afford an accountant. (I am an accountant, but I'm not a tax accountant, but I'd be ashamed of myself if I had to hire one.)
Instead of making tax FILING easy, how about the idea of making tax LAWS easier? There was a time when filing taxes was voluntary, but things were a lot more simple then. Keep in mind it was that same government that made it so complicated to begin with!
It's not one or the other. The way it should work (and does work in other western countries) is, you log in to check your data (which is already supplied to the government by banks and employers) and if everything is correct, click "Okay"...and you're done. Simple and free. When a person such as yourself wishes to opt out, it would become your responsibility to use tax software, hire a CPA, or whatever is necessary to "tell the government" how much you owe.
It's not a grand conspiracy to give big government more control over your life... it's the government working properly, for you, to save money and to keep corporations from taking over your life.
The IRS already knows what 90% of Americans owe, and for them there should be no intermediary; we should be able to click "Okay," and move on with our lives.
They already control your taxes, and they know most of what you owe anyway. This has nothing to do with government control, because a simplified tax code and the ability to pay automatically wouldn't take away your right to do your taxes yourself, it would just give the rest of us the option of a simple return without corporations getting in the way and without a trip to a CPA. TurboTax almost never works properly, and when it fails, it costs time, money, and aggravation.