ProPublica made a report on tax sins which were carried by TurboTax and other companies that they should offer free filing to qualifying taxpayers, those who make $69,000 a year or less.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that tax filing companies with which it has agreements to use its free filing tools are now prompted not to hide those specific programs from their clients online.
They are now required to make free filing easier for the taxpayers and should make the most transparent work for them.
The addendum to the deal is known as Free File that has long misled taxpayers who are eligible to file for free into paying. It also said that their free file offering should be available “from an organic internet search.”
Under these new changes, participating companies also have to standardize the naming convention of their Free File version as the “IRS Free File program delivered by [product name].” In the past seasons, a lot of tax filers reported being confused by the difference between, for example, TurboTax Free and TurboTax Free File.
H&R Block, together with TurboTax, was reported that they were masking the free programs. However, in an email, they wrote that “to support the IRS Free File program and will again participate in the program as recently amended for the upcoming tax season.”
Intuit, the TurboTax-maker, didn’t respond for comment. Still, last week they posted a blog regarding the said amendments. They said, “strongly supports these changes to the Free File program and associated Free File offerings because they increase the focus on the taxpayer experience.”
They also mentioned that they are committed to providing free tax preparation and filing for those who need it the most despite attempts by some recent media coverage to suggest otherwise.
Intuit is currently facing many lawsuits and investigations regarding whether they are deceiving their customers. The company said that the accusations are baseless.
ProPublica’s CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, during an interview said that the claims were for “was intended to be [in] the best interest of taxpayers so they were more fully informed about their options and could choose what they felt was best for them.”
In a statement by the IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig regarding the said amendment said, “continues to show the partnership we enjoy with the Free File partners and the commitment we both share in helping taxpayers since the program’s creation 18 years ago.”
Furthermore, he exclaimed, “The improved process will make Free File stronger and give taxpayers another reason to consider this valuable software option,” Rettig added.
“The IRS and FFI will also continue to work together to identify and explore ways to better help low- to moderate-income taxpayers and to pursue meaningful opportunities to enhance taxpayer awareness and use of the Free File Program beyond the 2020 filing season.”
Hopefully, these will give the tax filers more ease and understanding as to what and how they would file for this season.
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