Fund an open source tax platform, stop the IRS from supporting the "Free File" Alliance.
The IRS initiative to make taxes accessible to the common person is a great step (i.e. the tax code is complex) but the implementation lobbied by the Free File Alliance is economically flawed (largely to the advantage of tax software vendors).
The IRS free-file page (with the credibility of the agency) incentivizes consumers to use one of the software services negotiated with the free file alliance partners. However as consumers leave the IRS site, software vendors guide them through a different more lucrative path.
What ends up happening is that consumers end up paying twice: First as tax payers through the IRS and second as individuals to the software vendors. All this while using the IRS free-file page as a source or free advertisements for vendors and their services.
Instead of negotiating a contract with tax software vendors (and paying them to provide free tax services), the IRS should invest a fraction of the funds on a publicly funded open tax platform developed by a FOSS foundation/organization.
An open tax platform is a better alternative (read the link above for details) than the current half-functional approach. Another alternative would be to use pre-filled forms but that alternative was lobbied against by tax software companies and turned down by congress.
Many people have been victim of this bait and switch scheme commonly used by tax software companies. Let's stop the abuse.
Let's gather support to stop the "Free File" Alliance lobbying efforts and let's demand a transparent open source tax platform we can use and depend on.
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