Howto: file your taxes for free without getting defrauded into paying a big tax-prep firm

When the IRS proposed providing free, pre-completed tax-returns to US taxpayers, the big tax-prep companies like Intuit/Turbotax and HR Block lobbied like crazy to kill the plan, and instead proposed "Free File," through which they would provide free online tax-prep services for people with incomes of $69k or lower. Read the rest

VICTORY! New Free File rules ban tax-prep firms from hiding their offerings, allow IRS to compete with them (a love-letter to Propublica)

Six months ago, Propublica began beating the drum about "Free File," a bizarre, corrupt arrangement between the IRS and the country's largest tax-prep firms that ended up costing the poorest people in America millions and millions of dollars, every single year. Read the rest

Suppressed internal emails reveal that the IRS actively helped tax-prep giants suppress Free File

America is one of the only wealthy countries where you have to pay someone to prepare your tax return; in most other countries, the national tax office prepares a return for you and if it looks right to you, you just sign it and return it (you can always prepare your own return, too, or pay someone else to do it). Read the rest

Leaks reveal how creepy, cultish monopolist Intuit lobbied Congress and the IRS to kill free tax-filing

Virtually every rich country on Earth provides pre-completed tax-returns that you can either ignore (and pay an accountant or do your own taxes), or just sign and return: after all, the government already knows what you're earning and how much tax you paid, so they can do all the heavy lifting for your annual return. Read the rest