Opinion | Good Riddance, TurboTax. Americans Need a Real ‘Free File’ Program.

From The New York Times:

Intuit, the tax preparation giant, performed a public service last week by announcing its exit from a federal program that let some Americans use a free version of its TurboTax software.


Indeed, dogged reporting by the journalism nonprofit ProPublica has shown the ways that Intuit, in particular, tried to steer people to pay for tax preparation.

In 2019, ProPublica reported that Intuit added lines of code to the free version of its TurboTax website so that the site would not appear in search results on Google.

Just have the IRS do Free File, already. This is the most pointless drama.

An interesting alternative to a Free File program is to just simplify the tax code to the point of filing your return on a post card. Simple tax code, simple return! This could be a good solution, but we would be giving up the ability to effect fiscal stimulus and drive behavior through the tax code.

Mortgage interest deduction? Doesn’t fit on the post card.

Child tax credit? No space, sorry.

Encouraging people to have children and encouraging people to buy homes are two huge levers the current tax code allows us to pull on.