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Congress scrapping the proposed permanent block of IRS tax prep software

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  • Congress scrapping the proposed permanent block of IRS tax prep software

    https://www.propublica.org/article/congress-scraps-provision-to-restrict-irs-from-competing-with-turbotax

    There's still a current ban until 2021 so no practical changes from now, but Intuit et al were definitely lobbying to make this permanent.

  • #2
    Gosh, if I were Intuit and the others, I would just let the government develop their own software for tax filers. Can you imagine how long it would take them and what a piece of crap it would likely be?

    Comment


    • #3
      Does anyone really think the IRS is capable of developing a software that anybody would purchase? These are the same bureaucrats who can’t profitably run a monopoly - the USPS.

      Comment


      • #4




        Does anyone really think the IRS is capable of developing a software that anybody would purchase? These are the same bureaucrats who can’t profitably run a monopoly – the USPS.


        https://priceonomics.com/the-stanford-professor-who-fought-the-tax-lobby/

        Planet Money has an episode about the ReadyReturn program from California. Very interesting.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would love for the IRS to complete my taxes and just give me a form of what I owe to sign.   I like the stanford article, the law banning the IRS from completing your taxes is yet another example of lobbyist running congress.   The IRS probably knows how much over 80% of people owe or are owed on their tax return, that's how they know who to audit, they have received duplicate tax forms that everybody receives in the mail, they enter all the numbers into the computer, and when the numbers you submit don't match up with the numbers they calculate, it's a pretty easy way to trigger an audit.   The only reason they don't do it is because the tax preparing lobby made it a law preventing them from doing so.   I like the analogy of the credit card company expecting you to add up your receipts to figure out how much you owe every statement, and then auditing you when your numbers don't add up with what they already know.   When you add up the amount of hours everybody spends filing taxes and the money they spend and realize that it's just run that way because some people in congress wrote laws because lobbyist told them to, it really is quite frustrating.   There really is no reason to have a law saying that the IRS cannot come up with some simple way for the majority of us to sign some post card to complete our taxes.

          Comment


          • #6




            I would love for the IRS to complete my taxes and just give me a form of what I owe to sign.   I like the stanford article, the law banning the IRS from completing your taxes is yet another example of lobbyist running congress.   The IRS probably knows how much over 80% of people owe or are owed on their tax return, that’s how they know who to audit, they have received duplicate tax forms that everybody receives in the mail, they enter all the numbers into the computer, and when the numbers you submit don’t match up with the numbers they calculate, it’s a pretty easy way to trigger an audit.   The only reason they don’t do it is because the tax preparing lobby made it a law preventing them from doing so.   I like the analogy of the credit card company expecting you to add up your receipts to figure out how much you owe every statement, and then auditing you when your numbers don’t add up with what they already know.   When you add up the amount of hours everybody spends filing taxes and the money they spend and realize that it’s just run that way because some people in congress wrote laws because lobbyist told them to, it really is quite frustrating.   There really is no reason to have a law saying that the IRS cannot come up with some simple way for the majority of us to sign some post card to complete our taxes.
            Click to expand...


            You dramatically overestimate the capabilities of the IRS.  How can they know all of the things about tax payers that can dramatically change what taxes would be owed?

            The world is the way it is not because of nefarious lobbying by [enter company here]. There are just huge limitations on what the government can accomplish.

            I get the impulse to just let the government do things because it seems like it would make our lives simpler. This would be true if the government ran like a tech company and had access to top engineers and product managers. Unfortunately, the average John/Jane Q. FederalEmployee is close to bottom of barrel.  He/She is not coding at midnight because of the exciting product being developed.  The government also has a bunch of supremely outdated mandates on software that severely restricts development so a creative engineer would not tolerate this environment.

            I am not a Libertarian but I did plenty of rotations at the VA during training.  This is about all of the exposure to the inner working of the federal government one needs to know that your neighbor's dog probably knows more about you than the IRS.

             

            Comment


            • #7







              I would love for the IRS to complete my taxes and just give me a form of what I owe to sign.   I like the stanford article, the law banning the IRS from completing your taxes is yet another example of lobbyist running congress.   The IRS probably knows how much over 80% of people owe or are owed on their tax return, that’s how they know who to audit, they have received duplicate tax forms that everybody receives in the mail, they enter all the numbers into the computer, and when the numbers you submit don’t match up with the numbers they calculate, it’s a pretty easy way to trigger an audit.   The only reason they don’t do it is because the tax preparing lobby made it a law preventing them from doing so.   I like the analogy of the credit card company expecting you to add up your receipts to figure out how much you owe every statement, and then auditing you when your numbers don’t add up with what they already know.   When you add up the amount of hours everybody spends filing taxes and the money they spend and realize that it’s just run that way because some people in congress wrote laws because lobbyist told them to, it really is quite frustrating.   There really is no reason to have a law saying that the IRS cannot come up with some simple way for the majority of us to sign some post card to complete our taxes.
              Click to expand…


              You dramatically overestimate the capabilities of the IRS.  How can they know all of the things about tax payers that can dramatically change what taxes would be owed?

              The world is the way it is not because of nefarious lobbying by [enter company here]. There are just huge limitations on what the government can accomplish.

              I get the impulse to just let the government do things because it seems like it would make our lives simpler. This would be true if the government ran like a tech company and had access to top engineers and product managers. Unfortunately, the average John/Jane Q. FederalEmployee is close to bottom of barrel.  He/She is not coding at midnight because of the exciting product being developed.  The government also has a bunch of supremely outdated mandates on software that severely restricts development so a creative engineer would not tolerate this environment.

              I am not a Libertarian but I did plenty of rotations at the VA during training.  This is about all of the exposure to the inner working of the federal government one needs to know that your neighbor’s dog probably knows more about you than the IRS.

               
              Click to expand...


              Totally. A few years ago, I read a book about the making of Obamacare (I do not remember the title), and there were multiple chapters on the technology challenges, one system not talking to the other, different teams within the health care umbrella not communicating, the lack of one person or team running the show, etc. It was a Kafka-esque nightmare for Obama, and anyone trying to see it through.

              I remember Obama promising an Amazon like shopping experience, and instead, buying health insurance, at least initially, was a Soviet era experience. At any rate, this is what I expect our government is capable of doing. Intuit should just tell them to go for it. It will virtually guarantee that Inuit will have another generation of success.

              Comment


              • #8


                You dramatically overestimate the capabilities of the IRS.  How can they know all of the things about tax payers that can dramatically change what taxes would be owed?
                Click to expand...


                for those taking the standard deduction, what do you think they don't already know?

                most everything that goes on your return is already reported to the IRS.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the negativity side of things is not an indictment of the government being able to do things, I mean these things are dead simple. So simple in fact other countries do exactly this.

                  What's frustrating and stopping these departments from functioning is the intentional hamstringing theyve underwent with funding and laws so that they cant, and some special interest is allowed to instead.

                  It's an indictment of lobbyists and their power and how pervasive it is.

                  Everyone is basically saying it's impossible for US to have non sleazy politics, which may be true, but it isnt because they cant or "beauracacy" or other boogeyman. That outcome is a feature and intentional so money goes to friends and other cronies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "You dramatically overestimate the capabilities of the IRS. How can they know all of the things about tax payers that can dramatically change what taxes would be owed?"

                    The same way they know when you havent paid what you owe. They already know almost everything. Taxes are mostly theater.

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