Preparing your tax returns can be, well, taxing. Unfortunately, some of that difficulty may be on purpose.
H&R Block was able to get language added to the bill funding the IRS that instructs the agency to add a bunch of questions to the form for the Earned Income Tax Credit. How many questions? Enough to turn the current one-page form into at least a four-page monster. And many of the questions are redundant – they are already answered by the main tax form. So it appears that the only reason for the added changes is to scare poor people into paying a tax preparer to fill out the form for them.
This isn’t the first time tax companies have lobbied against simplifying tax returns. The Obama administration has been pushing for automatic tax filing, where the IRS uses income information it already has to fill out your tax form for you. But the idea has been blocked due to lobbying from H&R Block and Intuit.
Although I’m retired, I still do taxes for the poor (and often pay to e-file them myself) I was with the extremely expensive Intuit (Proseries) until they wouldn’t believe me when I told them they had produced the form with the wrong code. It didn’t work right. I, of course, was wrong, they with their high paid people were right. They finally fixed the form but not before I lost the client.
I’ve been with TaxAct ever since. This year I was doing a limited partnership K-1, final year. Up pops “Final year you can take the loss that has accrued.” I got the person a wonderful return. TaxAct doesn’t go along with Block and Intuit. They want to help, not hinder.
There is something fundamentally wrong when a taxpayer needs to have a computer program to figure out their taxes, even if it is a deductible expense. But, like everything else the people who could change it are bought and paid for by the entities who stand to profit from the misery.