Intuit reinforces its commitment to fighting for taxpayers’ rights

IRS-run tax preparation will disempower taxpayers and harm the most vulnerable.

Today, the IRS released the Congressionally-mandated study on the feasibility of an IRS-run direct e-file system. The conclusions of this study ignore facts, common sense, and what we know from our decades of helping millions of Americans file their taxes – taxpayers don’t want the tax collector, assessor, auditor, and enforcer also to be their tax preparer. 

Free tax preparation is already available to 100% of American taxpayers today and used by millions each year. Adding a government-run tax filing solution will not offer any improvement over filing options currently available to and used by taxpayers, nor do we believe it will have a material impact on the industry or our financial results. On the contrary, a government-run system like what is proposed will likely provide a worse taxpayer experience that does not guarantee the maximum refund for taxpayers, does not provide access to expert advice, does not account for state tax returns, creates a conflict of interest, and will be a waste of taxpayer money and resources. 

Intuit will continue to proudly serve all its customers – especially those most vulnerable – while fighting for the financial empowerment of all Americans, millions of which will be undermined by a government-run tax preparation system. 

Here’s what we know:

A government-run tax preparation system is a solution in search of a problem.

Today, free tax preparation is available to 100% of American taxpayers – free to them and free to the government. Each year millions of Americans file their taxes free of charge through currently available options. A government-run tax preparation system is nothing more than a redundant filing system. It is a solution in search of a problem, and contrary to the study’s assertion,‌ it is a solution that will unnecessarily cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars for something that already exists free of charge.

The IRS has a core mission to help taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities while enforcing the law. That is where the agency’s focus should remain, not expanding its reach into American taxpayers’ personal lives and financial choices. 

Vulnerable taxpayers will be disproportionately harmed by a government-run tax preparation system.

We know what it’s like to help hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life file their taxes and maximize their financial outcomes so they can pay bills, reduce debt, save for emergencies, and invest for their future. We’ve helped 113 million taxpayers file their taxes free of charge over the last nine years alone – more than all other tax preparation software companies combined. 

We also know inequities exist within the tax system, especially for low-income families, people of color, and non-native English speakers. A recent study from Syracuse University found that low-income families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are five and a half times more likely to be targeted by current IRS systems for an audit. And the IRS recently acknowledged that Black taxpayers receive audit notices three-to-five times more often than non-Black taxpayers. These problems are systemic, and expanding the IRS’ reach into taxpayers’ lives through a system that not only enforces the tax laws but also determines what the taxpayer owes would likely increase these inequities.

Every American, regardless of income, race or ethnicity, should have a champion on their side when it comes to taxes. Customers who use TurboTax can rely on our thousands of tax experts to help them navigate more than 6,000 pages of an increasingly complex tax code and its countless deductions and credits. Expert resources previously only available to wealthy taxpayers are now available to all Americans on Intuit’s platform, leveling the playing field and financially empowering the most vulnerable individuals and families. This access to experts would not be available in a government-run system.  

Government-run tax preparation creates a conflict of interest and Americans don’t want it.

Before $15 million of taxpayer money was unnecessarily spent to once again study tax preparation, the American people had spoken – they don’t want the tax collector, assessor, auditor, and enforcer to also be their tax preparer. Time and time again, taxpayers have been clear that making the IRS the end-all be-all for their personal finances is a bad idea and something they do not support. For decades, the list of both governmental and non-governmental organizations that have studied this issue and public attitudes about it are extensive, and include:

Negative public perceptions and concerns were once again verified this year through a February 2023 report from MITRE, an independent advisor to the Treasury Department and the IRS. The MITRE report states that only 12% of taxpayers said they would use a government run system if state tax return preparation and filing was not included. 

Many, including members of Congress and the media have called into question the independence and validity of the recently released study. The study ignores or downplays taxpayers’ real concerns, including the billions of dollars in unnecessary costs to taxpayers to build, maintain and operate such a system; the security and privacy of their personal financial data; the ability of the IRS to fairly administer an accurate determination of a taxpayers’ obligations; and the conflict of interest of having the IRS as the judge, jury, and executioner of a taxpayers’ personal finances. 

Every taxpayer deserves an advocate that keeps them and their financial interests front and center.

Every day Intuit proudly fights for our customers and on behalf of all American taxpayers. We ensure customers receive their maximum refund, regardless of their income or filing status. The tax industry has made free software available to all Americans, and invests every year to make it better on behalf of customers. The IRS simply cannot and will not play this role, and the creation of a government-funded tax filing system will burden taxpayers and make it harder for Americans to achieve their financial goals.  

This post contains forward-looking statements, including our expectations regarding the impact on the tax preparation industry and our future financial results. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from these expectations. These factors are described in our periodic and other reports filed with the SEC. Forward-looking statements represent the judgment of Intuit’s management as of the date of this post. Except as required by law, we do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement or other information in this post.