This tax season, we saw more reasons why the tax code should be more simple, fair, and transparent

For more than three decades, Intuit TurboTax has consistently evolved and improved to help taxpayers navigate the increasingly complex tax code.

Over the last 30 years, the tax code has more than tripled in size. That’s three times the amount of complexity and headaches for many families. For our Intuit TurboTax customers, we’ve helped make the complicated easy for decades, continuously improving and evolving our product to help taxpayers navigate the pages, and pages, and pages of complicated code. But, we know that no matter who files your taxes, the tax code is now just too complex. 

Intuit has been a long-standing advocate of a more transparent, simple, and fair tax code so everyone can save time and get every dollar they earned and deserve in credits, refunds, and deductions. After all, tax refunds are often the biggest check of the year for families. Surveys have shown that 37% of Americans use some or all of their refund to pay for necessities; things like bills, rent, and groceries. It’s not a nice-to-have—it’s a must-have. 

We don’t write the tax code—Congress does—but we think that everyone deserves a tax code they can easily understand. We’ve spent this tax season highlighting some of the ways Congress can help. 

Our tax system should be transparent. 

Taxpayers deserve to see what gets funded today and better understand how decisions made in our nation’s capital affect each taxpayer, family, and household. In January, we partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center and Polco to launch a Federal Taxpayer Receipt that shows where federal taxpayer dollars go. This tool follows the money trail, showing taxpayers an estimate of where their hard-earned dollars go. You can see an estimate of where your tax dollars are going by visiting the 2023 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

The tax code should be equitable for all, regardless of gender. 

We believe efforts to close the gender pay gap and expand access to tax credits and deductions are powerful ways we can level the playing field for women. During National Women’s History Month, we highlighted the distinct challenges women face during tax season. Many important tax credits and deductions are more likely to benefit men over women, despite our tax code not making specific references to gender. As former U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Olympia Snowe highlighted in a recent op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, “Women do not enjoy tax advantages for playing an outsized role in child rearing, family logistics, and caring for their aging parents.”

Simplifying the tax code benefits families. 

Every tax season, families look for ways to maximize their deductions and credits so they can save the most money. Two important credits in particular, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), have been at the center of discussions from the kitchen table to the halls of Congress. While CTC expansion is currently stalled in the Senate, at Intuit we encourage ongoing conversations around benefits like the CTC and EITC, which have become some of the most effective tools for lifting low-income workers and their families out of poverty. 

Recent research from the Washington, D.C.-based Niskanen Center outlines the history of the EITC and the CTC and offers suggestions for how family tax credits can be reformed to better benefit the more than 400,000 children living below the poverty line. There are proposals on both sides of the aisle on how to do this, but we can all agree that it’s important to start by making these vital programs easier to understand and take advantage of.

Intuit explored this further with executive vice president and consumer group general manager, Mark Notarainni, at Axios’ “Simplifying the Tax Code” event in March. Held in Washington, DC, the event featured conversations with Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Kyle Pomerleau, and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) on tax policy reform and why potential adjustments could be worth examining. During the event, Notarainni stated, “We’re all about serving our customers, and tax simplification is at the heart of that—ensuring they’re able to live the lives they want to live.”

Reforming homeownership benefits can make the tax system more fair. 

We believe that more needs to be done to benefit renters and help make homeownership, which is a core part of the American dream, more attainable for everyone. This month, we drew attention to how homeownership is falling out of reach for many and how the tax code is having trouble keeping up. In fact, recent research from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center examines how persistent income inequality and historical disparities in the lending and housing market have led Black and Hispanic taxpayers to disproportionately miss out on valuable homeownership credits and deductions. 

It’s important for all taxpayers to familiarize themselves with the tax benefits and programs that exist to help them save for their first home. TurboTax has a resource for first time home buyers and a collection of other home related tax tips. There are also state-specific renter tax credits that can help, too.

It’s clear that the tax code has grown too large and complex. While TurboTax will constantly evolve to meet these challenges, we believe that more can be done for all Americans. Simplifying the tax code is important for our customers, and it’s important to us, too. It’s good business. It should be good policy, too.