For decades, the online tax filing industry has been monopolized by Intuit’s popular TurboTax software. But the US’s lack of its own public tax filing option may soon be coming to an end. After years of lawsuits and public criticism on the industry, the threat of a new, publicly run competitor has become more serious than ever. It’s one step closer to becoming a reality, as discussed in the Big Take podcast.
Intuit Inc. is the US-based software company which owns the popular tax file software, TurboTax. Since its launch in the early 90s, TurboTax had become the go-to online tax prep tool for Americans, despite the growing controversy around it. Every year, the company faces lawsuits, complaints and accusations of misleading customers, overcharging for filing fees, and exploiting user data. Despite these controversies, TurboTax is still the number one choice for online tax filing.
On the Big Take Podcast from the Taxpayers Union Foundation, financial journalist Frank Clemente further addresses the potential for a government-run publicly funded tax filing program. Clemente discussed the crucial need for an alternative to private tax filing software in order to allow citizens easier access to their tax returns and refunds. He argues that a public alternative for filing taxes would be in the best interests of taxpayers, as it would reduce costs and simplify the process.
The proposed public tax filing program would utilize existing income tax collections software. It would be free to use, with subsidies for those on lower incomes, and would provide a simple alternative to private software. Though the public alternative is still in its developmental stages, it could be a game changer in the US tax filing industry.
It’s clear that a public tax filing option would be better for taxpayers, and the Big Take podcast provides an informative look into the process of creating it. We can only hope that this new government-run filing system will materialize soon, giving all US taxpayers the chance to access their taxes conveniently and affordably.