Intuit Still Lobbying Hard To Stop Governments From Making It Easy To File Taxes

from the corporate-culture dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about how much effort Intuit has put towards blocking proposals to have the federal government send you pre-filled out tax forms. After all, the IRS already has your information, so why not just send you a form with all of your details filled in, let you check it over for any mistakes, errors or omissions, sign it and send it back? It would save a whole lot of hassle, and certainly would avoid problems caused by simple mistakes. But, of course, if the government made it easy to pay your taxes, why then, Intuit wouldn't be able to sell as many copies of TurboTax. So it's been fighting it all along.

Of course, some states have already implemented similar systems for state taxes, and Intuit then goes on the lobbying offensive to try to repeal those laws. Reader Xan points us to an LA Times story about the lengths to which Intuit is going to try to kill off a highly successful set of programs in California that have made it much easier for many, many, many residents, while at the same time saving the state millions of dollars. It's a clear win-win.

Well, except for Intuit.

Intuit is lobbying hard for California to ditch this tremendously successful program that helps both tax payers and the state, and replace it with a different program that... helps Intuit. It would offer a much more limited offering to many fewer people, mostly designed as an upsell to get people to pay for TurboTax. And, while Intuit hasn't been successful yet, it has been spending plenty of money supporting California state politicians on both sides of the aisle to try to find support for its efforts.
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Filed Under: california, lobbying, software, taxes
Companies: intuit

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  1. icon
    interval (profile), 27 Jul 2010 @ 10:46am


    AC: "I cannot say the same for government offerings..."

    I generally agree with you; I personally wish the fed. would go back to its mandate of national defense and interstate road maintenance ONLY. And the IRS is certainly one of the most malevolent public creatures around. HOWEVER: one of my best friend's wives is an IRS field agent. She helps me and my wife with our taxes every year, and she does a great job. Her opinion on IRS matters is very valuable to *me*, and I can say that although the IRS can be an incredible burden on people who for whatever reason have screwed themselves on not towing the tax line, they appear to do their best to make information on the tax code available, and up to date. Say what you want about the organization; but their web site is quite comprehensive and helpful. I hate paying taxes, trust me. I have no love for them, but you kind of have to be pretty flagrant and dismissive of the IRS to get its interest in your affairs. If you follow the rules and grit your teeth and pay your taxes according to their rules they generally tend to leave you alone. Trust me, according to this woman's case load they have plenty of legitimately bad fish to fry. I guess what I'm saying is if these tools and forms were some kind of trap for earnest tax-paying citizens I'd be surprised.

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