Free E-File Service Will Benefit 60% of Taxpayers

The federal government has unveiled a plan whereby as many as 60 percent of taxpayers will be able to file their tax returns electronically for free next spring.

Tax preparers and tax software manufacturers have praised the plan that provides for a government/private industry consortium to provide free tax filing services via a link on the IRS Web site.

"We're taking advantage of technology to reduce the cost and the hassle of filing for millions of taxpayers," said Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

Under the plan, the tax preparers and software companies who choose to participate in the consortium will each agree to provide free services to a minimum of 10 percent of taxpayers, and it is estimated that the consortium as a whole will provide free services to 60% of the nation's taxpayers. Taxpayers will be able to browse through a list of participating tax preparers and choose the program they prefer. The IRS is still trying to meet its congressionally mandated burden of having 80 percent of tax returns filed electronically by 2007.

Intuit, maker of TurboTax software, and H&R Block, maker of TaxCut software, have both said they plan to join the consortium. "We plan to vigorously participate in the consortium," said Intuit spokeswoman Julie Miller, who mentioned that 47 percent of taxpayers are already eligible for free e-filing services from Intuit. Intuit offers free filing for taxpayers with adjusted gross income under $25,000.

As an added incentive to file electronically, President Bush has asked Congress to give e-filing taxpayers an extra 15 days to file their tax returns. So far no decision has been made on that suggestion.

You may like these other stories...

You probably don't want to think about how many times you access the File menu in Excel 2010 or 2013. Personally I think Excel 2010 has the best possible File menu arrangement, other than having Print Preview grafted...
Following other recent high-profile hacking events, investigators discovered yesterday that hackers broke into the draft work paper files of several famous CPA firms. Revealing images of the scantily clad documents have been...
For bitcoin users, the taxman cometh. And you best know how to calculate taxes owed on what the IRS calls convertible virtual currency.In March 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which declares virtual currency will be...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Oct 30
Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links. For the uninitiated, workbook links allow you to connect one Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to other spreadsheets, Word documents, databases, and even web pages.