Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ventry: Intuit’s Nine Lies Kill State E-Filing Programs

Dennis J. Ventry, Jr. (UC-Davis) has published Intuit’s Nine Lies Kill State E-Filing Programs and Keep ‘Free’ File Alive, 57 Tax Notes 555 (2010). Here is the abstract:

Under the auspices of the Free File Alliance (FFA), Intuit, manufacturer of TurboTax, has been attacking state-run, free e-filing services for several years. The latest victim, Virginia’s successful iFile program, succumbed late last year. Through it all, the unquestioned crown jewels of state e-filing programs — California’s CalFile and ReadyReturn — have managed to survive. But this year, Intuit has ratcheted up its annual campaign to end the two programs. In the process, it is peddling some familiar falsehoods as well as some newly crafted misrepresentations. This article describes Intuit’s nine lies, the false arguments about ReadyReturn and CalFile that Intuit and its lobbyists have been telling elected officials, staffers, and nonprofit organizations serving California’s low-income communities. It also evaluates Intuit’s proposed Free File alternative to the state’s existing programs. For all of Intuit’s assertions — whether regarding the purported shortcomings of the state programs or the purported benefits of the Free File initiative — the article offers a point-by-point refutation.

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