Why No Free e-filing via IRS?

Why do I have to spend $50 or more for software to complete my tax returns and e-file them?  In other countries (Denmark, Sweden, Spain), people can just go to the gov’t tax web site and open up a prefilled out tax form  (tax agency has filled out based on W-2s, dividend reporting forms, etc.).  Taxpayers make any necessary changes online and press a button to e-file.  Simple, quick, and free.

When such schemes have been proposed in Congress, TurboTax and other tax software companies have successfully lobbied against these bills.

It’s true that the IRS provides a list of free online e-filing services, but these are very limited.  Tax software companies will provide free online forms and e-filing if you only need Form 1040EZ and/or your income is less than $50,000 and/or you are under 55, etc.  Why do the rest of us have to pay in order to carry out our legal duty to pay taxes?



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