Journalism in the Public Interest

How Are You Filing Your Federal Income Taxes?
Help us chart the costs/benefits of federal income tax prep services
by Amanda Zamora
ProPublica, Mar. 27, 2013, 3:27 pm

istock photo by lvsigns

Earlier this week, Liz Day reported how Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, has led a fight to squash “return free” income tax filing, spending more than $11 million lobbying in part to oppose “IRS government tax preparation.”

Such a voluntary option could work like this: the Internal Revenue Service estimates your income taxes based on information filed by your employer and banking institution. You, in turn, can approve the IRS estimated return without having to gather and report the same information yourself or through a third-party prep service. Or, you could throw it out and file the traditional way.

The idea has picked up steam in California and other countries, but has been roadblocked in the U.S. on the federal level. This whole debate got us thinking: How are you filing your federal income taxes this year? Tell us your tax prep story and we’ll work to chart the results...

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