It's official. More of us will be e-filing for free next year.
Just to make it clear, I'm not saying my blog posting was the catalyst for Intuit's announcement today. As I mentioned, it was well in the works. And I had meant to blog about it days ago, but I just got around to it this afternoon. My procrastinating, however, worked out well this time, don't you think?!
"Eliminating separate fees for filing individual federal tax returns is the right thing for American taxpayers," said Kiran Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Consumer Tax Division, in the company statement of the no-fee move. "This will encourage more e-filed returns and help the IRS achieve its e-file goals."
The corporate decision also cheered Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who's been a long-time foe of e-file fees. "It is my hope that by next tax season all of the major tax software and tax preparation companies will follow suit and that e-filing will be free for all taxpayers, regardless of how they file their returns," Schumer said.
Just the beginning? Intuit's decision is going to make a lot of taxpayers very happy.
And Schumer's hope is shared by all those filers who use other tax prep packages.
Sure, some of TurboTax's competitors have already made free e-filing a big part of their product, most notably 2nd Story's TaxACT, which also offers some of its software for free, too.
But TurboTax is the industry leader, with H&R Block's TaxCut on its heels. Will TaxCut now offer its home users the same e-filing break?
My guess is yes. And, as the free market saying goes, we taxpaying consumers win!
Picking a tax prep package: If you've never used tax software before, do some homework before you buy one. Here are some tips on what to look for in the various offerings.