And why is Congress taking the step? Because companies like Intuit, the company behind TurboTax, and H&R Block have been lobbying lawmakers for years to take the step.
In other countries, the agencies in charge of taxes have their own programs which make filing taxes more efficient — and free — for citizens. But that would eat into the profits for the tax prep industry, which was estimated to pull in $11 billion in 2018.
$11B can definitely buy you some influence in Washington. That said, what’s particularly interesting is that it’s a bipartisan initiative. I’d imagine that at least the Democrats would have wanted people to file their taxes easier as they’d need that to fund some of their future projects.