Should the IRS Have Total Power?

Happy Tax Theft Day!

Since April 15 was the day that DC celebrated "Emancipation Day"-- which commemorates the signing of the "Compensated Emancipation Act," that freed 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia-- the IRS delayed tax day until yesterday, thus ruining the third weekend of April for millions of Americans, as opposed to ruining the second weekend.

One of the few things that the Federal Government does to make tax time a little less onerous is the free file program. Free file is a program where private taxpayer services, such as Turbo Tax, offer free help to low-income Americans. These programs has saved Americans approximately $13 billion in preparation costs without costing the taxpayer a dime.

So who could object to free file? Those who want to get the private sector out of the business of tax preparation and have the IRS prepare our taxes for us... yes, you read that right, there are people who think it is a good idea if the government determined for us how much we owed it every April 15.

Having the IRS act as our national H&R Block would mean that any questions about your tax liability would automatically be decided in the government's favor.  Making the IRS the nation's tax preparer  would also give the IRS even more access to our personal financial information, thus giving the agency more ability to target taxpayers whose political, social, or even religious views displease the agency's bureaucrats or powerful politicians the IRS bureaucrats want to please.

Representative Peter Roskam (IL-06) and  Ron Kind (WI-03)  are soon going to introduce legislation making the free file program permanent. Campaign for Liberty has joined a coalition of organizations on a letter supporting making the free file program permanent (or at least last until we get rid of the income tax).

Campaign for Liberty members who do not want the IRS to get into the tax preparation business should call their representative and tell them to support making the free file program permanent.

Here and below is the coalition letter in support of making the free file program permanent:

Dear Congressmen Roskam and Kind,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in support of the Free File Program Act of 2016.

By making the Free File Program permanent, your legislation guarantees quality, free, and efficient online tax preparation and electronic filing services for millions of families across the country.

At almost 75,000 pages, the U.S. tax code is one of the most complex in the world. In fact, Americans spend more than 6.1 billion hours and $168 billion complying with the code each year.

The reality is, it is difficult or impossible for most taxpayers to file their own taxes.

The Free File program is critical to addressing this complexity. The program offers 70 percent of taxpayers, or those making less than $62,000, access to electronic filing software provided by leading private companies free of charge.

Since the program’s inception, over 40 million taxpayers have used the service and saved $1.3 billion in preparation costs.  The program also saves the federal government hundreds of millions in administrative costs because of increased efficiency.

Not only does this legislation make Free File permanent, it encourages more innovation within the program to better prevent fraud, protect against identity theft, and ensure taxpayer data is safeguarded.

Members of Congress should have no hesitation supporting this important, commonsense legislation and making the Free File program permanent for the millions of Americans that rely on it each and every year.


Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Dan Weber
President, Association of Mature American Citizens

Norm Singleton
President, Campaign for Liberty

Jeffrey Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Neil Bradley
Chief Strategy Officer, Conservative Reform Network

Tom Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Hector V. Barreto
President, Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Andrew Langer
President, Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Allen Gutierrez
National Executive Director, The Latino Coalition

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Colin Hanna
President, Let Freedom Ring

Charlie Sauer
President, Market Institute

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Berin Szoka
President, TechFreedom

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