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As I See It

Filing taxes should be easier, cheaper



Have you filed your taxes yet? If you have, you no doubt experienced plenty of confusion and frustration. But a bill introduced yesterday in Congress seeks to make that process easier, or at least less expensive. The bill, introduced just days before this year’s filing deadline, seeks to simplify the filing process, and target those who make a profit helping you file your taxes. The Tax Filing Simplification Act would set up a free online preparation and filing service, so you wouldn’t have to shell out money for those tax filing software products. Turns out that for-profit tax filing services are making big bucks. Powerful lobbies of companies like Turbo Tax and Intuit have spent more than $40 million since 1998 opposing free filing. This legislation would also allow taxpayers to access the information you need to complete your returns, things like your wages, interest and dividends. Supporters point out the government already has this information, and this system makes it easier to access. Supporters of this bill describe the American tax filing system as one of the most confusing and expensive in the world, which provokes anxiety because of its complexity. It doesn’t have to be this way, and if this bill becomes law, starting in 2018, it will not.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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