NBC

TurboTax and H&R Block Profit by Blocking You From Free, Easy Returns: Analysis

For years, tax prep companies have pushed back against "return-free filing" legislation that would have allowed the IRS to greatly simplify taxes

What if you could do your taxes for free, and fast? You could, but TurboTax makers Intuit and H&R Block have spent big bucks lobbying to make sure that never happens, NBC News reports.

For years, tax prep companies have pushed back against "return-free filing" legislation that would have allowed the IRS to greatly simplify taxes for over 60 million people by offering pre-populated returns.

The industry would rather people keep using Free File, which was used by 2.6 million people last year.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016" was endorsed by law professors and economists. It never made it out of committee.

An Intuit spokeswoman said a proposed government program "minimizes the taxpayers' engagement in the process of their own compliance." H&R Block said taxpayers could miss out on valuable tax savings.

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