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Press Release

    FreedomWorks Joins Free File Alliance Letter

    Free File Alliance members

    The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
    Speaker
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    September 21, 2006

    Dear Speaker Hastert:

    Free File Alliance members

    The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
    Speaker
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    September 21, 2006

    Dear Speaker Hastert:

    As the 109th Congress enters its final months, we wish to reiterate our strong support for the Free File Alliance, a partnership between the federal government and the private sector in which the tax preparation industry offers free electronic filing services for some taxpayers, in exchange for a commitment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) not to enter the tax preparation business.  We have strongly opposed government involvement in the tax preparation process. 

    Government prepared tax returns – such as those found in a “Return Free” model – would represent a dangerous conflict of interest, as the tax collector and enforcer becomes tax preparer.  The tax collector’s interest in maximizing revenue would override the taxpayer’s interest in minimizing his or her tax liability to the fullest extent of the law.  A danger exists that a government agency might choose to overlook many of the deductions and credits to which taxpayers are entitled either through bureaucratic error or in the interest of maximizing revenue.

    It is also likely that in a government-run tax preparation program, the individual taxpayer would still be personally liable for mistakes, not the government.  As evidence of this likelihood, one needs look no further than the current IRS 800 number hotlines, which cannot be relied upon for accurate information and advice.  In contrast, if a taxpayer receives assistance in the preparation of his or her taxes from private sector preparers or software, the commercial service provider shares responsibility for the return’s accuracy.

    The Free File Alliance is a common sense solution to serve taxpayers while preventing the federal government from entering into an ill advised adventure and competing with the private sector.  Therefore, we strongly urge the Congress to take the necessary steps to preserve the Free File Alliance.

    Sincerely,

    Free File Alliance signatures