Letter: Cut out the middlemen in tax e-filing

Regarding, "Study: Taxpayers could save $1.2 billion with free e-filing," a reader writes: Each year for the past six years I have written the IRS a letter complaining about this issue.  The business case for the IRS to enable e-filing is indisputable.  The business case for middlemen to resell the e-file as a service is lucrative.  The business case for individuals to pay for this service is unsupportable.  The state of the art in both tax preparation software and digital signature technology has advanced to the point where each is a mature and inexpensive commodity.

Each year, I tell the IRS in my letter that I consider the requirement for me to pay a fee to an intermediate reseller of e-file services as a form of cost-shifting from the IRS to me, with an enviable profit margin going to the reseller.  Actually, by filing via letter mail, I get an extended use of my own money until the government actually cashes the check 10 days later -- a bonus.  So, until the IRS makes it less expensive for me than the $1.50 is costs to print the forms and affix a stamp to an envelope, I see no reason for me to move to e-filing.  I laud the senator's initiative to introduce legislation that will force the IRS to make a good business decision for all of the citizens, except perhaps the current middlemen.

Robert Reynolds

What do you think? Paste a comment in the box below (registration required), or send your comment to [email protected] (subject line: Blog comment) and we'll post it.


  • Management
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    Where does the TMF Board go from here?

    With a $1 billion cash infusion, relaxed repayment guidelines and a surge in proposals from federal agencies, questions have been raised about whether the board overseeing the Technology Modernization Fund has been scaled to cope with its newfound popularity.

  • IT Modernization
    shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930

    OMB provides key guidance for TMF proposals amid surge in submissions

    Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat details what makes for a winning Technology Modernization Fund proposal as agencies continue to submit major IT projects for potential funding.

Stay Connected