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

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