Sen. Warren, Reps. Porter and Sherman request investigation of tax preparation company

Three Democratic legislators recently forwarded correspondence to Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) officials, requesting an in-depth investigation into the tax preparation company Intuit.

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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined U.S. Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) in sending letters to Acting Treasury Department Inspector General Richard K. Delmar, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, and Acting FTC Inspector General Andrew Katsaros regarding the matter.

The request stems from reports of Intuit’s alleged abuse of the revolving door and the company’s hiring of former federal regulators to defend its business practices.

Warren, Porter, and Sherman request that the Treasury, Tax Administration, and FTC Inspectors General mount a probe exploring the extent to which Intuit and other Free File Alliance members have used the revolving door to exert alleged undue influence on department and agency policies that include Free File.

“For decades, Intuit lobbyists have defended a failed tax filing system that places corporate profits over taxpayer needs,” the legislators wrote. “In 2003, Intuit and other tax prep companies successfully lobbied the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to create the Free File program, through which a consortium of private companies, including Intuit, would provide free tax preparation services instead of providing those services directly to low- and middle-income taxpayers itself. Since then, Free File has failed, with only 3 percent of taxpayers participating even though the program was supposed to cover 70 percent of Americans. Free File companies like Intuit have engaged in deceptive practices and outright sabotage, including deliberately suppressing Free File websites from search results and pushing taxpayers into in-house “freemium” programs that charge for services that would be free under Free File.”