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GAO: Tax Preparers Pushed Extra-Fee Refund Products on Low-Income Taxpayers

April 15, 2019

Low-income and minority taxpayers were more likely to use extra-fee tax preparation offerings like refund advances and refund transfers, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and tax preparers often didn’t present them with information about the fees ahead of time. The GAO report, and recent disclosures about a provision in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reform legislation that was passed by the House this week codifying the Free File Alliance of tax prep industry vendors, are prompting some Democrats to propose a new bill to simplify the tax prep process and allow more users to get their taxes done for free by the IRS itself. Read more (PDF) at the GAO website.