Former IRS employee Jenni's recent video has attracted attention for criticizing popular tax filing service TurboTax, sparking debate over the complexities and costs of tax returns.
Jenni alleges that TurboTax, a widely used service for tax filing, encourages complexity in returns, adding unnecessary costs for citizens. In contrast, she highlights that most US residents should be able to file their taxes without expense, unless their tax situation is particularly intricate.
TurboTax’s Audit Insurance
One of Jenni's sharp criticisms is directed towards the audit insurance provided by tax preparation programs, denouncing it as “useless”. She argues that such offerings only serve to inflate the cost of filing taxes without providing significant benefits to the taxpayer.
Effective Free Filing Options
Jenni's counsel for citizens is to utilize available free filing options, such as the “Free File” feature on the IRS website. Another alternative for those earning ,000 or below is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a free service to aid in tax filing.
Accusations Against TurboTax’s Lobbying Efforts
According to a report from OpenSecrets.org, TurboTax's parent company, Intuit, heavily invested in federal lobbying in 2022, spending over .5 million. Jenni insinuates that these efforts are to complicate taxes further. OpenSecrets.org, a non-profit group, supports this claim by stating that Intuit is trying to restrict efforts to establish a free federal tax filing service, considering it not only unnecessary expenditure but also presents a conflict of interest.
Reaction to Jenni’s Video and Intuit’s Response
Jenni's video has drawn significant attention, with 1.6 million views and 2,600 comments. Many viewers are responding positively, pledging not to use TurboTax for their future tax filing. The accused company, Intuit, has responded to Jenni's allegations, contesting that a government-run tax preparation service would misapply taxpayer money, and would not be beneficial for low-income taxpayers.