H. R. 3457
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 4, 2007
Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California (for herself and Mr. Cantor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
To require the Secretary of the Treasury to enter into an agreement with the Free File Alliance to provide for electronic filing of individual Federal income tax returns free of charge.
Program to e-file federal income tax returns
The Sectary of the Treasury shall enter into an agreement with the Free File Alliance to provide a forms-based software service for all individual taxpayers with the ability to electronically prepare and file their Federal returns of income tax through the Internal Revenue Service website, free of charge, by using the standard 1040 and 1040EZ forms and the most commonly used schedules for taxable years beginning after 2007, and such software service to be made available (at no cost to either the United States or the participating taxpayers) by the Free File Alliance shall be in addition to the products and services available to taxpayers from Free File member companies under the terms and conditions of the Government's agreement with the Free File Alliance Agreement entered into on behalf of the United States by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on October 30, 2002, and as subsequently amended.
Term of agreement
The agreement shall have a term of 60 months, unless terminated earlier in accordance with the agreement, and may be renewed.
Development and operation of program
In providing for the development and operation of this program, the Secretary of the Treasury—
shall enter into an agreement with the Free File Alliance in accordance with subsection (a);
shall not otherwise develop or deploy electronic tax preparation or filing products for the same or similar purposes;
shall ensure that the requirements set forth in this subsection are implemented in a manner consistent with the terms, conditions, requirements, and commitments of the Agreement entered into on behalf of the United States by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on October 30, 2002, as subsequently amended, including the provision that participating companies in the Free File program may not advertise, market, or offer to sell any products or services to taxpayers while using the tax preparation programs;
may not compensate or allow a participating company to charge for providing the free products and services provided pursuant to this subsection; and
shall conduct a public information and consumer education campaign to encourage taxpayer awareness of this program, with particular emphasis on EITC taxpayer communities.
In providing for the deployment of this program, the Secretary shall also consult with other entities with expertise in this issue area, including the National Taxpayer Advocate, the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), professional and industrial organizations, nonprofit organizations, and Federal, State, and local agencies as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
Reports to congress regarding e-file program
Report on implementation
The Secretary of the Treasury shall report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter, regarding the status of the implementation of this e-file program.
Report on usage
Not later than June 30 of each year after the implementation of e-file program described in this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the National Taxpayer Advocate and the ETAAC, shall report to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, on taxpayer usage of such e-file program.
Business responsibility standards
Members of the Free File Alliance must meet the standards set forth in section 9.104–1 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations, that would be used by the Federal Government to evaluate the business responsibility of a company and the commerciality of its offered product or service if such company were being considered as a contract source for the purchase of commercial products or services for the Federal Government’s end use.
Return-free tax system
Neither the Secretary of the Treasury nor any delegate of the Secretary may implement a return-free tax system under which individuals would be permitted to comply with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 without making the return required under section 6012 of such Code for taxable years beginning after 2007, unless the authorization to implement such a system is enacted into law by an Act of Congress after the date of the enactment of this Act.