IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 3, 2011
Mr. Pryor (for himself and Mr. Isakson) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To make permanent the Internal Revenue Service Free File program.
This Act may be cited as the
Free File Program Act of
The Congress finds the following:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Free File program as established by the IRS pursuant to public rulemaking and set forth in the Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 213, Monday, November 4, 2002, pages 67247–67251, and in implementing agreements and governing rules and requirements between the IRS and the tax software and electronic industry between 2002 and 2011, has been successful and significant in the efforts of the Federal Government to increase the electronic filing of individual income tax returns of low and moderate income taxpayers.
By the end of the current tax return filing season more than 30,000,000 Federal individual income tax returns will have been prepared and filed electronically for free over the life of the IRS Free File program.
The IRS Free File program offers Federal individual income tax return preparation and electronic filing services to more than 70 percent of taxpayers, approximately 100,000,000 taxpayers at the end of the current tax filing period, with tax software and electronic filing provided at no cost to the taxpayers who use the service or to the Federal Government from tax software and electronic filing companies participating in the program.
By the end of the current tax return filing season, it is estimated that the IRS Free File program will have saved taxpayers approximately $1,000,000,000 and will have saved the Federal Government hundreds of millions of dollars.
Internal Revenue Service Free File Program
The Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary's delegate, is authorized and directed to continue to operate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Free File program as established by the IRS in the public rulemaking of November 4, 2002, and subsequent agreements and governing rules.
The IRS Free File program shall continue to provide free online individual income tax preparation and electronic filing services to the 70 percent of taxpayers with the lowest income, determined using prior year taxpayer adjusted gross income. The number of taxpayers receiving such services each year shall be adjusted for each filing season based on taxpayer population and income changes, but the percentage specified in the preceding sentence shall not change.
The Internal Revenue Service shall continue to work cooperatively with the private sector through the Free File Alliance to provide free individual income tax preparation and electronic filing services and shall not compete with the private sector in providing these services to taxpayers, nor shall such Service acquire, develop, or deploy enabling systems to duplicate or replace private tax preparation services.
The Secretary of the Treasury, or the Secretary's delegate, shall not establish, develop, sponsor, acquire, or make available individual income tax preparation software or electronic filing services except through the IRS Free File program and the Internal Revenue Service’s Taxpayer Assistance Centers, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, and volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) programs.