What the Senate GOP hopes that no one will find out, though, is that the same companies that provide that “help” are the ones directly responsible for this tax fraud. And their proposed “correction” will only make those same taxpayers more dependent on those same companies, which means the same problems will continue on a bigger scale.
What Senate GOP hopes you don’t know is that those huge errors were the fault of tax-filing companies, though, including ones that also make tax-filing computer programs like “Tax Cut” (H&R Block) and “TurboTax” (Intuit). That’s what GAO actually reported.
In an undercover investigation, GAO learned that those same companies and their programs produced EITC filings that told taxpayers they were entitled to an average of $1,500 in additional tax refunds. But those extra refunds were based on false claims and incorrect calculations.
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So who’s at fault for these errors? Those tax-filing companies, that’s who, along with their tax-filing software. It was their accountants and their programs that made the mistakes on EITC filings.
But who does the Senate GOP want to pay for that error? The low- and middle-income families that qualify for EITC.
And how does Senate GOP want them to pay? By making the forms for EITC longer and more complicated. That way, those lower- and middle-income taxpayers will have greater need to pay those same companies for help when filing their tax returns.
And how much will they have to pay? Even more than they already have! The companies that make the software will have to produce new updates to their programs, of course. (And which will give them more opportunity to make more errors.) As a result, the companies can then charge more for those new programs.
And why did Senate GOP decide to punish low- and middle-income families instead of the companies responsible for the errors? Because those tax-filing companies lobbied their asses off, that’s why (both H&R Block and Intel).
It gets even worse, too, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In that same Appropriations Bill, the GOP proposes the IRS complicate the forms used to claim tax credits for college tuition and health insurance, and for the Child Tax Credit, too.
That’s today’s lesson on the GOP. If you make mistakes that cost billions, just lobby and pay-off your Republican representatives, who’ll make ordinary folks pay for those mistakes.
Of course, the Appropriations Bill still needs to be okayed by the House. But that branch of Congress has even more Republicans, so don’t get your hopes up.