Despite a recent internal study showing that Americans overwhelmingly prefer commercial tax preparation software over an IRS-managed system, the Biden administration is continuing to push for the development of a direct e-file system for taxes.
The nonpartisan Mitre Corporation conducted the study earlier this year and found that just 15% of Americans would use an IRS direct e-file system even if it was able to prepare state returns and provided the same functionality as free commercial software.
The study also noted that the IRS would need to include a feature allowing taxpayers to file state returns along with federal returns to make its e-file more attractive.
The study further stated that “established filers” would be hard-pressed to leave current software since it contains historical information.
The only scenario where a direct e-file system would be preferred, according to the study, is for the minority of Americans who file complex returns. The main reason for the disparity between the two options is the cost of commercial software for complex returns.