Free e-Filing? Probably A Scam.

Watch out — that filing the IRS is claiming you can have for free is very likely to be loaded with hidden fees.

Even as a debate in the House rages on why the IRS can’t just set up a simple internet form to allow people to e-file, many filers are turning to IRS approved tax preparers who will supposedly do your taxes for free, but nevertheless squeeze charges out of the process.

H&R Block, for example, tries to bilk free filers by asking if you want your refund on a special debit card from everyone’s favorite incompetent Bermuda bank, HSBC. Using this debit card requires you to pay H&R Block and HSBC hidden fees, buried deep in the cryptomaniacal ramblings of the terms and conditions.

Don’t want your refund on that debit card? H&R Block apparently doesn’t care, issuing your refund on them even if you refuse it.

Asked before the House why the IRS wouldn’t just set up a form on the Internet, they claimed they wouldn’t compete with the private tax preparing sector. You know, a sector that largely exists because of the absolute madness of US tax codes. Trying to make your way through applicable tax laws is like staring into the unfathomable maw of Cthulhu. God forbid you make an already maddening process easier for tax payers.What bozos.

Senators Push for Electronic Tax Filing [Consumer Affairs]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Paul D says:

    And the line between government and corporation blurs ever further.

  2. glitterpig says:

    This drives me crazy – I live in VA, and have filed my state taxes over the Internet, for free, for years now. It takes about 10 minutes, after you have the information from the Federal forms. (And I have a few complicated things to worry about – if you filed the EZs, I’m sure it’d be even faster.) And of course the refund comes directly to my bank account, usually in 3-4 days. I did not realize that it was the federal government’s job to insure that substandard business practices produce huge annual revenues.

  3. dancemonkey says:

    I don’t get it… I used H&R Block’s online tax preparer last year (and this year) and didn’t find it that hard to decline all of the paid services. I got my federal return filed for free, direct deposited to my account. What gives with stupid people?