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]