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IRS Picks Think Tank, Law Professor to Examine E-File System

Posted on Feb. 9, 2023

The IRS has tapped the think tank New America and Loyola Law School professor Ariel Jurow Kleiman to explore the feasibility of an agency-run, free tax return filing system.

In a February 8 statement, the IRS said it selected New America because it is “a strictly non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to public problem solving with expertise in technological change, the tax code, and the taxpayer experience of everyday Americans.”

Jurow Kleiman is an associate professor of law whose research focuses on how tax policies affect low-income households. She will work with New America to examine the viability of the IRS managing a direct-file tax return system.

The agency was given $15 million in the Inflation Reduction Act (P.L. 117-169) to study the possibility of an IRS-run system and deliver a report to Congress by May that includes the cost of delivering such a service and its potential user-friendliness.

The IRS said it is on track to meet the May deadline.

Several congressional Democrats have advocated for an in-house system following revelations of tax preparation software companies misusing taxpayer data and directing eligible taxpayers away from free services.

Proposals for a direct-filing system go as far back as 1985, but they have faced stiff resistance from both the IRS and the return preparation industry.

Follow Alexander Rifaat (@alexrifaat) on Twitter for real-time updates.

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