U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), on June 15 spoke on the Senate floor to call attention to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Free File Program, a free tax preparation service available to nearly 100 million eligible U.S. taxpayers.
The speech followed a bipartisan staff memo that Carper released with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), chairman of the PSI, which found there has been little IRS oversight of the Free File program — a free online tax preparation and filing service available to U.S. taxpayers. As a result, American taxpayers, who are eligible for free tax filing through the IRS may not be aware of the program or taking advantage of it. That could result in eligible taxpayers paying fees to file their taxes through online tax preparation services.
Ahead of the July 15 tax filing deadline, Carper said he wants to ensure that Americans who made $69,000 or less in 2019 know that they can access the free filing services to which they are entitled by visiting www.irs.gov/FreeFile.
“My colleagues and staff oftentimes hear me say, ‘Find out what works and do more of that.’ Well, we have found out on our subcommittee how we can strengthen and support the Free File Program,” said Carper. “Let’s do it! Let’s begin by doing our part and provide this year, and in the years that follow, the IRS with the resources it needs and — where necessary — the additional guidance it needs to make Free File work the way we intended it to work.”
Carper continued, “Another thing I like to say is that, ‘in adversity, lies opportunity.’ In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the filing deadline for taxpayers has been pushed back to July 15t. That means that we have more time to get the word out to eligible Americans that they can file their taxes for free. I want to encourage all eligible taxpayers to visit IRS.Gov/FreeFile to ensure they have access to the free resources that are available to them.”