USA: Tax thugs slam theft self-assessment software

Arizona Republic “Using a computer program to figure income taxes takes longer than doing it by hand, the IRS claims, infuriating the tax-preparation software industry. The accounting profession also is protesting the agency’s estimates of the costs of having a professional calculate various types of returns. The outcries are in response to what the Internal Revenue Service introduced in its latest tax instruction booklets as a new, ‘more accurate’ method of estimating the time and cost of filing. The figures are based on a survey of 15,000 taxpayers and 400 tax professionals, IRS spokesman Raphael Turino said. Since publishing the figures, the IRS has issued a statement online saying they are all but useless. Calling the data ‘fatally flawed,’ a trade group representing the makers of such programs as TurboTax and TaxCut urged this month that the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board investigate ‘this genuine mess.’” (02/23/06) http://tinyurl.com/qvqa3

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