Letter: IRS pilot program could be conflict of interest

To the Editor:

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will move forward with a pilot program in 2024 that would allow it to file tax returns for individual taxpayers. This means that, in addition to collecting and auditing taxes, the IRS could also soon be in the business of preparing taxes, too.

This presents a conflict of interests. Tax preparation requires a certain degree of discretion. When push comes to shove, whose interests will the IRS look out for? Right now, its job is to maximize revenues for the federal government. That role will never change, so I fear that this pilot program will hurt the very people it is meant to help. There are already plenty of public tax preparation services at reduced or no cost for people who cannot afford to hire a private tax preparer.

Until Congress simplifies the tax code in a significant way, it is important for taxpayers to have advocates who will look out for their best interests when filing taxes. By giving the IRS the power to file, collect, and audit taxes, we are letting the fox guard the henhouse. I hope Senator Bob Casey and our federal officials will stand up for Pennsylvania and Chester County taxpayers and oppose this well-intended but dangerous proposal.

Eric Roe

Former PA State Representative

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