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News Posted on April 3, 2013

Professor Ventry Comments for ProPublica on Tax Preparation Software

Professor Dennis Ventry commented for a story co-produced by ProPublica and National Public Radio on government-provided "return-free filing" tax return software that has been opposed by, among others, Intuit, the company that sells TurboTax. The article was reprinted by the Huffington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The governments of Spain, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as the state of California, have provided taxpayers with the option of using free software that pre-populates tax returns with information provided to the government by the taxpayer, the taxpayer's employers, and third parties such as financial institutions.  Advocates say such a system, if provided by the U.S. government, could save federal taxpayers a collective $2 billion and 225 million hours in tax preparation time. Implementation has been opposed by Intuit, however, which has spent $11.5 million in federal lobbying over the past five years.  Ventry, whose research provided much of the factual data contained in the article, offered commentary indicating that Intuit also spent $3 million in California alone lobbying against the state's two free tax-filing software programs, CalFile and ReadyReturn

Professor Ventry is an expert in tax policy and legal ethics. His research interests include tax expenditure analysis, family taxation, professional responsibility and standards of care, tax filing and administration, tax compliance, public finance, and tax and legal history. In addition, he was recently added as a co-author on the casebook, Legal Ethics and Corporate Practice.