The stocks of H&R Block Inc. HRB and TurboTax parent Intuit Inc. INTU fell premarket Monday, ahead of the release this week of a government report on a proposal to let the IRS allow people prepare and file their taxes electronically and for free — directly with the agency. The report comes after last year’s Inflation Reduction Act earmarked $80 billion for the IRS to upgrade its operations and enforcement and consider adding a direct filing option. The Biden administration will then decide whether to move ahead with the proposal. H&R Block’s stock fell 8% and Intuit was down 4%. Both companies are pushing back against the move, which would eat into their revenue. “It’s time for the IRS to create a free and simplified public tax filing option,” said Adam Ruben, vice president of campaign and political strategy at the Economic Security Project, a left-leaning organization that’s pushed for guaranteed income and more generous tax credits for lower-income people, in April. Taxpayers spend an average of $250 doing their tax returns in 2023, according to IRS estimates.
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