Intuit CEO tells Feds to stay out of tax-prep software biz

Intuit has long complained about governments offering tax-prep software that would compete with its popular TurboTax software.

A trade association it funds (the Computer and Communications Industry Association) calls such ideas "contrary to the principles of free enterprise and limited government that have fostered our nation's economic development since its founding, and (we) will continue to seek to curtail such undertakings."

(On a more pragmatic level, IRS-created taxware isn't exactly going to be the most helpful in finding overlooked deductions and obscure tax credits.)

On Monday, Steve Bennett, Intuit's president and chief executive, took his company's arguments to the Progress and Freedom Foundation's conference here in Aspen, Co.

In a luncheon speech, Bennett told the cautionary tale of the U.K. government, which decided to become the "monopoly provider of electronic tax services" and found its returns were wrong 27 percent of the time.

The U.S. government should avoid repeating that mistake, he said. "Government should not compete with its citizens."

Tech Culture
About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.


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