Chairman Boustany, Ranking Member Lewis, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify on behalf of Policy Matters Ohio, the New America Foundation, and the National Community Tax Coalition. My research is primarily focused on the financial status and socioeconomic challenges experienced by the millions of low-and moderate-income tax filers in the United States, and my comments reflect the perspective of those who provide free tax assistance to these individuals through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. My testimony today is based upon the following four premises:
1) low- and moderate-income tax filers need and deserve high-quality, affordable options with regards to tax preparation assistance;
2) the costs and approach of paid tax preparation services should be transparent and easy for consumers of such services to understand;
3) several exemptions related to the new paid preparer regulations were established in response to issues raised by the paid preparer industry; and,
4) there are several implementation challenges that can be easily modified or resolved so that the process can best serve working families moving forward.
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