SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a comment letter to Secretary Janet Yellen of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The letter, which was led by the State of Montana, opposes the unconstitutional action by the Treasury Department to initiate a Direct File program for American taxpayers.
The Direct File program was created to prepare and file tax returns for Americans. This program stemmed from the passage of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, where the Executive Branch was given $15 million for an “independent third party” to study “the overall feasibility, approach, schedule, cost, organization, and design” of such a project. In selecting the party to study a potential framework for this program, the IRS chose New America, which did not meet the criteria of the congressionally mandated independence. Also, Congress did not intend for a program to be formed out of the funds that were appropriated from the legislation, but Direct File was, nevertheless, established.
In addition to the arguments that this program was not given congressional authorization nor studied by an independent party, the States assert that the study was flawed, that there is an embedded conflict of interest, that more low-income filers would be harmed by this project, that the IRS has a poor record of customer service, and that this agency has previously abused its power and cannot be trusted with a blank check of authority.
In their letter, the coalition of attorneys general write, “Treasury’s attempt to establish an IRS-run Direct File system side-steps Congress’ constitutional authority and the will of the American people by unilaterally establishing a new government program and further empowering an IRS that has repeatedly targeted some of the most vulnerable taxpayers.”
Joining Utah and Montana on the letter were the States of Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.