An unconscious coup?
IRS spokespeople frankly chuckled when I called up to talk through the notion that their services were putting the tax software business out of business. Clearly the IRS is not staying up at night cramming Das Kapital. But what is happening is the agency is finally taking service seriously.
The organization brought in a bright, Harvard-educated fellow named Douglas Shulman to improve usability. And guess what, he has. In remarks to the National Press Club earlier this year Shulman showed off impressive stats for improved IRS efficiency, including effectively doubling user satisfaction.
"The IRS is now recognized as a highly efficient and effective institution to carry out important and high profile government initiatives," Shulman said in his remarks to the National Press Club earlier in April.
The bottom line is, as the tax deadline approaches, individuals and business -- with just a bit of professional help to make sure they are getting the proper deductions -- can absolutely use government-provided tools to do their taxes. No extra help from the private sector is needed.
Hugo Chavez could not have planned it out any better.