Intuit Is Only Doing What Every Other Company Does

Intuit Is Only Doing What Every Other Company Does

Matt HealeyWednesday,6 May 2015

A while ago I said on Twitter that I was going to write a post about Intuit lobbing to keep the tax code as complicated as possible. The problem was then things got busy and the post dropped to the bottom of the “to do” list. But the bottom of the list doesn’t mean off the list; so, now that I have had some time, I am going to revisit the issue. It seems as if the several people are up in arms that Intuit would lobby to keep the tax code as complicated as possible so they could sell more copies of Turbo Tax each year. I mean really, a company using political lobbying and campaign contributions to keep a structure in place that generates revenue from them. To which I say “I am shocked, shocked to find there is gambling going on in here.” This is exactly what large corporations do in the name of “fair competition.” Here are a few examples of regulations that serve only to protect a vested interest that I have had personal issues with:

– In Connecticut, only an attorney can notarize a will. My wife and I discovered that when trying to get her father’s will done. Further, attorneys will not notarize a will they did not prepare. So, to avoid having probate issues, you have to hire a lawyer to prepare a will at several hundred dollars, rather than use an online tool and have it notarized for less than $100.

– Massachusetts restricts the sale of alcohol in grocery stores to protect the beer and wine distributors. Currently, companies that operate multiple stores in the state can get a liquor license for 7 of their stores. So, rather than being able to take care of all of the shopping required for a Sunday of football in one place, you get to run to multiple locations.

– In New Hampshire I have the “choice” of Comcast or no TV on high speed internet. Why? Because the cable and telcos have managed to collude to make sure there is no competition in the name of “fair competition.” Then they went one step further and lobbied for laws that prohibit municipalities from deploying their own networks.

– There is now discussion about using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to restrict people from modifying or repairing their own cars. So, if you Autocross, race on a private track, or use your car for any other legal competition where you might get an edge by adjusting your car, you might be SOL. Granted this only effects a small portion of us, but the auto manufactures don’t want to stop there. They have already tried to use this to prevent independent garages from performing routine maintenance on the car, thus requiring you to go to the dealer for all services.

– Tesla wants to approach the car market in a different way. Part of this means not establishing a dealer network and selling cars directly to the consumer. The problem is that threatens the business models for the current dealers. The response? You guessed it. Rather than becoming a reputable industry that provides value to consumers, they lobbied various states to ban the sale of Tesla cars in their states.

It is easy to get up in arms about Intuit because we all think that the tax process is overly complex and painful. But really, this shit goes on in every industry and we all pay the price for it. It is large companies using the political process to protect their market against competition.

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