What if you could do your taxes for free, and fast? You could, but TurboTax makers Intuit and H&R Block have spent big bucks lobbying to make sure that never happens, NBC News reports.
For years, tax prep companies have pushed back against "return-free filing" legislation that would have allowed the IRS to greatly simplify taxes for over 60 million people by offering pre-populated returns.
The industry would rather people keep using Free File, which was used by 2.6 million people last year.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2016" was endorsed by law professors and economists. It never made it out of committee.
An Intuit spokeswoman said a proposed government program "minimizes the taxpayers' engagement in the process of their own compliance." H&R Block said taxpayers could miss out on valuable tax savings.
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Authorities on Friday identified the birth name of the 52-year-old British man who mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament, adding he had a long criminal record and once was investigated for extremism — but was not currently on a terrorism watch list.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, which police said was carried out by Khalid Masood, a U.K.-born resident of the West Midlands in central England. London's top counterterror office said Masood's birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao.
Masood plowed a rented SUV into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing three people, including an American tourist and a British school administrator. A 75-year-old man died of his injuries later on Thursday. At least 50 people of almost a dozen nationalities were injured in the attack and two people remain in the hospital in critical condition.
Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts say changes Republican leaders have proposed in their health care bill to win House votes have cut the measure's deficit reduction by more than half.
The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that the new version would reduce federal shortfalls by $150 billion over the next decade. That's $186 billion less than the original bill.
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Russia may be influencing and supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan, the top U.S. general in Europe told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, NBC News reported.
Russia has largely been absent in Afghanistan since the Soviet Union's disastrous war there in the 1980s, but its role seems to be growing today, said Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who also serves as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, according to Reuters.
"I've seen the influence of Russia of late — increased influence in terms of association and perhaps even supply to the Taliban," Scaparrotti said.
His testimony comes in the wake of the Taliban's reported capture of the hotly contested town of Sangin in Afghanistan on Thursday.
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When private equity billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. signed on to be President Donald Trump's commerce secretary, he agreed to divest millions of dollars in assets, NBC News reported.
But one asset Ross plans to keep is his stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., one of the world's largest owners and operators of medium-range tanker vessels.
In a new administration full of successful businessmen dealing with a complex web of conflict-of-interest concerns, Ross' part ownership of Diamond S Shipping stands out.
A Center for Public Integrity examination of Diamond S Shipping's operations found its vessels sail under Chinese flags, even as Ross is being tapped to take an unusually muscular role shaping U.S. trade policy under President Trump's "America First" mantra. The company has ties to a major Chinese investment fund, and one of its ships has traveled to an Iranian port.
Ross has said he doesn't believe the shipping investment presents a conflict, NBC News reported.
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A girl had the chance to get up close and personal with Pope Francis on March 22 and used the opportunity to grab his skullcap right off his head.
A look through the years at the royal family. View gallery »
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One was a neighborly black man who lived in a rooming house in New York's Garment District, liked to collect autographs outside Broadway's theaters, struck up a Twitter friendship with a Hollywood actress and took photos of himself with Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce.
The other was a white Army veteran from outside Baltimore who was raised in what was described as a churchgoing and liberal family and served in Afghanistan.
Late Monday night, officials say, their paths crossed tragically on the streets of New York in a cold-bloodedly random act of racist violence by the white man.
Across America, hundreds of thousands of school children are suspended, expelled or arrested each year. An NBC investigation shows that black students with disabilities are arrested, suspended or expelled far more often than other children.
An Egyptian security official says ousted President Hosni Mubarak is back at home, free following his release from custody after legal proceedings that took years during which the country witnessed major upheavals.
The official says Mubarak left the Armed Forces hospital in Cairo's southern suburb of Maadi earlier in the morning on Friday and went to his house in the upscale district of Heliopolis under heavy security measures.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.
Sitting atop that vast apparatus of institutional knowledge, hard-won intelligence and data known as the U.S. government, President Donald Trump forms some of his most contentious opinions from other sources entirely. It could be a pundit's half-remembered comment on TV, a single word in a newspaper headline or the most self-persuasive source of all — his own instinct.
Such visceral information-gathering led Trump to accuse his "bad (or sick)" predecessor, Barack Obama, of tapping his phone.
It helps explain why a rare riot in Sweden, concerning a drug-crime suspect and resulting in no injuries, became a "massive riot, and death" linked to refugee extremism, in Trump's retelling. And why he insists he will someday be proved correct that millions voted illegally in the election that made him president but gave Hillary Clinton more votes.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
The Republican-led Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to be U.S. ambassador to Israel, ignoring objections from Democrats that David Friedman lacked the temperament for such an important diplomatic post.
Senators voted Thursday largely along party lines, 52-46, to approve Friedman's nomination.
The son of an Orthodox rabbi, Friedman has been a fervent supporter of Israeli settlements, an opponent of Palestinian statehood and staunch defender of Israel's government.
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The Trump family is launching a new hotel chain in a bold expansion of a company that critics say is already too big and opaque for an enterprise whose owner sits in the Oval Office.
The chain, called Scion, will feature the first Trump-run hotels not to bear the family's gilded name. The hotels will feature modern, sleek interiors and communal areas, and offer rooms at $200 to $300 a night, about half what it costs at some hotels in Trump's luxury chain.
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Thousands of family, friends and colleagues of slain FDNY emergency medical technician Yadira Arroyo packed into a funeral home in the Bronx to say their final goodbyes.
The two-day wake for the 44-year-old mother of five began Thursday and will continue Friday at the Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home in the Van Nest neighborhood. Viewing times will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
NBC News' Andrea Mitchell has been waiting for weeks for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to answer one of her questions. On Thursday, she finally got her soundbite, NBC News reported.
At a photo op with the Saudi foreign minister, Tillerson broke his pattern of silence or "no comment" replies to speak to the veteran foreign affairs correspondant. It was the first time he answered one of her questions since he was confirmed.
Mitchell asked if Saudi Arabia and the U.S. were in agreement when it came to defeating ISIS.
"I think as you saw from our meeting yesterday on the coalition to defeat ISIS there's great unanimity around the effort to defeat ISIS, not just on the battlefield but also off the battlefield and around the world. So yes I would say there's great unanimity," Tillerson replied.
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