By Walt Hickey Tax Prep The Inflation Reduction Act, while broadly a climate, health care and tax bill, also steers $15 million to study how the IRS could implement a public system that would enable millions of Americans to file their taxes for free without having to shell out for tax prep software annually. The report is now due within nine months. Many other rich, developed countries have free tax filing systems for taxpayers with a fairly vanilla return. We don’t, in no small part due to extensive lobbying from the corporations that sell tax prep software. Researchers from the Treasury, Minneapolis Fed and Dartmouth found that something like 41 percent to 48 percent of all tax returns could just be pre-populated with current year tax information and still be correct.