Tax Prep Companies Can No Longer Hide Free File Offerings From Search

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Tax Prep Companies Can No Longer Hide Free File Offerings From Search
Number 1036
Broadcast Date JANUARY 1, 2020
Episode Length 3:06
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

The IRS amended it’s Free File agreement to forbid tax prep companies from hiding free offerings from search results, The RIAA says streaming accounts for 80% of the US music market, and India plans it’s third lunar mission.


The US Internal Revenue Service announced an addendum to its Free File agreement with the tax preparation industry, which provides a free tax prep tier for lower and middle-income households. The addendum now bars tax prep companies from “engaging in any practice” that would exclude their Free File offerings “from an organic internet search.” ProPublica reported last year that Intuit set it's robots.txt file on its site to not allow search engines to index its free offering. The addendum will also require tax prep companies to standardize naming of its Free File offering, and drops the prohibition on the IRS developing its own online tax filing system.
The Recording Industry Association of America announced that in 2019, streaming music accounted for 80% of the US music market, with over 61 million subscriptions. This compares to 2010 when streaming accounted for 7% of the market with 1.5 million subscribers. Physical and digital album sales accounted for 9% of the market each in 2019, down from 52% and 38% of the market in 2010, respectively.
The Indian Space Research Organisation announced its third planned lunar mission, with plans to launch in 2020. The agency's last lunar mission successfully deployed a lunar orbiter, but failed to place a rover on the moon's south pole due to a "hard" landing. This third mission will have a "similar configuration", at less cost than its predecessor. The ISRO also announced it's first manned space flight mission is making "good progress", and on pace for a scheduled launch in late 2021.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it will investigate a fatal December 29th Tesla crash, although the agency did not say if the incident involved Tesla's autopilot system. To date, the agency said it has launched 12 investigations into crashes involving autopilot, of which three involved fatalities since 2016.
US President Trump signed the bipartisan TRACED Act into law, to help prevent robocalls in the US. The law requires adoption of the STIR/SHAKEN framework by carriers be provided to customers for free, lengthens the statute of limitations on robocall offenses while opening the door for the department of Justice to prosecute offenders, and allows the US FCC for formally recommend legislation as part of an annual report on robocall enforcement.
Samsung announced that its upcoming 8K QLED TVs will be certified by the 8K Association. This requires the displays to have a minimum 7,680 x 4,320 resolution, a peak 600 nits of brightness, with support for HDMI 2.1 and HEVC.


Preceded by:
"Uber and Postmates File Complaint Against CA's Assembly Bill 5"
Tax Prep Companies Can No Longer Hide Free File Offerings From Search
Followed by:
"TikTok Releases Its First Transparency Report"