Becker & Poliakoff has notified Congress that it is lobbying for the maker of TurboTax computer software.
The firm is advocating for Intuit Inc. on the House's Free File Program Act of 2011, according to a lobbying registration report filed last week. The legislation and its Senate counterpart would make permanent a public-private partnership that allows people with low and moderate incomes to use tax-preparation software for free. The bill also would ensure that the Internal Revenue Service doesn't compete with companies that assist with the program.
Intuit is one of more than a dozen companies that work with the U.S. government in the 10-year-old program, which the IRS extended for five years in 2010. The partnership has provided free tax-preparation services to 33 million people since its inception, according to the IRS. Taxpayers can take advantage of the program this year if their adjusted gross income was $57,000 or less in 2011.
Omar Franco, managing director of Becker’s Washington office, and firm lobbyist Clarence Williams are handling the account. Neither the lobbyists nor an Intuit representative immediately responded to requests for comment.
Intuit spent $2.7 million on federal lobbying last year, according to congressional records. Company officials and lobbyists from nine firms in 2011 advocated for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company on issues that included cyber security and tax matters.
Dickstein Shapiro, McDermott Will & Emery and Williams & Jensen are among the firms. For their advocacy on behalf of Intuit in 2011, Dickstein received $200,000, McDermott collected $70,000 and Williams took in $120,000 before it stopped lobbying for the company in July.