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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The White House keeps talking about how its tax plan could simplify federal income tax returns to the point of being able to file via postcard. But Intuit, whose flagship TurboTax product was borne of tax code complexity, tells Axios that it isn't worried.

Argument: Dan Wernikoff, general manager of Intuit's consumer tax group, says the "postcard" promise would mostly apply to low-income filers who already can access a free TurboTax product. And while Wernikoff acknowledges that the tax plan could significantly expand that sort of group, he believes simplification will pull more people to online filing and away from "stores" like H&R Block.

Backup: Wernikoff's position is also supported by Credit Suisse analyst Michael Nemeroff, who recently wrote in a research note:

We do not believe that the proposed simplification of the tax code will negatively impact DIY tax software providers as the individuals who traditionally utilize those offerings likely will not notice a dramatic change in the complexity of their tax situation. Rather, we expect the assisted tax category to potentially suffer from the reduction in complexity that could result from the elimination of itemized tax deductions; individuals that had previously been served by professional accounts could instead move to DIY software solutions, like TurboTax, at a much lower cost.

Worth noting: Even if federal tax returns were simplified, that wouldn't necessarily change state filing requirements.

Taking credit: Wernikoff also showed Axios a new TurboTax add-on that lets users calculate their personal debt-to-income ratios, which it then can provide to lenders as an alternative (or addition) to credit scores. There has been a lot of discussion here at the Money 20/20 conference this week about such products (including from startups), both due to disgust with Equifax and a broader belief among lenders that they've relied too heavily on credit scores without taking other data points into account.

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by the Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

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