The California Franchise Tax Board has voted unanimously to permanently offer a program allowing some low-income residents to file government-prepared tax returns, despite opposition from tax preparation software companies.

Earlier this year, legislation to make the ReadyReturn program permanent died in the Legislature and opponents of the program -- including hose who believe it is a conflict of interest for the state to prepare a return and collect money owed -- are questioning whether the board has the legal authority to move forward.

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