Not So Free, Turbo Tax To Pay $141 Million For Misleading Taxpayers
Their advertisements may say “free, free, free”, but the company behind the Turbo Tax filing program will be forking over $141 million to customers across the United States who were deceived by misleading promises of free tax-filing services.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the settlement with Intuit, Inc. today.
“Intuit cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to,” said James. “For years, Intuit misled the most vulnerable among us to make a profit. Today, every state in the nation is holding Intuit accountable for scamming millions of taxpayers, and we’re putting millions of dollars back into the pockets of impacted Americans.
James says the agreement should serve as a reminder to companies large and small that engaging in these deceptive marketing ploys is illegal
The agreement was signed by the attorneys general of all 50 states.
Intuit will suspend Turbo Tax’s ‘free, free, free” ad campaign and pay restitution to nearly 4.4 million taxpayers.
Impacted consumers will automatically receive notices and a check by mail.
Intuit has also agreed to reform its business practices, including:
- Refraining from making misrepresentations in connection with promoting or offering any online tax preparation products;
- Enhancing disclosures in its advertising and marketing of free products;
- Designing its products to better inform users whether they will be eligible to file their taxes for free; and
- Refraining from requiring consumers to start their tax filing over if they exit one of Intuit’s paid products to use a free product instead.
James began investigating Intuit in 2019 after the news organization ProPublica reported the company was charging low-income customers for tax services they should have received for free.
Intuit withdrew from the IRS Free File program in July 2021.
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