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no free lunch?!....TurboTax paying $141m back to customers for false 'free' tax filing claims....
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 05, 2022 07:57AM
....advertised as filing for 'free' but people ending up having to pay [ deceptive advertising ]....

.....if you filed using them, you may be getting money back....


Intuit to pay $141M settlement over ‘free’ TurboTax ads

....The company behind the TurboTax tax-filing program will pay $141 million to customers across the United States who were deceived by misleading promises of free tax-filing services, New York’s attorney general announced Wednesday.

Under the terms of a settlement signed by the attorneys general of all 50 states, Mountain View, California-based Intuit Inc. will suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign and pay restitution to nearly 4.4 million taxpayers, New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

James said her investigation into Intuit was sparked by a 2019 ProPublica report that found the company was using deceptive tactics to steer low-income tax filers away from the federally supported free services for which they qualified — and toward its own commercial products, instead.

“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 said in a statement. “This agreement should serve as a reminder to companies large and small that engaging in these deceptive marketing ploys is illegal.”

“As part of the agreement, Intuit admitted no wrongdoing, agreed to pay $141 million to put this matter behind it, and made certain commitments regarding its advertising practices,” representatives for Intuit said in a blog post Wednesday. “Intuit already adheres to most of these advertising practices and expects minimal impact to its business from implementing the remaining changes going forward.”

Until last year, Intuit offered two free versions of TurboTax. One was through its participation in the Internal Revenue Service’s Free File Program, geared toward taxpayers earning roughly $34,000 and members of the military. Intuit withdrew from the program in July 2021, saying in a blog post that the company could provide more benefits without the program’s limitations.

The company also offers a commercial product called “TurboTax Free Edition” that is only for taxpayers with “simple returns,” as defined by Intuit.

According to documents obtained by ProPublica, Intuit executives knew they were deceiving customers by advertising free services that were not in fact free to everyone.

“The website lists Free, Free, Free and the customers are assuming their return will be free,” an internal company PowerPoint presentation said. “Customers are getting upset.”

Under the agreement, Intuit will provide restitution to consumers who started using the commercial TurboTax Free Edition for tax years 2016 through 2018 and were told that they had to pay to file even though they were eligible for the version of TurboTax offered as part of the IRS Free File program.

Consumers are expected to receive a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year that they were deceived into paying for filing services, James said. They will automatically receive notices and checks by mail.

“We empower our customers to take control of their financial lives, which includes being in charge of their own tax preparation,” an Intuit spokesperson told ProPublica in a statement in 2019.

The spokesperson added that a “government-run pre-filled tax preparation system that makes the tax collector (who is also the investigator, auditor and enforcer) the tax preparer is fraught with conflicts of interest.”



fake..........free.......?!



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2022 08:00AM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: no free lunch?!....TurboTax paying $141m back to customers for false 'free' tax filing claims....
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 05, 2022 10:19AM
I'll be organizing an effort to avoid using TurboTax next year. There are alternatives.



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Re: no free lunch?!....TurboTax paying $141m back to customers for false 'free' tax filing claims....
Posted by: chopper
Date: May 05, 2022 10:41AM
We are 100% done with TT. What was once so good and promising has now made just getting an accountant to do our taxes less hassle.
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Re: no free lunch?!....TurboTax paying $141m back to customers for false 'free' tax filing claims....
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 05, 2022 09:54PM
I've been using Tax Act for the last several years.

My taxes are easy, I just use TA for the eFile.

I'm tempted to go to paper because the year before last, they jumped the charge to do my state and efile to $40.

Fed is still free.

Next year I'll give the IRS Free File a look.






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Re: no free lunch?!....TurboTax paying $141m back to customers for false 'free' tax filing claims....
Posted by: PeterW
Date: May 06, 2022 02:53PM
Quote
chopper
We are 100% done with TT. What was once so good and promising has now made just getting an accountant to do our taxes less hassle.

Yeah, good luck finding an accountant to do your taxes for $30.
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