This year, some people will be getting some extra money from Intuit, the company that runs TurboTax. This is because, after years of misleading consumers with deceptive advertising tactics, search engine manipulation, and hidden fees built into Intuit’s TurboTax filing software, the company has to pay out $141 million due to a lawsuit led by New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James.
The money will get distributed among 4.4 million customers who filed using TurboTax between 2016 and 2018, and were charged for services that were advertised as “free.” If that is you, you’ll automatically receive a check for about $30 for each of the years you paid for the TurboTax paid version.
“Intuit cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to. For years, Intuit misled the most vulnerable among us to make a profit,” AG James said.
All 50 states and Washington D.C. signed onto the lawsuit. James’ also said, “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,” said the AG.
That “Free” edition was heavily advertised via paid Google ads, while the real free version was intentionally hidden from search results. In 2020 the IRS told TurboTax to stop and start being transparent. Then, in July 2021, Intuit left the IRS Free File partnership to “focus on further innovating in ways not allowable under the current Free File guidelines,” according to the company.
Intuit claims that it did nothing wrong, and said, “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. Intuit already adheres to most of these advertising practices and expects minimal impact to its business from implementing the remaining changes going forward,”
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Filed Under: Technology News