💸 Intuit Goes For The Settlement
It might not be the refund some Americans were expecting, but $141 million will be heading back to taxpayers. The money is part of a settlement Intuit, the company behind popular tax-filing software TurboTax, has reached with the New York Attorney General over misleading ads for free tax services. As PBS notes, the AG's case was sparked by ProPublica's 2019 report that “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.”
“Intuit cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to,” Attorney General Letitia 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.”
According to ProPublica, Intuit executives were aware of their misleading ads, saying: “The website lists Free, Free, Free and the customers are assuming their return will be free … customers are getting upset.”
The Pay Out
The settlement covers tax years 2016-2018 and will reimburse filers $30 per year they were entitled to free tax services. Intuit has publicly justified its tactics by stating that customers are empowered “to take control of their financial lives, which includes being in charge of their own tax preparation.”
Intuit’s settlement in New York closes just one case the company faces for its misleading practices. It’ll be interesting to see how the tax services juggernaut moves ahead with the federal suit it faces.