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Happy Tax Day ! Sen. Elizabeth Warren thinks you might be getting scammed.
In a letter to Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi, Warren, as well as Reps. Katie Porter and Brad Sherman, laid into the company over its TurboTax tax-filing program’s fees. According to the lawmakers, TurboTax offers products that “scam American taxpayers into paying for services that should be free.”
The Free File system is supposed cover 70 percent of American taxpayers, but as of 2018, it’s used by just 3 percent of taxpayers each year. In 2021 filers with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less are eligible for the Free Filing services, which are listed on irs.gov, but many end up using costly services like TurboTax.
In the letter, the lawmakers cited a Pro Publica report that TurboTax had deliberately buried the free versions of its software search results by adding code into the website to suppress results, leading taxpayers to its more expensive services
The agency said Intuit has for years focused on the word “free” in its ads, running them during major events like the Super Bowl. The FTC has asked a federal judge to order Intuit to stop what it said were Intuit’s deceptive ads during the rush of tax season. This year’s tax filing deadline is April 18.
The FTC voted 3-1 in favor of filing the suit. The FTC complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California.
Intuit, based in Mountain View, California, said in a statement that it would challenge the lawsuit.