HomeFinance NewsTurboTax maker tricked customers with misleading "free" services: FTC

TurboTax maker tricked customers with misleading “free” services: FTC

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that the maker of TurboTax is guilty of deceptively marketing the software as free, when in fact, most of its customers would have to pay. The FTC’s opinion states that Intuit’s TurboTax Free Edition is not as free as it claims, especially when it comes to taxpayers with small businesses, independent contractors, or higher income levels. The FTC has ordered the company to remove these misleading claims from their advertising and more transparently disclose the actual costs of their tax preparation services. The Consumer Protection Director at the FTC hailed the decision as a “major win for consumers”, emphasizing that “free” truly means free.

On the other hand, Intuit has denounced the opinion, calling the FTC biased and accusing the body of prejudice, claiming that it serves as accuser, judge, jury, and appellate judge in the same case. The dispute comes as the IRS is set to launch its own free tax-filing service across more than a dozen states for the 2024 tax season.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed excitement about the “impressive” demo of the free IRS service, providing a promising alternative for taxpayers in light of the FTC’s findings against Intuit. As the matter remains unresolved, the issue of accurately representing the “free” claims in the financial software industry continues to be heavily discussed and strategized.

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