Intuit To Pay $141 Million To Millions Of Customers For Its ‘Free To File’ Bullshit
from the death-and-taxes dept
We have a whole series of posts going back several years about Intuit, maker of TurboTax software, and its bullshit and misleading practices for fooling the public into thinking they can file taxes for free under the government’s free-to-file program only to deceptively convince them to pay for services instead. The highlights are that the company has people go through the full tax prepwork after luring them in with promises of free services only to claim they don’t qualify for free filing, and that the company does everything it can to actually hide the options for free filing, and then siphons fees from low-income taxpayers and military veterans. Just great people all around.
The FTC sued Intuit over all of this recently. In what appears to be an unrelated suit spearheaded by NY Attorney General Letitia James, Intuit has also just settled with all 50 states for $141 million over its deceptive practices.
The settlement, announced Wednesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James, said about 4.4 million customers were “unfairly charged.” Intuit must also suspend its “free, free, free” ad campaign because it falsely lured customers with the promise of free tax preparation services, the statement added.
As is typical in these sorts of settlements, Intuit was not forced to admit any wrongdoing. But that didn’t mean that Intuit itself had to put out a statement reiterating that fact before adding that the company does not expect this settlement to impact its current business at all. It almost seems like Intuit has decided that paying out this settlement is no big deal. Or, perhaps, even worth it.
Each user impacted by the settlement will be mailed a check of $30 for each year they were negatively impacted by Intuit “doing nothing wrong.” And, while Intuit has stated that no wrongdoing is admitted here, AG James is singing a different tune.
“Intuit cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to,” James wrote in a press release. “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.”
Will this get Intuit to permanently change its ways and no longer try to bilk money out of an unsuspecting public? Naaaaaaah, probably not. We’ll have to see now what the FTC gets done with its own lawsuit.