When is “free, free free” not really “free free free?” According to a new settlement, it’s when Intuit claims it’s true, but it isn’t, isn’t, isn’t.
According to news sources, Intuit Inc agreed to pay $141 million in restitution to settle claims by all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., that it tricked millions of customers into buying online TurboTax products that the company deceptively advertised as “free.”
Wednesday’s settlement resolves claims that Intuit steered at least 4.4 million customers, many with low incomes, into buying its tax preparation products despite their being eligible for free electronic filing through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The settlement also calls for the largest U.S. online tax preparer to suspend ads containing slogans such as “TurboTax Free is free. Free free free free.”
Intuit offers two free versions of TurboTax: an IRS Free File version meant for lower-income people and military personnel, and a commercial product called TurboTax Free Edition for people with “simple” returns.
The states said that beginning in 2016, Intuit steered customers eligible for IRS Free File into using TurboTax Free Edition, only to later tell them they needed to pay $59.99 or more to file because their returns were not simple.
“For years, Intuit misled the most vulnerable among us to make a profit,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “Today, every state in the nation is holding Intuit accountable.”
You can’t even file your taxes without smacking right into a legal dispute. They are EVERYWHERE. And when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business including bankruptcies, landlord/tenant matters including unlawful detainers, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!