New York AG Letitia James has announced a record multistate agreement with the owner of TurboTax, Intuit Inc after deceiving millions of low-income Americans into paying for a tax service that should’ve been free.
This results in Intuit paying $141 million in restitution to the millions of consumers across the nation who were unfairly charged. In addition to paying the restitution Intuit must suspend TurboTax’s “Free, Free, Free” advertising campaign which lured customers with promises of a free tax service, only in the end to make them pay.
“Intuit cheated millions of low-income Americans out of free tax filing services they were entitled to,” said Attorney General James. “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. This agreement should serve as a reminder to companies large and small that engaging in these deceptive marketing ploys is illegal. New Yorkers can count on my office to protect their wallets from white-collar scammers.”
Under the agreement, Intuit will provide restitution to nearly 4.4 million consumers who started using TurboTax’s Free Edition for tax years 2016 through 2018 and were told that they had to pay to file even though they were eligible to file for free using the IRS Free File program offered through TurboTax. Consumers are expected to receive a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year that they were deceived into paying for filing services. Impacted consumers will automatically receive notices and a check by mail.