←  Non-Political Discussion

Talk Radio Sucks -- Smart Politics

»

TurboTax Charged for Free File and then Li...

LFC's Photo LFC 10 May 2019 - 05:04 PM

Oh, boy. Looks like another big company scam. Free File was created in a deal with the IRS to keep them from creating their own electronic tax preparation and filing program. It was supposed to be free for people with small incomes. Apparently that wasn't good enough for Intuit.

Quote

The makers of TurboTax have long been luring customers into paying for a service that they promised the government they’d give away for free. Now they’re lying to customers to avoid giving refunds.

We’ve heard from 16 people who say they were denied refunds and told that the truly free version — Free File — is a government product that’s not run by TurboTax. Ten others reported being told that ProPublica’s stories were inaccurate, or that our coverage is “fake news” or “fictitious.”

None of that is true.

TurboTax’s Free File product is created and run by the company. It is offered as part of a deal between the tax software industry and the government. The deal is specifically designed to keep the IRS from creating its own free online filing system.

Several people gave us recordings of their calls.

Here’s audio from one caller, a graduate student in Virginia whose income was around $16,000 — meaning he easily qualified for TurboTax’s Free File. He was charged $105.

The graduate student asked the agent why there were no links to the actual free version — Free File — on the TurboTax website:

Quote

TurboTax Agent: “Because it is an IRS product we built for them.”

Caller: “But you guys are the ones managing it right?”

TurboTax Agent: “No, the IRS is the one managing it.”

We gave the recording to Intuit, which makes TurboTax, but a spokesperson did not answer questions about the call. He said in a statement, “We will look into this directly with the agent.” Intuit has repeatedly declined to answer questions about its refund policy.

Other readers also reported being told that TurboTax was not responsible for Free File.

“They said their free service is actually owned by IRS, not them,” said Becky from California.

Anna from Massachusetts said that a supervisor told her that Free File is “a government product that is simply branded as TurboTax.”

Christopher from Virginia said he was told “that the IRS uses the Turbo Tax platform for Free File but that TurboTax is not responsible for it.”

Laurie from Washington said she was told by a TurboTax agent that ProPublica was going to run a retraction. (Our stories are accurate, so there’s nothing to retract.) Laurie was charged $130 by TurboTax. Her adjusted gross income was just $376.

An Intuit spokesperson previously said that no material provided to call agents included “derogatory terms about ProPublica.”

Other callers said that Intuit representatives told them the company has not given anyone a refund. That is also false.
Quote

pnwguy's Photo pnwguy 10 May 2019 - 06:05 PM

View PostLFC, on 10 May 2019 - 05:04 PM, said:

Oh, boy. Looks like another big company scam. Free File was created in a deal with the IRS to keep them from creating their own electronic tax preparation and filing program. It was supposed to be free for people with small incomes. Apparently that wasn't good enough for Intuit.
Maybe their CEO went to Trump University for advanced degrees in fleecing the public. Why not learn from the nation's biggest crook and tax cheat?
Quote

LFC's Photo LFC 16 May 2019 - 04:08 PM

How's this for a steaming pile of corporate horseshit?

Quote

Sasan Goodarzi, the CEO of Intuit, says the company’s efforts to make its free tax-filing software harder to find on Google were part of the software giant’s commitment to educating taxpayers.

In an 11-minute video sent to Intuit employees, Goodarzi said the company was trying to help consumers by steering them to “educational content” instead of TurboTax’s free filing website.

The company promised the IRS it would offer a free option to tens of millions of taxpayers earning less than $34,000.

Responding to our reporting, which shows that Intuit, H&R Block and other for-profit tax software companies were steering low-income customers to their paid products, Goodarzi said the company’s marketing practices “had been misinterpreted to signal that we were trying to hide the product we offer in the IRS program. That is inaccurate.”

“Our choice around search was intended to be [in] the best interest of taxpayers so they were more fully informed about their options and could choose what they felt was best for them,” Goodarzi said in the video, which was marked “Intuit Confidential” and was sent to staff on May 3.
Quote