Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

ProPublica: Here’s How TurboTax Just Tricked You Into Paying To File Your Taxes

TurboTaxProPublica, Here’s How TurboTax Just Tricked You Into Paying to File Your Taxes:

Come along as we try to file our taxes for free on TurboTax!

Did you know that if you make less than $66,000 a year, you can prepare and file your taxes for free?

No? That’s no accident. Companies that make tax preparation software, like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, would rather you didn’t know.

Intuit and other tax software companies have spent millions lobbying to make sure that the IRS doesn’t offer its own tax preparation and filing service. In exchange, the companies have entered into an agreement with the IRS to offer a “Free File” product to most Americans — but good luck finding it.

Here’s what happened when we went looking.

Our first stop was Google. We searched for “irs free file taxes.”

And we thought we found what we were looking for: Ads from TurboTax and others directing us to free products.


... It turns out that if you start the process from, it’s impossible to find the truly free version. The company itself admits this. ...

We asked TurboTax spokesman Rick Heineman why the company doesn’t automatically direct eligible taxpayers to the Free File product. He didn’t respond. ...

IRS News, Tax | Permalink