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As businesses know, “free” is a word that attracts consumers’ attention year-round. As Tax Time approaches, it’s a particular draw for people who want to file their taxes for free. Intuit – the company that advertises and markets TurboTax – prominently promotes “free” filing, including in TV ads where pretty much the only spoken word is “free.” But according to a complaint filed by the FTC, Intuit has engaged in deceptive practices surrounding so-called “free” filing services. Despite TurboTax ads hammering home that “free” message, the lawsuit alleges that most tax filers can’t use the company’s “free” service, which is available only for a subset of taxpayers with what Intuit calls “simple” returns. 

The case was filed as an administrative complaint before the Federal Trade Commission and an action in federal court seeking to stop the deceptive ads. It’s the latest in a long line of law enforcement actions challenging deceptive practices related to “free” offers and it’s a matter that merits other advertisers’ close attention.

Turbotax Ad

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Rafael B.
April 28, 2022

I am a disabled veteran who Turbo Tax has been taking advantage of me. Turbo Tax has taken my refund from my social security and US Navy pension, but not only that, I have had to pay for my business taxes where I do not make any money, and I am not even in active business. This is being going on for ever. I always look forward for my tax refund, to find out Turbo Tax takes it all, and I have to pay for it Turbo Tax doing my money, after they have told me it was free. I am 66 years of age, and I am disabled US Veteran. I have the latest emails where Turbo Tax invites me to do the taxes with them, and tells me I need to file to get my tax refund, which I never get a cent, on the contrary, I paid them after they take all my tax refund. I do not know how to give you my information so you can add me to your lawsuit. I am willing to help!

April 15, 2022

I have been a victim of their so called “free” tax return and have had to pay because my taxes were not in the simple bracket of filing. I want my money back.

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