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Plain Language Guidance

FTC Safeguards Rule: What Your Business Needs to Know

Date
As the name suggests, the purpose of the Federal Trade Commission’s Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information – the Safeguards Rule, for short – is to ensure that entities covered by the Rule...

Intuit Inc., In the Matter of (TurboTax)

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against Intuit Inc., the maker of the popular TurboTax tax filing software, by issuing an administrative complaint against the company for deceiving consumers with bogus advertisements pitching “free” tax filing that millions of consumers could not use. In addition, to prevent ongoing harm to consumers rushing to file their taxes, the Commission also filed a federal district court complaint asking a court to order Intuit to halt its deceptive advertising immediately.  
 
The Commission alleges that the company’s ubiquitous advertisements touting their supposedly “free” products—some of which have consisted almost entirely of the word “free” spoken repeatedly—mislead consumers into believing that they can file their taxes for free with TurboTax. In fact, most tax filers can’t use the company’s “free” service because it is not available to millions of taxpayers, such as those who get a 1099 form for work in the gig economy, or those who earn farm income. In 2020, for example, approximately two-thirds of tax filers could not use TurboTax’s free product.
Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
1923119
Docket Number
9408
Case Status
Pending