In reality, TurboTax’s free option is only available for some taxpayers, the complaint argues. For example, It doesn’t include anyone filing 1099s — so no gig workers.
Back in 2002, the IRS made a deal known as the IRS Free File Program. It wouldn’t develop its own competing service if tax software companies offered free prep to low- and middle-income taxpayers.
This year, that’s an adjusted gross income of $73k.But participation has historically been low — in 2018, ~3m of the ~104m eligible taxpayers took advantage.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Katie Porter, and Rep. Brad Sherman sent Intuit CEO Sasan K. Goodarzi a letter on Monday accusing Intuit of lobbying for the Free File program, then “scamming taxpayers into paying”
Intuit plans to fight the FTC, saying its claims are “not credible,” and that its campaigns have led to increased awareness about free filing.
Meanwhile, the letter demands TurboTax answer several questions about its practices, while also calling attention to the Tax Filing Simplification Act.
Erin Collins, National Taxpayer Advocate at the Internal Revenue Service, said the IRS has faced a variety of obstacles, including the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the agency's ability to do its job
"This past year was the most challenging year that taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced," she said. "Millions of taxpayers are confused. They're frustrated, and they're still waiting for their refunds from the last filing season."