Federal Trade Commission takes TurboTax to court, alleging "bogus" advertisements

Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 14:51:38-04

WASHINGTON — Intuit Inc., the owner TurboTax, is being taken to court by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Commission accuses the company of repeatedly misleading consumers into believing that they can file their taxes for free.

The government alleges that most tax filers can’t use Turbo Tax's so called free service, because it does not accept certain forms such as 1099s.

According to the Commission, approximately two-thirds of tax filers could not use TurboTax’s free product in 2020.

“TurboTax is bombarding consumers with ads for ‘free’ tax filing services, and then hitting them with charges when it’s time to file,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We are asking a court to immediately halt this bait-and-switch, and to protect taxpayers at the peak of filing season.”

The government claims the ads have run during major events, including the Super Bowl, and this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.

They cite one ad in particular where an announcer apparently says “That’s right, TurboTax Free is free. Free, free free free.”

Currently on Turbo Tax's website, they give a March 31 deadline to file for free with expert help, but for simple tax returns only.