How to Join the Fight Against TurboTax Amid 2022 Lawsuit

Rachel Curry - Author
By

Mar. 31 2022, Published 2:32 p.m. ET

The FTC is suing TurboTax, owned by Intuit Inc. (INTU). The FTC is targeting TurboTax for its bait-and-switch marketing, which leads consumers to believe they’re getting free access to the tax filing software only to be charged in the end.

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If you were misled by deceptive advertising, you may be able to join the TurboTax lawsuit in 2022 one way or another. Here’s how.

FTC is suing TurboTax for deceptive advertising.

According to the FTC, Intuit’s TurboTax advertises itself to millions of users as a free tax solution. For most taxpayers, the free option isn't available and consumers end up paying for the service unwittingly.

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The FTC alleges that Intuit’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 the 2020 tax year, two-thirds of taxpayers weren't actually eligible for TurboTax software’s free version. If taxpayers received any income in the gig economy using a 1099 form, or if they earned farm income, for example, they aren't eligible.

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The FTC also said, “In several ads, the word 'free' is repeated over 40 times in a 30-second ad.”

The latest lawsuit isn't the first one for TurboTax.

This isn't the first lawsuit against TurboTax, but that doesn’t mean taxpayers haven’t fallen victim to Intuit’s ongoing deceptive advertising practices.

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The FTC’s lawsuit against TurboTax isn't a class-action suit, which means consumers can't officially claim part of the suit. However, for those whom TurboTax has preyed upon with its deceptive advertising practices, the FTC allows consumers to contact them. You can reach the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357.

A class-action suit against Intuit for the same TurboTax issue was filed in 2020, but the tech company slammed it down rather quickly. Still, Chicago-based law firm Keller Lenkner is continuing its fight against Intuit by compiling complaints as arbitration rather than a traditional class-action model. Arbitration at such a massive scale proves more costly for the company.

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Be careful what company you do your taxes with this season.

According to Samuel Levine, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the FTC is “asking a court to immediately halt this bait-and-switch, and to protect taxpayers at the peak of filing season.” This is because “TurboTax is bombarding consumers with ads for ‘free’ tax filing services, and then hitting them with charges when it’s time to file,” Levine says. The court hasn't responded yet. In the meantime, taxpayers should be wary of free product advertising on any tax filing solution, especially TurboTax.

Any individual who earns $73,000 or less in gross income can use the IRS.gov/freefile tool for free (and it’s actually free). If you’re a service member or veteran, you can use the Department of Defense’s free filing program MilTax, which doesn't have an income limit.

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