TurboTax can’t say it’s “free” anymore

Can't have a free-for-all unless its free for all!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

It is tax season everyone. The time that everyone dreads. It’s made even worse this time because of how the US decides it wants to spend the money that they get from us. Somehow, we can’t get healthcare, education, or housing. There is, however, money for imperialisation, capitalism, and white supremacy on the world stage. Also, there’s the part where we have to file our taxes. The US tax code is so complicated, we have to pay someone to do them. Intuit, makers of TurboTax, have made it its mission to keep the laws complicated. It would require US citizens to rely on their products. This, in turn, makes them money. But, in some good news, the FTC decided to shut down one of their deceptive practices.

Free as in Free for everyone

On January 19, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an order that should keep Intuit from calling its TurboTax services “free”. While it may be “free” for some, it is not free for everyone. Most people end up paying for the service because they do not qualify.

The FTC sued TurboTax in 2022 over its misleading advertising. A chief administrative law judge for the FTC made an initial decision in September. They said that Intuit “engaged in deceptive advertising in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.”

he character of the past violations is egregious. For at least six years, Intuit blanketed the country with deceptive ads to taxpayers across multiple media channels.”

Excerpt from FTC opinion

The final order keeps Intuit from stating that any of their products are free unless it is free for everybody or they state the percentage of customers who’d qualify for the free version. If you visit their website now, you will see that it mentions that about 37% of people qualify for the basic plan.

Intuit, of course, is planning to appeal the FTC decision. Apparently, being kept honest as to how many people can use the free service is just too much work. It baffles me that a company would want to keep doing deceptive practices, but it is capitalism, after all.

If you are looking for an alternative to Intuit’s little tax scheme, the IRS is launching their own tax filing software called Direct File. It is currently available in 12 states with a rollout to more states in mid-March.

As someone who barely got any income in 2023, I don’t have much of a leg to stand on. But I feel like money shouldn’t be going anywhere unless or to fund anything unless it’s helping its citizens at home. Not funding healthcare abroad.

Source: The Verge

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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