Filing taxes can be a lengthy and complicated process. This is especially true for business owners, independent contractors, and others.
For this reason, countless Americans rely on tax filing services to make the process run a little smoother. Sometimes this involves meeting with a tax accountant. In other cases, it involves using various online services designed to help people file their taxes.
When using tax filing services, Americans count on honesty from the company providing this assistance. When companies are deceptive about what they’re offering consumers, it causes a lot of unnecessary problems.
In the case of Intuit, the company is dealing with some serious ramifications over misleading customers, according to The Blaze.
Restitution Payment and More
As the parent company of popular tax filing service, TurboTax, Intuit has a responsibility to be forthcoming with consumers. However, the company chose not to do this for years.
Instead, Intuit marketed TurboTax as free of charge when it’s anything but this. To add insult to injury, Intuit’s marketing of this nature was directed to millions of people on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. These people were later duped into paying for tax filing services they thought were without charge.
As a result of this, Intuit is now on the hook for a $141 million restitution payment. This development was shared by New York Attorney General Letitia James; however, every single state attorney general had a role in this settlement.
Intuit’s con was discovered when information from ProPublica revealed the company was moving low-income filers away from its IRS Free File program over to the so-called TurboTax Free Edition.
US attorney generals who dug into the findings from ProPublica ultimately found out that Intuit was using underhanded, misleading trade strategies to swindle filers out of money.
A Scathing Rebuke From the New York Attorney General
In a public statement, James did not hold back in slamming Intuit. The New York attorney general said the restitution is the nation’s way of holding Intuit accountable for “scamming taxpayers” and putting ill-gotten profit above all else.
Americans who fell victim to Intuit’s lies will receive mail letting them know. They’ll also be able to collect $30 payments that cover each year they were scammed.
Aside from the restitution, Intuit’s trust among the public has been significantly damaged by its own unethical business practices. Going forward, many tax filers may think twice before doing any business with either Intuit or TurboTax.