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FTC sues Intuit over “bait-and-switch” advertising for TurboTax “free” tax filing software

Intuit Inc., the maker of the popular TurboTax tax filing software, has been “deceiving consumers with bogus advertisements” according to the Federal Trade Commission. Millions of customers are finding out after they use the software that the “free” tax filing the company is pitching is in truth not available for them to use at no cost.

The consumer protection agency has asked a federal court to “halt its deceptive advertising immediately” to prevent continuing harm to consumers rushing to file their 2021 federal tax returns before the 18 April IRS deadline. The FTC says that Intuit has focused on the word “free” in its ads over several years, using major sporting events like the Super Bowl to spread their misleading message.

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



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