Intuit, the parent company of tax filing software TurboTax, is exiting an IRS program that allows many Americans to file their taxes for free. The IRS partners with the Free File Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of tax software companies that offer no-cost tax filing services for the Free File program. Intuit says in a blog post on its website that part of the reason it’s leaving Free File— which is available to 2020 filers with adjusted gross income of $72,000 or less— is the “restraints” of the program.
“With the Free File program outperforming its establishing objectives of e-record and free assessment arrangement, and because of the limits of the Free File program and clashing requests from those external the program, we can’t proceed in the program and convey the entirety of the advantages that can help buyers get more cash-flow, save more, and contribute for the future,” as indicated by the blog entry.
Readers may recall that a series of reports by ProPublica found that Intuit and H&R Block had misled filers into paying to file their taxes. The companies kept the free versions of their software from showing up in search engine results, according to ProPublica, making them harder to find online. The IRS later overhauled the Free File program, removing a provision in the agreement that prohibited the agency from creating an online filing system of its own that would compete with the software companies’ products.
Intuit’s blog entry says the organization will leave the Free File program toward the finish of the duty season in October since it needs to “give more monetary advantages and enable Americans of all pay levels to assume responsibility for their accounts.”
Intuit closed on an acquisition of credit score monitoring company Credit Karma for $7.1 billion in December 2020. The deal drew scrutiny from the Department of Justice, which was concerned about potential antitrust issues; Credit Karma started offering its own version of free tax filing in 2017.