AG Rutledge: Arkansas part of multi-state settlement with TurboTax owners

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 471 views 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Tuesday (May 10) the state has secured a settlement with the owner of TurboTax, Intuit Inc., for deceiving consumers into paying for tax services that should have been free.

The multi-state agreement will cost Intuit $141 million in restitution to millions of consumers across the nation. Approximately, 36,000 Arkansas consumers will be eligible for $1.067 million in restitution.

In addition, Intuit must suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign that lured customers with promises of free tax preparation services, only to deceive them into paying for those services. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have signed onto the agreement.

“Intuit deliberately deceived consumers into paying for their Turbo Tax service that was actually supposed to be free,” Rutledge said. “Intuit profited from its lies to Arkansans, and now with this settlement, Intuit will pay over $1 million to Arkansans for its fraud.”

Under the agreement, Intuit will provide restitution to millions of consumers. Consumers are expected to receive a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year that they were deceived into paying for filing services. Impacted consumers will automatically receive notices and a check by mail.

Intuit has also agreed to reform its business practices, including:

  • Refraining from making misrepresentations in connection with promoting or offering any online tax preparation products;
  • Enhancing disclosures in its advertising and marketing of free products;
  • Designing its products to better inform users whether they will be eligible to file their taxes for free; and
  • Refraining from requiring consumers to start their tax filing over if they exit one of Intuit’s paid products to use a free product instead.

Intuit withdrew from the IRS Free File program in July 2021. New York and Tennessee led the multi-state investigation.