RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The owner of TurboTax will pay $3.5 million to Virginia customers who were misled by ads for “free” tax-filing services as part of a $141 million settlement.
Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, has agreed to pay customers across the country who were deceived by ads promising free tax-filing services that they ended up paying for. Intuit must also suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign.
The office of Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that Virginia secured $3.5 million in the agreement with Intuit.
“TurboTax took advantage of and deceived Virginians,” Miyares said in a statement. “I’m proud of the role my office played to secure substantial relief for the Virginia consumers that TurboTax misled.”
Under the settlement, which includes all 50 states and Washington, D.C., the company will pay nearly 4.4 million taxpayers across the country who used TurboTax’s Free Edition from 2016 through 2018 but were told they had to pay to file despite being eligible for the IRS’s free file program offered through TurboTax.
Miyares and attorneys general across the country cited a ProPublica report as what led to New York’s investigation into the company. The 2019 report from ProPublica found Intuit was using deceptive digital tactics to lure low-income taxpayers towards its program and away from federally-backed free tax services.