“Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared Monday:
“Outrageous. Filing taxes should be simple and free. Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this—and my Tax Simplification Act would fix that.”
Warren made the claim on Twitter, linking to an April 26, 2019 ProPublica article – which was updated on April 28 to report that TurboTax had already abandoned the practice Warren was condemning:
“Update, April 28, 2019: Intuit has changed the code on its Free File page so that the actually free version of TurboTax is no longer hidden from Google and other search engines.
“This week, we reported on how TurboTax uses deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free.
“There’s a new wrinkle: It turns out, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is deliberately hiding the truly free edition — TurboTax Free File — from Google Search.”
Sen. Warren’s Tax Simplification Act was introduced on April 12 of this year. In addition to the directing the IRS to develop a free, online tax preparation service, the bill would also “ensure that more eligible people -- including millions of low-income Americans -- receive important tax refunds,” the congresswoman said in a press release announcing the legislation:
“Along with lowering costs and eliminating red tape for all taxpayers, return-free filing and other improvements in the Tax Filing Simplification Act would ensure that more eligible people -- including millions of low-income Americans -- receive important tax refunds, like the Earned Income Tax Credit. The legislation would dramatically simplify the filing process for individuals with simple tax situations, direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop a free, online tax preparation and filing service that does not require the sharing of private information with third parties, and prohibit the IRS from entering into agreements that restrict its ability to provide these services.”