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Elizabeth Warren Blasts Intuit for Hindering Free Tax Filings

Elizabeth Warren Blasts Intuit for Hindering Free Tax Filings

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is insisting that financial software platform Intuit provide answers about its ubiquitous TurboTax e-filing system. Warren penned a letter to Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi regarding the company’s use of “extensive lobbying and adroit influence peddling” to impede people from e-filing their taxes for free.

“The Free File program has been a failure, scamming taxpayers into paying for services that should be free,” Warren wrote. “Free File was supposed to cover 70% of American taxpayers, but as of 2018, only approximately 3% of taxpayers participated. . . deceptive practices and outright sabotage from Free File companies have driven this under-utilization, and Intuit. . . bears much of the blame for these practices.”

Warren also highlighted an OpenSecrets report from March 31, which detailed how Intuit hired former government officials, including those who had previously served as members of Congress, to assist with its lobbying endeavors, which the company spent $3.3 million on last year alone.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began its initial investigation of TurboTax in 2019, according to ProPublica, and filed a lawsuit against Intuit last month, accusing the company of defrauding consumers by using false advertising.

Warren said the federal government’s legal action is “both welcome and long overdue.” Democratic Representatives Brad Sherman and Katie Porter, both of California, have also thrown their support behind the effort to secure free tax filing for Americans.

Approximately 36 countries around the world, including Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom allow their taxpayers to file at no cost.

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