The company has repeatedly declined to say how many of its paying customers are eligible for the program, which is currently open to anyone who makes under $66,000. But based on publicly available data and statements by Intuit executives, ProPublica estimates that roughly 15 million paying TurboTax customers could have filed for free if they found Free File. That represents more than $1.5 billion in estimated revenue, or more than half the total that TurboTax generates. Those affected include retirees, students, people on disability and minimum-wage workers. A confidential presentation for Intuit’s board showed how the company, over a decade, beat back attempts to make tax filing easier. The agency made its reasoning clear in a previously unreported letter sent to the Free File Alliance the following year.
TurboTax Controversy Shows the Power and Peril of Price Discrimination
After a one minute wait she said manager did not want me to be upset and they would upgrade me free. Ha, I was waiting for you to post an article about Turbotax and tax software!
But the success of TurboTax rests on a shaky foundation, one that could collapse overnight if the U.S. government did what most wealthy countries did long ago and made tax filing simple and free for most citizens. It announced this afternoon that it will provide users of its TurboTax Deluxe desktop product free upgrades this year and will next year reverse changes it made that limited the usefulness of the 2014 version. Reeling from the bad publicity, Intuit responded last week,offering a $25 rebate to customerswho were forced to upgrade. But this didn’t calm the anger that many felt, particularly because the cost of upgrading for some customers was much greater than what was offered with the rebate. Rates and terms set on third-party websites are subject to change without notice. MyMoneyBlog.com may have financial relationships with the merchants mentioned, meaning that I may receive a commission if visitors click on any outbound links and buy something. I wish there was this amount of uproar over companies like Intuit actively lobbing and spending millions (billions?) to prevent our taxes from being automated like in civilized nations to keep themselves in business.
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The bill, reflecting Intuit’s lobbying, said that the IRS “should cooperate with and encourage the private sector” to increase electronic filing. Smith, the CEO who stepped down last year and is now executive board chair, had a stake worth $20 million when he became chief executive. Co-founder Scott Cook is now among the country’s wealthiest people, his fortune soaring to $3.3 billion. An Intuit spokesman declined to answer ProPublica’s detailed questions about its efforts to fend off a government filing system, but he provided a statement. Last fall, Intuit’s longtime CEO Brad Smith embarked on a farewell tour of the company’s offices around the world. Smith had presided over 11 years of explosive growth, a period when Intuit had secured its place in the Silicon Valley pantheon, and the tour was like a long party. TurboTax translates taxes into simple questions about your life, and puts your information in the right places for you.
- Thanks to this change, we’re recommending the Deluxe tier for the first time to select filers.
- We’re proud of our content and guidance, and the information we provide is objective, independent, and free.
- Government officials touted the solution as a marvel of public and private cooperation.
- My return was reasonably complex last year, but TaxAct made it easy.
- TurboTax partners with a company called Tax Resources that provides audit defense in the event the IRS audits your tax return.
On paper, the Free File Alliance was a collection of 17 companies, all of them vying to serve the American taxpayer. But in reality, it was a group made up of two giants and a bunch of gnats. Intuit’s only significant competitor was H&R Block, and even it was a distant second.
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Customers return to TurboTax year after year, often for over a decade, because of the value it delivers. Most CEOs would give their eye teeth for that kind of loyalty. Chances are that the storm will blow over once consumers turn to the important and much more pleasant work of spending their tax refunds. Some taxpayers were https://turbo-tax.org/ surprised to learn that TurboTax even keeps their Social Security numbers after they have filed. In fact, the IRS requires intermediaries like TurboTax to capture and retain e-filers’ Social Security numbers. TurboTax also captures an e-filer’s email, so he can be sent a notice when his return has been accepted by the IRS.
The company has now announced that customers will also be allowed toupgrade from within TurboTax Deluxe for free, allowing them access to the removed forms. It is part from accounting & finance category and is licensed as shareware for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit platform and can be used as a free trial until the trial period will end. The Turbotax 2014 demo is available to all software users as a free download with potential restrictions compared with the full version.
Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free
Last year, TurboTax Deluxe Online 2013 started requiring you to upgrade to Premier in order get guidance on stock sales and self-employment expenses . You can see this as either turbotax 2014 availability a feature delete, or price increase. However, the TurboTax Deluxe Desktop 2013 version kept this ability. There was a little outrage but really not that much from what I recall.
- To the company’s alarm, it soon became apparent that the council’s report might be sharply critical.
- Normally, this tier is a huge waste of money for filers that don’t fit the criteria for free filing.
- This year TurboTax online has a few new features included and that is the version I ended up using.
- (The $25 rebate is still available until April 20 for customers who have already upgraded.) He further stated that next year’s Deluxe software will include the absent forms.
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- The Turbotax 2014 demo is available to all software users as a free download with potential restrictions compared with the full version.