Intuit has announced that it will no longer participate in the IRS Free File Program. They will exit the program at the end of the current filing year in October. Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, participated in the program for nearly 20 years.
The Free File Program began in 2003, and more than 60 million tax returns have been filed through the program since its inception. For the current tax year, there are nine Free File Online offers listed on the IRS Free File website. Each offer provides its own eligibility requirements, with limitations depending on state, age and income.
According to Intuit's blog, Intuit is, "Committed to helping our customers solve their biggest financial challenges, and that means we need to focus on helping them not only get their biggest refund, but beyond tax preparation so they can increase savings, increase income, pay down debt and have faster access to their money.... which we cannot effectively do as part of the Free File program."
Intuit cites the success of the Free File Program as one of their reasons for leaving. “Today, over 90% of all taxpayers e-file their taxes and free tax preparation is currently available to 100% of American taxpayers through a combination of commercial, philanthropic and IRS-sponsored methods. We are proud that Intuit’s participation in the Free File program has helped the organization exceed its charter of increasing electronic filing to 80% and making free tax preparation available to 70% of filers.”
Intuit has been in the news, along with other tax preparers, following a ProPublica investigation into Free File partners. A class action lawsuit was filed against Intuit in May of 2019 alleging that TurboTax free tax filing users were misled into purchasing online tax filing services.
Editor's Note: We will continue to monitor the status of the TurboTax class action lawsuit.