DENVER — The owners of the TurboTax tax-filing program will pay $2.5 million to customers in Colorado who were deceived by misleading promises of free tax-filing services, Colorado's attorney general announced Wednesday.
A multistate investigation into TurboTax owner Intuit began after ProPublica reported that the company was using deceptive digital tactics.
The investigation found that some TurboTax customers were told that they had to pay to file even though they were eligible for the version of TurboTax offered as part of the IRS Free File program.
Signed by attorneys general in all 50 states, California-based Intuit Inc. will pay $141 million to customers across the United States. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Wednesday that his office secured $2,574,985.89 for Coloradans.
Who qualifies for the settlement?
Under the settlement, Intuit will pay impacted consumers about $30 for each year that they were deceived into paying for TurboTax’s Free Edition for tax years 2016 through 2018.
More than 80,000 payments will be issued in Colorado. The Colorado Attorney General's Office said impacted consumers will automatically receive notices and a check by mail.
"Free tax filing services are offered for a reason — to ensure lower-income Coloradans can file their taxes with as little impact to their daily lives and pocketbooks as possible," Weiser said. "Through today’s settlement, we are returning some of the money that was wrongfully taken from our state’s hardworking residents. We will continue standing up for vulnerable consumers taken advantage of by irresponsible companies."
Intuit also agreed in the settlement to suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign.
"For years, Intuit misled the most vulnerable among us to make a profit. Today, every state in the nation is holding Intuit accountable for scamming millions of taxpayers, and we’re putting millions of dollars back into the pockets of impacted Americans," said New York Attorney General Letitia James. "This agreement should serve as a reminder to companies large and small that engaging in these deceptive marketing ploys is illegal."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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