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   Technology StocksIntuit -- What's Its Future?

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From: Sr K1/23/2015 7:42:41 AM
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Beginning with 2014 tax returns, many customers can no longer use TurboTax Deluxe software (desktop or download, as opposed to online preparation) if they want to electronically file Schedule C (for small businesses), Schedule D (capital gains and losses) or Schedule E (rental property). Instead, they must upgrade to one of the more expensive versions of the software.

The switch enraged many long-time users, who posted more than 1,400 negative complaints at with complaints of “bait and switch” and “price gouging.”

In response, rival H&R Block offered many TurboTax users a free trial of its competing software.

Here’s the start of the email being sent to prior-year users of TurboTax Deluxe desktop software by Sasan Goodarzi, the general manager of Intuit TurboTax:

We messed up. We made a change this year to TurboTax desktop software and we didn’t do enough to communicate this change to you as proactively and broadly as we could or should have. I am very sorry for the anger and frustration we may have caused you.

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From: Glenn Petersen1/1/2020 10:45:36 AM
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IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax

The changes come after ProPublica’s reporting showed how TurboTax maker Intuit tricked customers into paying for tax prep they could have gotten for free.

by Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel
Dec. 31, 1 p.m. EST

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

Finding free online tax filing should be easier this year for millions of Americans.

The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped.

The addendum to the deal, known as Free File, comes after ProPublica’s reporting this year on how the industry, led by TurboTax maker Intuit, has long misled taxpayers who are eligible to file for free into paying.

Under the nearly two-decade-old Free File deal, the industry agreed to make free versions of tax filing software available to lower- and middle-income Americans. In exchange, the IRS promised not to compete with the industry by creating its own online filing system. Many developed countries have such systems, allowing most citizens to file their taxes for free. The prohibition on the IRS creating its own system was the focus of years of lobbying by Intuit. The industry has seen such a system as an existential threat. Now, with the changes to the deal, the prohibition has been dropped.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. The addendum also expressly bars the companies from “engaging in any practice” that would exclude their Free File offerings “from an organic internet search.” ProPublica reported in April that Intuit and H&R Block had added code to their Free File pages that hid them from Google and other search engines, diverting many users to the companies’ paid products.

“The improved process will make Free File stronger and give taxpayers another reason to consider this valuable software option,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. The agency hopes the changes will make the free option more accessible for taxpayers in the 2020 filing season, he said.

Under the new rules, participating companies also have to standardize the naming convention of their Free File version as “IRS Free File program delivered by [product name].” In the past, many tax filers reported being confused by the difference between, for example, TurboTax Free and TurboTax Free File.

In a blog post on the Intuit website, the company said, “Intuit strongly supports these changes to the Free File program and associated Free File offerings because they increase the focus on the taxpayer experience.”

Intuit faces multiple ongoing lawsuits and investigations into whether the company deceived customers. The company has said such accusations are baseless.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/23/2020 9:37:50 AM
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Intuit Nears Deal to Buy Credit Karma for $7 Billion: WSJ

By Jihye Lee
February 22, 2020

Intuit Inc. applications are seen in the App Store on an Apple Inc. iPhone.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Intuit Inc. is close to buying Credit Karma Inc. for about $7 billion in cash and stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter it didn’t identify.

The purchase, which could be announced by Monday, will push the maker of TurboTax deeper into the consumer finance space, the newspaper said. The acquisition would also be Intuit’s largest in its 37-year history, it added.

Broadening its sales base is important at a time when Morgan Stanley said it’s expecting tax-preparation software companies to face headwinds for the revenue they get from each tax return this year due to the combined effect of a rising mix of free filings and lower need for services that assist do-it-yourself filers.

Still, Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss had expected Intuit to hit the high end of its implied consumer tax guidance as TurboTax continues to gain market share. Intuit shares have risen 14% since the start of the year, compared with a 3.3% advance in the S&P 500 Index.

Under current negotiations, closely-held Credit Karma would operate as a standalone unit with its Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lin staying in charge, one person told the paper. The San Francisco-based company is backed by funds such as private-equity firm Silver Lake and financial-technology venture firm Ribbit Capital, it added.

Credit Karma, which was co-founded by Lin, was considering an initial stock offering before late 2019 amid a series of weak-performing trading debuts, the newspaper said. Its website gives users access to credit scores and recommends financial products from credit cards to personal and car loans.

Intuit is expected to report its second-quarter earnings on Monday.

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From: Sr K5/5/2022 1:26:45 AM
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Intuit to Pay $141 Million Over ‘Deceptive’ TurboTax Marketing Claims

Nearly 4.4 million affected users will get about $30 for each year they paid for tax-preparation services from 2016 to 2018.


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From: Sr K5/4/2023 6:04:21 PM
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TurboTax Paying $141 Million to Taxpayers Who Could Have Filed for Free

The payments are part of a 2022 settlement over online ads that sent customers to TurboTax’s paid service

By Ashlea Ebeling

May 4, 2023 3:55 pm ET




(2 min)

TurboTax owner Intuit will make payments ranging from $29 to $85 to about 4.4 million taxpayers. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK
Millions of Americans who were charged for tax preparation that should have been free will receive settlement checks from TurboTax starting next week, New York’s attorney general said Thursday.

TurboTax owner Intuit agreed to the $141 million settlement a year ago over allegations its TurboTax software deceived low-income Americans into paying to file their taxes when they qualified to file for free. Intuit will make payments ranging from $29 to $85 to about 4.4 million taxpayers, New York Attorney General Letitia James said.

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