Craig Bannister writes in an April 29 CNSNews.com blog post:
“Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared Monday:“Outrageous. Filing taxes should be simple and free. Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this—and my Tax Simplification Act would fix that.”
Warren made the claim on Twitter, linking to an April 26, 2019 ProPublica article – which was updated on April 28 to report that TurboTax had already abandoned the practice Warren was condemning:
“Update, April 28, 2019: Intuit has changed the code on its Free File page so that the actually free version of TurboTax is no longer hidden from Google and other search engines.
“This week, we reported on how TurboTax uses deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free.
“There’s a new wrinkle: It turns out, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is deliberately hiding the truly free edition — TurboTax Free File — from Google Search.”
In fact, Intuit's action does not mean it had "abandoned the practice Warren was condemning." As ProPublica also reported, the main TurboTax website -- where most people expect to go to use its tax software -- does not allow people to use the free version of the program and pushes uses into its paid tax-filing software. Intuit hiding the free version of TurboTax from Google is only one issue that was raised. Even the ProPublica article Bannister stated that Warren cited also states that Intuit "uses deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free."
Bannister then goes on to describe a bill Warren introduced that proves she's trying to do more than Intuit fixed, contrary to what he insinuated earlier in his article. Among other things, it would permit the IRS to offer a "free, online tax preparation and filing service," which is currently prohibited from doing because Intuit and H&R Block have heavily lobbied the government to keep it from happening.