Intuit was accused of hiding its landing page from searches during last year’s tax season. CEO Sasan Goodarzi denied Intuit hid the Free File page, although in an internal statement, he said Intuit had decided to not make the Free File program available to search engines for ranking. The advocacy group ProPublica had charged H&R Block did the same thing.
Participating companies agreed to ensure a link on their sites is available, which will return taxpayers to the IRS Free File website at the earliest feasible point in the preparation process if they do not qualify for the provider’s Free File offer.
Free File members also will regularly survey taxpayers who e-filed a tax return through the program, making quarterly reports about results results to the IRS.
In addition, ProPublica had complained Intuit’s offering was complicated by the fact that its version of the Alliance Program is called the TurboTax Freedom Edition while its commercial offerings include the TurboTax Free Edition.
Companies participating in Free Feel agree to offer software to taxpayers earning $69,000 or less annually by visiting IRS.gov/freefile. Some offer both free federal and state tax preparation software. Active military personnel who meet the income threshold can use Free File even if they don’t meet other criteria.