Intuit, a company worth $50 billion, continues to mislead Black and vulnerable communities by steering them to pay for services that should be free. First through its TurboTax platform that earned an estimated $1 billion last year alone by tricking Black and vulnerable communities into using their tax filing program under the guise that it was free. Then by acquiring CreditKarma to keep them from offering free tax services - potentially violating antitrust agreements - and now with a Coronavirus tax center, aimed at targeting stimulus checks. Adding further insult to injury, Intuit started a GoFundMe for small businesses to help them "support their communities." A billion-dollar corporation holding a GoFundMe isn't charitable. It's cheap. Intuit could easily help customers and small businesses - if not with donations - by making their platforms free. Currently, TurboTax and Quickbooks come with costly fees that aren't stated upfront. TurboTax alone charged more than 14 million people to file their taxes last year when there shouldn't have been a charge at all. Both TurboTax and Quickbooks initially offer free promises, like a CPA or no-fee filing, only to add fees once customers start using their service. By the time, customers discover fees, they're often knee-deep in the platform. This is deceptive.
Black and small-owned businesses rely on services like TurboTax and Quickbooks to help keep their overhead costs down. Fees and hidden costs take money out of their pockets and ultimately away from those that depend on their business. For 20 years, Intuit has lobbied against free tax filing, lured customers with deceptive tactics, and fended off government attempts to make tax filing fully free, easy, and accessible. While the IRS has put out special guidance to support all affected by the Coronavirus 2019, Intuit is still at with the same old business practice of duping customers and small business owners.
Intuit has raked in billions by deceiving Black and vulnerable customers. Instead of pricey software, a GoFundMe or a Coronavirus Tax Center, Intuit could support those in need by making all of its platforms completely free.