The giant tax software company Intuit, producer of the popular TurboTax filing program, has announced that it will no longer participate in the IRS’ Free File Alliance that provides free filing services to qualified taxpayers. But the details relating to the announcement remain hazy at this time.
The Free File Alliance is a not-for-profit coalition of leading tax software companies that have partnered with the IRS in allowing millions of low-to-moderate income taxpayers to file tax returns for free. This software is available to taxpayers earning $72,000 or less.
Citing limitations of the Free File and an intent to assist taxpayers in ways not currently available, Intuit is exiting the program. Notably, the Free File agreement bans participating software companies from marketing their services to taxpayers filing their returns for free.
The company has indicated that it remains committed to offering free services to taxpayers while seeking innovative solutions to problems.
Intuit was one of the pillars of the Free File Alliance for more than two decades. Along with other high-profile software providers, including H&R Block, Intuit was instrumental in deterring the IRS from creating its own Free File program. These efforts culminated in enactment of the Taxpayer First Act. Apart of this this legislation, the IRS went along with the plan to use the alliance as long as companies continued to provide free tax filing options to qualified taxpayers.
Despite the exit from Free File by of one of the industry’s leaders, taxpayers won’t be left high and dry. Those earning $72,000 or less can still choose from other participating providers. According to CNET, the list includes:
· Free Tax Returns
· OnLine Taxes
Furthermore, if a taxpayer earns more than $72,000 per year, he or she can still use the program’s Free File Fillable Forms in digital format, without any tax preparation assistance.
So where does this leave taxpayers who want to use Intuit’s software for free? At the very least, folks with filing extensions for the 2020 tax year can rely on this service until the October 15 deadline. Although the company won’t be offering Free File next year, Intuit says it will still provide a slightly different free filing option. Visit Intuit’s website, www.intuit.com, for updates.