Fast On The Draw: Sen. Warren Says TurboTax Is Ripping Off American Taxpayers

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks the American people could be getting ripped off in a large-scale scam.

Warren and two other U.S. lawmakers accused Intuit – the developer of the most widely used tax software in the country – of recruiting former regulators to defend TurboTax products that “scam American taxpayers” into paying for things that should be free.

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The Massachusetts Democrat wrote to Intuit’s chief executive on Monday, accusing the company of “unethical and possibly unlawful business practices that cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.”

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Warren Cries… Fraud

Their primary issue is the Internal Revenue Service’s Free File Program, which was designed to provide free tax preparation services to low-income Americans through TurboTax and other participants.

The notice comes as the IRS ramps up its scrutiny of cryptocurrency taxes as tax season approaches. Americans have until Monday to file their taxes without requesting an extension.

“The Free File program has been a failure, scamming taxpayers into paying for services that should be provided for free,” Warren said in the letter, which was co-signed by representatives Brad Sherman and Katie Porter, and first published by The Verge.

Free File was expected to cover 70% of American taxpayers, but as of 2018, just about 3% of taxpayers engaged annually, according to the letter’s statistics.

The Federal Trade Commission launched a lawsuit against Intuit last month, alleging that the company mislead consumers for years by selling its TurboTax preparation software as free and then charging the majority of users.

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The FTC disclosed in that lawsuit that former FTC Commissioner Jon Liebowitz worked as Intuit’s outside counsel.

Hiding From Google

Warren, Sherman, and Porter hold TurboTax partially responsible for its “failure,” citing ProPublica reporting that the business was putting coding to its Free File website that prevented it from appearing in Google search results.

The company has since modified the code, but this appears to have been insufficient to satisfy Warren and her coworkers. According to ProPublica, these issues have gone undiscovered because of Intuit’s political clout.

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She Doesn’t Like Crypto

Warren has garnered attention for his comments on bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market.

She recently expressed doubts about the long-term viability of bitcoin as an inflation hedge.

Many crypto bulls believe that bitcoin is a long-term store of value that can be used to counterbalance what they regard as reckless government spending.

Senator Ted Cruz chastised Warren, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and China for their harsh stance on bitcoin.

Cruz stated that he was optimistic about bitcoin and cryptocurrency and opposed market manipulation attempts.

Meanwhile, governments are becoming more concerned with tax compliance as market acceptance increases and cryptocurrency becomes more commonplace.

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