Intuit will not take part in an IRS free tax return program

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Intuit, the company behind popular tax filing software TurboTax, announced Thursday that it will no longer participate in the IRS Free File program, which helps millions of Americans file tax returns for free.

“Because the Free File program has exceeded its founding goals of e-file and free tax preparation, and because of the limitations of the Free File program and conflicting requests from outside the program, we are unable to continue the program and deliver all of the Benefits that can help consumers make more money, save more and invest in the future, “the company wrote in a blog post.

Intuit did not immediately respond to a request for further comments.

The IRS Free File Program is a public-private partnership between the agency and the Free File Alliance, a group of tax preparation companies with online software such as TurboTax, TaxAct, FreeTaxUSA and more. Americans with adjusted gross income less than $ 72,000 can use the program to file federal taxes for free. Intuit has been part of the program for almost 20 years.

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Part of the reasons for Intuit to leave the program is to succeed.

“Today, over 90% of all taxpayers can file their taxes via email, and free tax preparation is available to 100% of US taxpayers through a combination of commercial, philanthropic and IRS-sponsored methods,” the company wrote. “We are proud that Intuit’s participation in the Free File program helped the organization exceed its charter, increase electronic filing to 80% and provide free tax preparation to 70% of applicants.”

In the past tax season, Intuit delivered 17 million free tax returns, including around 3 million via IRS Free File, according to the company. In the past eight years, nearly 90% of the 100 million or so free submissions made through the company were outside of Free File, it said.

Not working with the IRS program means there will be fewer restrictions in the future, Intuit said.

“This decision will allow us to focus on further innovations that are not allowed under current Free File guidelines and to better ensure the complete financial health of all Americans through all of our products and services, in tax preparation and beyond support ”, wrote the company in its blog post.

Of course, Americans who have yet to file tax returns for 2020 and are eligible for the IRS Free File program can still choose Intuit’s software until October, when tax season ends. The company will not offer any services with Free File for the next year.

The IRS did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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