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Free Filing?

IRS offers free tax return filing, if you qualify, at

IRS contracted with a number of third-party online tax preparation firms back in 2002.

According to, most notably, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, ProPublica, a non-profit investigative newsite, filed a FOIA request regarding how these tax software titans thwarted the government's efforts to provide FREE filing for taxpayers.

It was estimated that “U.S. taxpayers eligible for Free File are spending about $1 billion a year in unnecessary filing fees.”

Additionally, "TurboTax used 'deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free.'"

ProPublica also noted that "Intuit specifically took the time to add code to its website, in a robots.txt file or HTML tag, telling search engines like Google not to include its Free File web pages in search results ..."

I wonder if TurboTax software has bugs in it that might invite an audit from IRS?

Or sells "audit" insurance to scare a taxpayer into purchasing it.

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