Alaska residents who were deceived by TurboTax owner Intuit into paying for free tax services will be receiving restitution checks in May from a $141 million multistate settlement involving 4.4 million consumers nationwide, state officials said.
“Confronting the deception and helping affected Alaskans receive restitution checks was critically important,” said Attorney General Treg Taylor, in announcing the settlement on May 4.
Most consumers are expected to receive between $29 and $30.
Settlement administrator Rust Consulting will be sending the checks totaling $477,000 to 15,568 residents, he said. Those eligible for a payment are to be notified by email by Rust Consulting that they will be mailed a check without having to file a claim.
The amount each customer receives will be based on the number of tax years for which they qualify.
Intuit also agreed as part of the settlement to reform its business practices, including refraining from making misrepresentations in connection with promoting or offering any online tax preparation products, and requiring consumers to start their tax filing over if they exit one of Intuit’s paid products to use a free product instead.
Intuit withdrew from the IRS Free File program in July 2021.
The investigative journalism entity ProPublica said its research showed that Intuit purposefully suppressed its own Free File product, adding website code to block its Free File page from showing up in search engines and used manipulative marketing patterns to trick customers into paying for TurboTax even when they qualified for Free File. The website code to block the Free File page was later removed.
For more information about who is covered by the settlement, and information about the settlement fund, visit www.AGTurboTaxSettlement.com.