FTC Bars TurboTax from Advertising Itself as “Free”

The FTC brought an administrative complaint against Intuit based on its nationwide, multichannel advertising campaigns promoting its TurboTax tax preparation service as “free,” when in reality, two-thirds of taxpayers were ineligible for its “free” product. Yesterday, the FTC made public a unanimous opinion affirming an ALJ’s cease-and-desist order and conclusion that the claims were false and misleading. Intuit raised a number of constitutional and statutory defenses, including challenges to the FTC’s structure and adjudicatory mechanisms created by the FTCA,  suggesting litigation is likely to continue.

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