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FTC judge decides Intuit’s ‘free’ TurboTax ads did mislead consumers

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Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax, is still facing blowback over claims it tricked people into using its “free” tax filing service that wasn’t actually free. In a ruling on Friday, the Federal Trade Commission’s chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that Intuit “deceived consumers” and “engaged in deceptive advertising.”

The ruling includes several pages of commercials and online ads where Intuit advertised its “Free Edition” software. While the name implies that the service is, well, free, people wound up having to pay to use it — sparking a lawsuit from the FTC and a $141 million payout to affected users. Meanwhile, Intuit’s actually no-cost Free File version, which it launched in partnership with the IRS, remained…

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