Cuomo Asking For Investigation Of Tax-Preparing Firms
Governor Andrew Cuomo is asking the state Department of Financial Services and the state Department of Taxation and Finance to investigate TurboTax, H&R Block and other major tax return preparers following recent reports that these companies allegedly used Google advertisement and website features to deceptively hide additional tax filing options from low-income individuals who are eligible to file their taxes for free.
“The allegations against these major tax return preparers are disturbing, and New York will not stand idle as the public’s interest is undermined in order to pad the profits of wealthy corporations,” Cuomo said. “I am calling on the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Taxation and Finance to investigate these claims to help ensure New Yorkers are protected. We have zero tolerance for these deceptive practices and those responsible will be held accountable for these egregious actions.”
Americans with an adjusted gross income of $66,000 or less are eligible to file their taxes for free through the Free File Alliance — a partnership between the IRS, tax software providers and states, including New York. According to the reports, the websites of the tax software providers steered consumers into paying for services when they were eligible to file their taxes for free, and hid these free filing options from Google searches.