TurboTax-Maker Intuit Will Leave Free Tax Filing Partnership With IRS The company’s decision throws the future of the Free File program, which was created as an alternative to an IRS free tax filing system, into doubt. Series: The TurboTax Trap How the Tax Prep Industry Makes You Pay ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. TurboTax maker Intuit, the largest company in the tax-preparation software industry, announced Thursday that it will leave the Free File program, the public-private partnership that offers free tax filing to millions of Americans but has been a magnet for controversy since its creation two decades ago. ProPublica Get Our Top Investigations Subscribe to the Big Story newsletter. Thanks for signing up. If you like our stories, mind sharing this with a friend? https://www.propublica.org/newsletters/the-big-story?source=www.propublica.org&placement=share®ion=national Copy link For more ways to keep up, be sure to check out the rest of our newsletters. See All Fact-based, independent journalism is needed now more than ever. Donate The program was founded as a gambit by the tax prep industry, led by Intuit, after the George W. Bush administration proposed that the IRS create a free online filing option for taxpayers. Such an option would have threatened the profits of the burgeoning tax prep software business. After lobbying by the companies, the IRS agreed not to develop its own filing portal. In exchange, the industry offered free versions of its software, including TurboTax, to most Americans. The exit of Free File’s two largest participants — Intuit, and, last year, H&R Block — throws the future of the program into doubt. The Free File Alliance, the industry group that administers the program with the IRS, did not immediately respond to a question about the viability of the program after Intuit’s departure, but said, “We appreciate [Intuit’s] service in providing millions of free returns to American taxpayers.” Intuit made its announcement in a blog post titled “Accelerating Technology Innovation to Better Help Consumers Solve Their Most Pressing Financial Problems.” The company said its decision to leave the program at the end of the tax season in October will allow it to “focus on further innovating” in ways it said are not permitted within the program. The agreement with the IRS that governs the program comes with a series of restrictions — including some that bar advertising most paid products t . . . read the full article here.