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TurboTax settlement: More than 4.4M Americans will soon receive checks

The company behind the TurboTax tax-filing program is paying $141 million to customers deceived by misleading ads. Here's who qualifies and how much you may get.

WASHINGTON — Intuit, the company behind the tax-filing program TurboTax, is set to pay $141 million to more than four million taxpayers this month. 

Eligible users can expect to receive their refund throughout May, a year after the settlement was announced. The multistate settlement lead by New York Attorney General Letitia James suspended TurboTax's misleading "free, free, free" ad campaign and ordered the company to pay restitution to 4.4 million taxpayers. 

James said her investigation into Intuit was sparked by a 2019 ProPublica report that found the company was using deceptive tactics to steer low-income tax filers away from the federally supported free services for which they qualified — and toward its own commercial products instead.

"For years, Intuit misled the most vulnerable among us to make a profit. Today, every state in the nation is holding Intuit accountable for scamming millions of taxpayers, and we’re putting millions of dollars back into the pockets of impacted Americans," James said in a statement at the time. "This agreement should serve as a reminder to companies large and small that engaging in these deceptive marketing ploys is illegal."

Here's what to know about the settlement:

Who qualifies for the TurboTax settlement?

Under the agreement, Intuit will provide restitution to consumers who started using the commercial TurboTax Free Edition for tax years 2016 through 2018 and were told that they had to pay to file even though they were eligible for the version of TurboTax offered as part of the IRS Free File program.

When will I get my TurboTax refund?

According to the settlement website, payments will be mailed throughout May, though some users may be getting their payments in early June. 

The payments will come from a third-party administrator called Rust.

Consumers are advised to request a reissue on the settlement website if the payments have not been received by mid-June.  

How much money will TurboTax refund users?

Consumers are expected to receive a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year that they were deceived into paying for filing services. 

Did I have to file a claim to receive money from the TurboTax settlement?

You don't need to do anything, according to the settlement website. 

If you are eligible, you should receive an email from the settlement fund administrator that informs you of the approximate amount of your payment. 

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