Attorney General Bonta Announces Distribution of $141 Million Settlement to Millions of Low-Income Americans Deceived by TurboTax Owner Intuit

Thursday, May 4, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Consumers to receive checks in the mail from multistate settlement without needing to file a claim 

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that consumers who were tricked by TurboTax’s owner Intuit into paying for free tax services will begin receiving checks from a $141 million multistate settlement announced in May 2022. Approximately 4.4 million consumers nationwide will receive checks in the mail from the multistate settlement. Californians will receive more than $12.2 million, distributed to the more than 400,000 consumers who were eligible for a free tax filing program and were instead deceived into paying to file their federal tax return. Eligible consumers will be contacted by email about the settlement, with checks expected to be mailed out starting next week. 

“When huge companies like Intuit take advantage of federal programs to deceive consumers into paying for something they are entitled to get for free, they do so on the backs of hardworking Californians,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This month, hundreds of thousands of Californians will begin receiving rightful restitution for Intuit’s wrongdoings.”

In 2022, Attorney General Bonta, as part of a coalition of 51 attorneys general and with the Los Angeles City Attorney and Santa Clara County Counsel, announced a $141 million settlement against Intuit, resolving allegations that the California-based company deceptively advertised its “free” online TurboTax products. Although 70% of taxpayers qualify for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Free File Program, operated by Intuit and others, less than 3% of taxpayers used it to file their returns in 2020. This abysmal rate is due, at least in part, to tricks and tactics used by Intuit to steer taxpayers away from the IRS Free File Program and to its paid commercial products.

Eligible consumers include those who paid to file their federal tax returns through TurboTax for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018 and were eligible to file for free through the IRS Free File Program. Consumers who are eligible for a payment will be notified by email by the settlement fund administrator, Rust Consulting. These consumers will receive a check in the mail automatically, without filing a claim. The amount each consumer receives will be based on the number of tax years for which they qualify. Most consumers are expected to receive between $29 and $30.

Protect Yourself from Tax Filing Service Scams

  • Find a trusted tax preparer: To confirm whether your tax preparer is registered with the IRS, check here. Visit the Better Business Bureau and other review sites to compare consumer reviews and complaints. To make a complaint with the IRS about a tax preparer, click here.
  • Compare services and prices: Compare the prices of different tax preparation services before you choose one, and check for any hidden fees.
  • File your own taxes: Depending on your income, you may be eligible to file your taxes using guided tax preparation software at no cost. Click here to e-file your state tax return directly to the California Franchise Tax Board for free. Additionally, click here for a list of IRS Free File partners.
  • Never sign a blank return: Do not use a tax preparer who asks you to sign a blank tax form.
  • Talk to friends and family: Always seek a second opinion from your friends and family.

For more information about who is covered by the settlement, and information about the settlement fund, please visit

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