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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 11:56 AM
Original message
$1 Billion Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against TurboTax,
http://apatriotsmanifest.com/nov2007/index07111505.html

November 15, 2007

A Phialdelphia law firm on Monday filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in Pennsylvania seeking over $1 billion in damages against the Free File Alliance and several of its members (including Intuit (maker of the TurboTax tax preparation software) and H&R Block (maker of TaxCut)) on behalf of the 70 million taxpayers with incomes over $52,000 who e-filed their tax returns. From The Legal Intelligencer:

The complaint was brought under the Federal User Charge Statute and alleges that the alliance members charged fees solely based on their private business interests and not on the value to the taxpayer and the public policy interest served. The sole count of the complaint was for restitution of fees charged for electronic tax filing in violation of the Independent Offices Appropriation Act. ...

"The name 'Free File Alliance' is clearly misleading," attorney Thomas More Marrone said in a statement. "Few taxpayers are actually eligible for free electronic filing. E-filing has become an enormous profit center for cartel members." ...

"This agreement wrongfully 'privatized' the IRS' quintessential government task of developing, receiving, collecting and processing tax returns, allowing members to reap profits by charging taxpayers and tax preparers substantial and legally unauthorized fees to electronically filed returns with the IRS," the complaint alleges. Marrone said the proposed class calls into question all fees associated with e-filing, including the fees to file and the cost of purchasing the software for tax return preparation.

A spokesman for the alliance, Patrick Dorton, said in a statement that the lawsuit was without merit. ... "The Free File Alliance, which has been authorized and approved by the IRS and Congress, is a pro-consumer public-private partnership that has allowed more than 17 million taxpayers, most with low and moderate incomes, to file tax returns at no charge," Dorton said. "It has been a win for taxpayers and a win for consumers."
http://apatriotsmanifest.com/nov2007/index07111505.html




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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've never had a problem doing free file at the federal level.
I use TaxAct, but pretty much any of them will do it if you meet the income guidelines.

California has their own online filing system, so I reenter it all there, which takes a few minutes but saves me $8.95 or whatever it is a state filing costs.

I've done the same thing for quite a few of my family and friends, and none of them have ever had to pay a dime.

OTOH, if California can have their own online return filing system, I don't see why the federales can't. The FTB is only mildly more competent than the IRS.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't get it
They get a contract to provide tax filing services under the condition low income people get it for free. What are these people suing over?
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. The IRS is suppose to provide free filing to everyone....
Edited on Fri Nov-16-07 12:14 PM by Joanne98
thru a .gov site. This private companies were hi-jacking hits and re-routing them to their sites. Then they charged people over a certain income. It's something I've noticed for the last two years. It's getting harder and harder to acess gov sites without these companies blocking or hi-jacking you. This is good news because now they will have to get out of the way.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Bingo!
It is fucking ridiculous that the government is charging us to file our taxes. On the federal level, this racket goes beyond individual taxes, too. If I want to efile my quarterly payroll reports, I have to do so, and pay a fee, through an approved vendor. Why the hell do I have to pay a middleman to process forms that I have already completed?
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Exactly! it should be free on a .gov site with no interference...
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Uh, no
The IRS has never provided free filing to everyone. They've always contracted filing to private companies.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. More
"The name 'Free File Alliance' is clearly misleading," attorney Thomas More Marrone said in a statement. "Few taxpayers are actually eligible for free electronic filing. E-filing has become an enormous profit center for cartel members." ...

"This agreement wrongfully 'privatized' the IRS' quintessential government task of developing, receiving, collecting and processing tax returns, allowing members to reap profits by charging taxpayers and tax preparers substantial and legally unauthorized fees to electronically filed returns with the IRS," the complaint alleges. Marrone said the proposed class calls into question all fees associated with e-filing, including the fees to file and the cost of purchasing the software for tax return preparation.

A spokesman for the alliance, Patrick Dorton, said in a statement that the lawsuit was without merit. ... "The Free File Alliance, which has been authorized and approved by the IRS and Congress, is a pro-consumer public-private partnership that has allowed more than 17 million taxpayers, most with low and moderate incomes, to file tax returns at no charge," Dorton said. "It has been a win for taxpayers and a win for consumers."

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1195034641513


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Silver Swan Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. I refuse to pay to file.
Last year I did not qualify for free e-filing, so I filed a paper return. I always prepare my own tax returns, so I have no reason to use a professional preparer or an electronic service, unless it is free.

They'll probably start charging for paper returns soon.

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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. They better continue to make paper, e-file, or both free
I will not e-file because a) I will not pay for it, period, when I am saving *them* money in processing costs, b) I will not give said money to the vultures who have flocked in to collect it.

I totally fail to understand why a) it does not go *directly* to the IRS and b) it is not free.
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class2068 Donating Member (72 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-16-07 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. Some people
have way too much time on their hands...
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. I don't agree
I think this is a small issue compared to other things the cabal continues to do, but it's the same *sort* of thing. Functions being pulled away from government to line corporate pockets.

And I've always suspected (without any concrete evidence, I'll admit) some data mining going on. In any case, why should I send data that is between me and the IRS via some third, profit-making entity?

Welcome to DU, class2068! :hi:
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. I used H&R Block and refused to pay to file.
There is this older man who works at the H&R Block local office here. He knows Taxes inside and out and he is very professional. If it weren't for him, I probably would use a different Tax preparer. But he told us upfront of the cost to E-file, and we said file the paper copy instead. We still got our tax refund within a week.
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