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Alternative Tax Fact: “Free” isn’t Always Free

Alternative Fact: “Free” isn’t Always Free - TaxAct Blog

Alternative facts have received a lot of press recently. Unfortunately, they are not limited to politics or George Orwell’s 1984. They have also found their way into the do-it-yourself (DIY) online tax filing industry.

Every tax season, leading tax software companies spew “Alternative Tax Facts” to all American tax filers – and we believe this must stop.

You deserve better, and we are committed to keeping you up-to-date on the “actual facts” you need to navigate this tax season.

The facts about free

‘ALTERNATIVE’ TAX FACT #1: DIY tax software advertising makes you think filing is free for everyone. ‘FREE’ filing is often the only option prominently shown on the big guys’ home pages.

ACTUAL FACT: Less than 50 percent of U.S. taxpayers can actually qualify for free filing, including through TurboTax’s Absolute Zero. Beware of the “fine print.” Most free tax filing is only available to taxpayers who have simple returns. Not to get all technical, but these are the folks who the IRS says are eligible to file Forms 1040EZ/A.

We take issue with this because we believe you are worthy of clear, up-front prices and unflinching transparency when choosing your tax software. You’re a hardworking American simply fulfilling your civic duty by paying taxes – you shouldn’t be confused by the cost.

That’s why we have changed the way we present our products to you. Our home page clearly lists ALL of our products in an effort to be as transparent as possible.

Join us

We’re changing things for the better. Making waves. Starting important conversations we know you’ll want to be part of. But, we can’t do it alone. So, join us.

Voice your concerns to TurboTax. Demand they join us in clearly articulating that “Free” isn’t always free. Make it clear you want them to publish their prices for their paid offerings.

Follow #AlternativeTaxFacts on Twitter and Facebook throughout tax season as we uncover what’s hiding behind TurboTax’s fine print.

We’re not saying this will fix everything that’s wrong with the tax filing system, but we think it’s a start.

For a quick look at the facts we think you need to know, visit