Personal Finance

Intuit will no longer be a part of an IRS program that helps millions of Americans file taxes for free

Key Points
  • Intuit announced Thursday that it will no longer participate in the IRS Free File program.
  • IRS Free File helps millions of Americans file federal tax returns at no cost.
  • People who still need to file their taxes and qualify for Free File can use Intuit's platform with the program through October.
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Intuit, the company behind popular tax filing software TurboTax, announced that it will no longer participate in the IRS Free File program, which helps millions of Americans submit tax returns at no cost.

"With the Free File program surpassing its founding goals of e-file and free tax preparation, and due to the limitations of the Free File program and conflicting demands from those outside the program, we are not able to continue in the program and deliver all of the benefits that can help consumers make more money, save more, and invest for the future," the company wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Intuit did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

The IRS Free File program is a public-private partnership between the agency and the Free File Alliance, a group of tax preparation companies with online software such as TurboTax, TaxAct, FreeTaxUSA and more. Americans with adjusted gross income of less than $72,000 are eligible to use the program to file federal taxes with no cost. Intuit has been a part of the program for nearly 20 years.

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Part of Intuit's reasoning for leaving the program is its success.

"Today, over 90% of all taxpayers e-file their taxes and free tax preparation is currently available to 100% of American taxpayers through a combination of commercial, philanthropic and IRS-sponsored methods," the company wrote. "We are proud that Intuit's participation in the Free File program has helped the organization exceed its charter of increasing electronic filing to 80% and making free tax preparation available to 70% of filers."

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In the last tax season, Intuit delivered 17 million free tax filings, including roughly 3 million through IRS Free File, according to the company. For the last eight years, nearly 90% of the approximately 100 million free filings done through the company have been outside Free File, it said.

Not working with the IRS program will mean fewer constraints going forward, Intuit said.

"This decision will allow us to focus on further innovating in ways not allowable under the current Free File guidelines and to better serve the complete financial health of all Americans through all of our products and services, in tax preparation and beyond," the company wrote in its blog post.

To be sure, Americans who still need to file 2020 tax returns and are eligible for the IRS Free File program can continue to select Intuit's software through October, when the tax season ends. The company will not offer services with Free File next year.

The IRS didn't respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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