February 01, 2024

Warren, Blumenthal, Sanders, Porter Blast Intuit for Evading Questions About Its Massive Tax Breaks

Intuit Received $94 Million in Federal Research Tax Credits in 2022, While Spending Millions to Fight Free Direct File Program 

“The American public deserves answers—not more deception—about how you are spending their hard-earned dollars.”

Text of Letter (PDF) | Intuit’s Previous Response to Lawmakers (PDF)

Washington, D.C.  – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-Calif.) sent a response to Intuit, blasting the company for its failure to answer basic questions the lawmakers asked in their January 2, 2024 letter seeking an accounting of the expenses underlying the company’s massive federal research tax breaks. In 2022, Intuit received $94 million in federal research tax credits, while simultaneously spending millions lobbying against a free federal direct file program. The lawmakers are calling on Intuit to answer their original questions and give taxpayers a full accounting of what its research tax credits are funding. 

“Earlier this month, we wrote to Intuit seeking information regarding the $94 million research tax break your company received in 2022. In response, you sent a letter filled with false and misleading assertions about the IRS’s Direct File program—a simple, free e-File option for taxpayers under development—and no answers to our questions about the massive tax breaks you received while spending millions to lobby against free e-Filing,” wrote the lawmakers.

The lawmakers also highlighted recent reporting about Intuit’s misdeeds and lobbying. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission determined that Intuit engaged in a campaign of deceptive practices when it ran ads claiming that Intuit’s services were “free” despite that not being true for millions of taxpayers. Last week, a new report revealed that Intuit spent a record $3.8 million to lobby the federal government in 2023, including on issues involving the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The American public deserves answers—not more deception—about how you are spending their hard-earned dollars. Accordingly, we once again request that Intuit answer our questions about your company’s federal research tax breaks by February 7, 2024,” concluded the lawmakers. 

Senator Warren has been at the forefront of holding tax prep companies accountable for abuses and has led the fight for a free E-File program to make tax filing simpler and more affordable for millions of Americans:

  • In January 2023, Senators Warren, Blumenthal, and Sanders and Representative Porter sent a letter to Intuit, requesting a full accounting of the expenses underlying the company’s massive federal research tax breaks. 
  • In October 2023, Senators Warren, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Representative Porter sent letters to five tax preparation companies—H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer, Ramsey Solutions, and Intuit—that recently received notices of penalty offenses from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the misuse of taxpayer’s sensitive and confidential information. 
  • In July 2023, Senators Warren, Wyden, Blumenthal, Duckworth, Sanders, and Whitehouse and Representative Katie Porte released a report revealing the outrageous, extensive, and potentially illegal sharing of taxpayers’ sensitive personal and financial information with Meta by online tax preparation companies. The lawmakers also sent a letter to the IRS, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice highlighting their key findings and calling on these departments to fully investigate this matter and prosecute any company or individuals who violated the law.
  • In June 2023, Senators Warren and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Representatives Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Porter and Don Beyer (D-Va.), led a coalition of 99 Democratic lawmakers in a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo, applauding the IRS’s announcement of a pilot of a free tax filing tool next year.
  • In April 2023, Senators Warren and Carper led 29 other senators in a letter to the IRS Commissioner, urging the agency to simplify the tax process and broaden access to free e-filing options.
  • In April 2023, at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Warren questioned the IRS Commissioner about the agency’s failed Free-File partnership with private tax preparation software companies and called on the agency to implement a direct E-File program. 
  • In December 2022, Senators Warren and Wyden and Representatives Porter and Sherman sent letters to tax preparation companies H&R Block, TaxAct, and TaxSlayer, plus big tech firms Meta, and Google, amid reports that the tax preparation companies have been secretly transmitting individual taxpayers’ sensitive financial information to Meta and Google
  • In August 2022, Senator Warren highlighted key priorities she secured in the Senate’s Inflation Reduction Act, including establishing an IRS task force to look into developing and running an IRS-run free direct E-File tax return system, based on Senator Warren’s Tax Filing Simplification Act. 
  • In July 2022, Senator Warren led 22 lawmakers to introduce the Tax Filing Simplification Act of 2022, legislation that would direct the IRS to develop its own free online tax preparation and filing service that would simplify the tax filing process for millions of Americans 
  • In June 2022, at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen agreed with Senator Warren on the need to create a free tax filing system that actually works for Americans.