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September 26, 2020
Free File Alliance can No Longer Hide their No-Cost Tax Software from Google Search Results

Tax Prep Corporations are No Longer Allowed to Hide their Free Filing Products from Google Search

Following a change in the IRS’s nearly two-decade policy, tax preparation corporations can no longer hide their free products from Google search…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced changes that should — although does not guarantee to — make it less stressful for Americans to file their annual taxes. 

The revenue agency adopted and published an addendum of its almost 20-year-old Free File agreement, creating new protections for American tax payers. More particularly, that it’s no longer permissible for tax preparation corporations to exclude their free filing software products from Google search.

Free File Alliance can No Longer Hide their No-Cost Tax Software from Google Search Results

The new IRS policy prohibits corporations like Intuit, maker of Turbo Tax — and nine others which constitute the Free File Alliance —  from “engaging in any practice” that prevents their free tax filing products from being included in Google and other search engines, search results.

Additionally, the change allows the IRS to create its own consumer tax filing software. Under the previous arrangement, the agency agreed not to compete with the industry, as long as those companies offered free software for low- and middle-income Americans.

The change comes after a report revealed Intuit and H&R Block wrote code in their free software products that prevented them from surfacing in Google search results.

Intuit writes about the changes that it:

“…strongly supports these changes to the Free File program and associated Free File offerings because they increase the focus on the taxpayer experience. We applaud the IRS and FFA, who worked together to bring about these important reforms.”

Intuit already faces a number of lawsuits over its past behavior.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.

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