According to a new report, Intuit purposefully stopped Google from surfacing its free tax filing service in search results in an effort to steer all consumers — no matter their income — toward the company’s paid services.
Intuit added code to the robots.txt file on its website that instructed Google to leave TurboTax Free File out of search results.
The Free File service came about as part of an agreement between the IRS and tax software companies, including Intuit and H&R Block.
But clearly, they don’t want that route to have the same SEO as the filing services that are bringing in huge revenues.
The Free File option, meanwhile, is legitimately free for those who qualify.
ProPublica found that H&R Block similarly prevented Google from including its own truly free service in search results.
A bill making its way through Congress would permanently handcuff the IRS and keep it from building out a TurboTax alternative. »