Free File Alliance

A class action suit has been filed against a group of income tax software companies that are part of a cartel known as the Free File Alliance LLC. The suit alleges that cartel members including H&R Block and Intuit unlawfully charged millions of US taxpayers excessive e-filing fees. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and notes that the IRS contracted the cartel to collect e-filed federal tax returns on its behalf. As agents of the IRS, federal law required cartel members to set fair and uniform fees for e-filing, but the class action alleges that cartel members set their fees based solely on profit.

The complaint was brought under the Federal User Charge Statute and alleges that the alliance members charged fees solely based on their private business interests and not on the value to the taxpayer and the public policy interest served. The suit seeks restitution of fees charged for electronic tax filing in violation of the Independent Offices Appropriation Act.

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