Apple And TurboTax Pass The Buck, Can’t Decide Who Owes Me Refund

$65 is a lot of money to Jaden, but he was happy to pay it to file his tax return when of TurboTax for the iPad told him that he was getting a pretty sweet refund. He wasn’t: the app gave bad info and he wasn’t eligible for any refunds due to being on Social Security, which isn’t taxed. Well, boo. That’s where the real challenge comes in: getting the refund from Apple. Or Intuit. Or Apple. Or is it Intuit?

The companies agree that Jaden deserves a refund, but disagree regarding who should give it to him.

I’m caught between TurboTax and Apple about a refund that both say the other owes me.

I receive disability, but I’m also a student. Since TurboTax was free to download and try on the iPad, I thought I’d see if I qualified for any student tax credits that would get me a refund this year. It’s happened the past two years, so it seemed like it was worth a shot. I filled out the information in TurboTax’s app and it said I qualified for an $80 state refund and a $460 federal refund. Based on that information, I paid the $64.99 in app purchase price to file taxes through the app. Everything was fine for a few days.

About four days after filing, I got a letter from the state I live in which said I didn’t qualify for the $80 refund due to being on social security so I wouldn’t be getting it. Two weeks after that, I got the same type of letter from the IRS, but it also said that I didn’t even need to file since social security income isn’t taxed.

I originally contacted Apple and told them about how the app gave bad information to get the purchase out of me. They agreed I deserved a refund, but they said I need to go through TurboTax to get it. I then contacted TurboTax’s parent company and they agreed I deserved a refund, but they said I would need to get it from Apple since they collected the payment.

I’ve now been bounced back and forth about four times each. Both sides agree I deserve a refund, but both say it’s the other company’s responsibility. With my disability, I can’t keep trying for this, but $65 is 10% of my monthly income, so it’s a really big deal to me. Can you help me?

That’s the problem with in-app purchases through third-party vendors: TurboTax gets the money and is charging customers, but Apple processes the payments and takes a cut. Shouldn’t it be Apple that issues the refund?