For years, taxpayers depended on experts like CPAs and professional tax preparation corporations like H&R Block but thanks to software called TurboTax, individuals and businesses had the opportunity to prepare and file taxes from the comfort of home and for less money. Since first being introduced, TurboTax has become the number one trusted source for home tax preparing and filings but now the company has identified a problem in the form of an increasing number of questionable filings.
Primarily, more criminal activity pertaining to personal information being stolen has been spotted by company experts. In these cases, fake state returns were filed with the appropriate authorities. As such, criminals have been able to claim tax refunds from state governments when money was not even owed or for more money than legally entitled to receive.
TurboTax conducted an internal investigation and found breaches are not caused by the software but individuals who were able to obtain personal information for other people outside. At this time, the investigation is still going on.
According to Intuit, it is working with tax officials from different states to take control of the e-filing security by bringing it back where it needed to be. For taxpayers who have already filed state returns, nothing needs to be done. Instead, the returns will automatically be retransmitted after the problem has been solved, this according to a TurboTax spokesperson.
TurboTax officials also advised the public that the only returns being stopped are from the state. As far as federal income tax returns, they can still be filed electronically like normal.
Unfortunately, for TurboTax, which is owned by Intuit, this is a real headache. In addition to this problem, consumers have been extremely upset with the significantly increased price of the product. In fact, many individuals who are self-employed, as well as investors, have been forced to pay up to 50% more for the TurboTax software.
Intuit is working hard to end the controversy surrounding its product by stating that anyone who purchases the more affordable Deluxe version of the program this Saturday will have the opportunity to upgrade to either Home & Business or Premier at no charge. In light of the news on fraud, Intuit shares dropped 3.3% or $3.04 per share to $88.65.