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TurboTax Valentines Day

“TurboTax Ruined Valentine’s Day 2015” by BMW

If you haven’t heard by now according to many media sources 3rd Party Tax Preparer Turbo tax (owned by Intuit) just ruined Valentine’s Day weekend 2015. For many who have already filed their tax return & utlized TurboTax your returns are in danger. Check the details below.
Up to 18 states are reporting significant upticks in fraudulent activity and there may be a common thread: tax preparation software. Source Forbes.com

Individual State Departments of Revenue are loathe to name names but have been quick to point the finger away from their own systems.

The State of Alabama Department of Revenue released a statement yesterday about fraud concerns, saying only, “The fraudulent filings originate from data compromised through a third-party commercial tax preparation software process and were detected through ADOR’s fraud detection systems.” They were quick to assure taxpayers, however, that “[o]ur systems have not been compromised.” Just two weeks into tax season, however, the number of suspicious returns in the state has already hit 16,000, all of which were “filed suspected of fraud from the third-party commercial tax preparation software.”

Similarly, the State of Utah has issued a warning (downloads as a pdf) about fraudulent returns, saying, “The fraudulent filings originate from data compromised through a third-party commercial tax preparation software process and were detected through the Tax Commission’s fraud detection systems.” Utah also attempted to quiet taxpayers fears, saying, “All information in the State’s tax computer system remains secure and has not been compromised.” Utah did not call any particular provider out as solely responsible but did offer that the Tax Commission “was also notified by some taxpayers as they tried to file their returns through Intuit INTU -3.37%/TurboTax, that they received a message that their return had already been filed.” Utah has pegged the number of potentially affected returns at 8,000.

That’s the same error reported in a number of states. So far, only the Minnesota Department of Revenue has stopped accepting tax returns submitted using Intuit’s TurboTax software. Minnesota has not indicated how many taxpayers might be affected.

Following up on taxpayer concerns, Intuit announced that it is working with state agencies to address the problem. Intuit reached out to Palantir, a third party security expert, to make a preliminary investigation of the most recent fraud activities. The initial findings have led Intuit to believe that these instances of fraud did not result from a security breach of its systems. Instead, the company believes that the information used to file fraudulent returns was obtained from other sources outside the tax preparation process.

Intuit stressed that they are continuing to investigate. “We understand the role we play in this important industry issue and continuously monitor our systems in search of suspicious activity,” said Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer. “We’ve identified specific patterns of behavior where fraud is more likely to occur. We’re working with the states to share that information and remedy the situation quickly. We will continue to engage them on an ongoing basis in an effort to stop fraud before it gets started.”

So what’s next? As of yesterday, Thursday, February 5, Intuit is temporarily pausing transmission of state e-filing tax returns. This is effective for all states. Intuit will be working with the states today to begin turning transmissions back on.

If you have already filed your state tax return using Intuit software during this temporary pause, you’ll just have to wait it out: taxpayers will have their returns transmitted as soon as possible. There’s nothing that you can do just yet. Trying to file again will just cause you more delays down the road. Read More Here:

Ok so now that we have got that out of the way. Yes for many Valentine’s day 2015 is ruined! (Or you can at the very least use this as the perfect excuse) I can hear it now “Look babe I had this beautiful weekend planned for us to take a trip for V-Day & then… well I found out when I filed my taxes with TurboTax that they messed something & now I’m not getting my money on time babe I’m so sorry, I got these coupons to Wendy’s though“…… TurboTax also ruined NBA All Star weekend for many, Winter Semi-Formal for others & in my case my 30th birthday! I had this crazy birthday party planned with Fat Man Scoop as the DJ we rented out a damn ARENA! Ok that’s enough lying, my party will still take place at the Praha 400 Corbet St Tarentum, PA 15084 from 9-2am with DJ Tk holding down the music ALL NIGHT LONG! (Super Shameless plug I know). All jokes aside saving money throughout the year is very important people. Don’t rely so heavily on your refunds! Be safe & happy Friday! (It’ll be a netflix and popcorn evening for many I’m sure).

We will do our best to keep you up to date on any changes with regard to this issue. We are this sort of media source but I figured it would help if we eased the tension & gave you some solid information at the same time.


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brandonw • February 6, 2015

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