TurboTax temporarily stops e-filing state returns

The company said it took action after an increase in suspicious filings

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, a customer looks at a copy of TurboTax on sale at Costco in Mountain View, Calif. TurboTax says it has temporarily stopped processing state tax returns due to an increase in fraudulent fillings. Intuit, the company behind the popular tax preparation software, says state tax returns already filed since Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, will be transmitted as soon as possible. Users can still submit their federal income tax returns.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, a customer looks at a copy of TurboTax on sale at Costco in Mountain View, Calif. TurboTax says it has temporarily stopped processing state tax returns due to an increase in fraudulent fillings. Intuit, the company behind the popular tax preparation software, says state tax returns already filed since Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, will be transmitted as soon as possible. Users can still submit their federal income tax returns.(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (MEDIA GENERAL) – “This makes me weary of filing online again, and really, it makes me weary of doing anything online,” said Jake from Michigan. “I consider myself to be somewhat tech savvy, and well guarded with my information, but clearly my efforts made no difference.”

Jake is one of many questioning what happened to his online tax return. Jake logged into TurboTax recently to begin filing his 2014 return. He found someone had already done it. They’d filed a federal return using his 2013 information and routed the refund to their own bank account.

The company that operates TurboTax, Intuit Inc., recently admitted to some online filing concerns. It announced it has temporarily suspended e-filing state tax returns after an increase is suspicious filings. The company said criminals are trying to use stolen identity information to file fraudulent state tax returns and claim tax refunds.

The company said it turned off the state e-filing function on Thursday, February 5, and that it will start working with states as early as Friday to turn the e-filing ability back on.

Customers who have already filed state tax returns using the company’s software during the temporary pause will have their returns transmitted as soon as possible, the company told us. Tax payers do not need to do anything else.

Does not impact:

  • Federal income tax returns

Does impact:

  • States that require residents to file returns

The company went on to assure any customer who believes they may have been a victim of tax fraud to call a dedicated number 800-944-8596 to get quick access to trained identity protection agents.

Intuit will provide:

  • Identity protection services
  • Free credit monitoring
  • Access to all versions of its software
  • Assistance from Intuit’s credentialed tax experts who will prepare return for free

“We understand the pain and frustration identity thieves cause taxpayers,” Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer, said. “We know how important tax time is and our number-one priority is making sure peoples’ returns are filed timely, accurately, and safely.”

Intuit reports after a preliminary examination of recent fraud activities, it does not believe the fraud resulted from a security breach of its systems. It believes the information used to file fraudulent returns came from sources outside the tax preparation process.

Jake isn’t so sure about his next step. It took him a series of phone calls to get help and he’s already started his own credit monitoring and identity theft protection. He said he can file his taxes like normal. But, the IRS told him not to e-file and to include a special form describing the fraud when he does.

Jake told us he liked using TurboTax, but he’s unlikely to use it again.

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