Claims that TurboTax Fraud May also Affect Federal Returns

TurboTax photo
Photo by Images_of_Money

Now that the tax season is here, the fears about TurboTax fraud is more punctuated than ever before. Taxpayers were shocked when they heard about TurboTax suspending state tax filings over fraud concerns. Imagine getting the news that someone else filed your tax returns and claimed your hefty tax refund. Fortunately, this problem only affected the state filings, not federal taxes.

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Well, this has changed. The details may be sketchy, but the FBI is now investigating claims that federal tax returns may also be affected by this fraud, putting your tax refund in jeopardy. The bureau interviewed taxpayers who claimed that IRS data was compromised, leaving room for fraudulent activities.

Imagine getting a message from the IRS acknowledging receipt of your federal returns even before you do your taxes. Given that all tax filings are done electronically, fraud has become a big threat.

While TurboTax 2015 free version allows taxpayers to make free tax filings, a rival, H&R Block, took advantage of the fraud cases surrounding TurboTax to attract taxpayers who did not want to fall victim to identity theft, among other types of fraudulent activities.

However, it is important to note that no system is perfect, especially when you consider the fact that both the IRS and most states had already put in place sophisticated systems to detect and help prevent theft.

TurboTax Survives Twitter Panic

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TurboTax Survives Twitter Panic

The 2013 tax season was fraught with unprecedented problems caused by government budget fights and IRS delays in updating forms.  In addition, some major tax preparation firms, most notably H&R Block, caused problems for taxpayers claiming education credits by not properly updating their own software, delaying some clients’ returns by weeks.  TurboTax managed to escape most of the tax season controversy until the evening before the filing deadline.  On that night, they had their own crisis which was exacerbated by Twitter.

English: Sketch for Twitter. See also the auth...
English: Sketch for Twitter. See also the author’s description on Flickr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TurboTax admits that on Sunday, April 14th, some of their online users were not able to access their accounts, causing a panic among those who had waited until the last possible moments to file.  The outage was caused by a glitch in the company’s software and the extremely high volume on the web site. According to TurboTax officials, the site was never entirely down, though the outraged tweets on Twitter painted a different picture.

Although the problem only lasted about one hour, from 6:40 pm until 7:50 pm PT, last minute filers panicked and tweeted frantic questions and complaints to TurboTax‘s Twitter account.  TurboTax was aware of the problem before the tweets hit, but users had their doubts, and so kept reminding the tax company of the problem.  All was quickly fixed; however, leading many to blame procrastinators instead of the company for the problem.

Twitter users may not have passed on any useful information this time, but the pressure they exerted probably didn’t hurt anything. In the future, TurboTax will surely be more prepared for traffic surges on their site.

Finding The Right Online Tax Prep

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Finding The Right Online Tax Prep

During tax time there are all sorts of advertisements for at home tax prep. These sites offer many different features and each claim to be the best one. This is why it is important to understand this battle as well as what it can mean to you when filing your taxes.

One of the biggest sites out there is free Turbo Tax 2013. Many people like this because it allows them to file for free on their federal tax forms. A newer site that you can do this with is TaxSlayer. Tax Act is among these as well. The nice thing about these different options is that they are all free and allow you to quickly get your information in so you can receive your refund.

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out
IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out (Photo credit: kenteegardin)

The thing many people wonder is which they should go with. The truth is that it is simply a matter of preference. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the site you will go with. One is whether they offer free support, as not all do. Will they charge for additional forms, which is especially important if you have your own business. You also want to find out if there are any charges to have the money direct deposited into your account.

You will need to think about what your needs are for your taxes. If you have no clue what you are doing, then it may be beneficial to pay for a service that offers online chat with tax professionals, such as H&R Block at Home. If you know what you are doing or are doing a simple 1040EZ, then chances are you do not have to worry about this.

In the end, you need to go with the site you feel most comfortable with. Each site has benefits and drawbacks. This is the nice thing about these sites is that you can find one that will meet your needs. Just make sure you take the time to see what each has to offer before you get started as having to imput all your information again can take a long time and will be frustrating.

H&R Block- Small Business Tax Software Review

H&R Block- Small Business Tax Software Review

H&R Block is one of the best tax preparation software used worldwide. Today more than 500 million clients mainly in Australia, the U.S., and Canada use H&R block. With almost 50 years of small business experience H&R Block system understands the requirements of their clients and creates, sustains and implements such systems to support the franchisee in their business growth.

H&R Block

Not only experience, but the H&R block tax preparation services has very strong recognition, making itself a house hold name all over the world. H&R Block is one of the leading and top selling products in tax preparation and continues to use it every year; that has built its own reputation on popularity, reliability and simplicity. Millions of people today use H&R Block to prepare their State and Federal income tax returns each year as they trust the professionals. Various features include Tax Tips, along with a knowledge center that offers useful information on how to increase your refund. FREE Tax Calculators and Tax Estimator for various purposes help in computing your tax figures easily. Online help from the H&R Block professionals is at your fingertips at any point of time, and uncomplicated forms with step by step assistance ease you through the tax return process.

The Benefits of Using Online Tax Software

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It’s the start of a new year, and that means it’s time to do last year’s taxes. Are you going to do them yourself, or will you hire a tax professional to do them for you? If you’d prefer to prepare your own tax return, you might want to use an online program to help you. There are lots of different programs available, such as TurboTax and H&R Block. All will help you complete your federal and state tax returns from the comfort of your own home. There are many benefits to using online tax software, and here’s a closer look at some of them.

Convenience
When using online tax software, all you have to do is log on to your computer. It makes it incredibly convenient for you to complete your taxes whenever is best for you, without relying on the schedule of a tax professional you might hire. Also, completing your taxes online means you don’t need to fill out long paper forms by hand. It’s incredibly easy to type in your numbers, so you don’t have to go out and pick up lots of forms, or waste ink and paper printing them out yourself. Doing your taxes online will streamline the process and cut back on your paperwork.

Accuracy
Preparing your taxes involves a lot of math, and when you do them by hand there’s a lot of room for error. Online tax software will figure out all the calculations for you, and it will almost completely eliminate the possibility of mathematical errors. Making an error could cause a delay or an audit, so you want to get it right the first time. Online software will perform and check the math for you.

E-Filing
When you e-file your tax returns, you can confirm that they’ve been received by the IRS within 48 hours. Online software will help you e-file automatically, and this makes the process even easier. You don’t have to buy postage or worry about your paperwork getting delivered. E-filing will also help you get your refund sooner.

Support
Just because you’re doing your taxes at home doesn’t mean you’re on your own. When you purchase online tax software, many programs offer you support from certified tax professionals. You may have to pay a little extra, but if you’re unsure of something, at least you know you have some back up when you need it. Also, software programs will help you through the process by offering step-by-step instructions and definitions of terms. They’ll suggest ways you can maximize your refund or clue you in to additional deductions that you may qualify for.

Cost
Preparing your taxes by yourself with online software can help you save a lot. Purchasing the software will cost a lot less than hiring a tax professional such as an enrolled agent or a certified public accountant. Paying less will help you maximize the net amount of your refund. If you have a very simple federal return, many programs will even let you prepare it for free.

 

Terry Ford shares tips for saving money and being fiscally secure. She uses the world’s best grammar checker to keep her writing easy for her fans to understand.