Government Report Shows Former IRS Employees Still Accessing Taxpayer Data

According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, the IRS continues to leave its vast computer systems without proper security. Private taxpayer data is vulnerable to hackers, fraudsters and former IRS employees. This GAO report tells of significant deficiencies relating to the financial reporting systems. Millions of Americans are rightfully concerned because they are required by law to file tax returns but worry about fraud.

The IRS must continue making improvements to taxpayer financial data controls. This news comes in the wake of a very unpleasant six weeks for taxpayers and the IRS. Taxpayers have entered this filing season with greater fears over fraud. TurboTax recently announced it was suspending tax return filings due to fraud.

Taxpayer distress became more severe when some learned that their tax return had been filed by someone else who received their refund. At first, it did not involve federal taxes, only state returns. The FBI began investigating returns filed using TurboTax. Those interviewed about this spoke of data being compromised and returns may have been filed on the basis of 2013 returns.

The report tells of easily compromised IRS passwords and outdated software having improper security functions. Worse yet, at times the IRS fails to delete access for employees who quit or have been fired.

David M. Walker (U.S. Comptroller General)
David M. Walker (U.S. Comptroller General) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Additionally, former employees of the IRS retain access to its data system when they should have been immediately cut off. A co-author of the report says that there is a plethora of taxpayer data that remains at risk for identity theft.

Taxpayers have no confidence in the credibility and security of the IRS especially after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration stated that 1.6 million taxpayers had been affected by identity theft early in 2014. It was a fraction of that four years before. Electronic filing likely plays a role.

The GAO warns that gaining access to IRS files does not require much sophistication on the part of hackers. At the same time, it reports that some security weaknesses have been addressed, but more improvements must be made.

TurboTax Responds Well To Issues

We are currently in the midst of the tax season, and many tax filers already received their refunds. These individuals should feel happy and lucky because there is an issue currently afflicting the tax industry. Based on recent reports from the TheBestCompanys.com, some individuals are not receiving receiving the refunds they were expecting. Apparently, identity thieves found a way to claim and steal from these unsuspecting individuals.

Since the start of the year, internet fraud on the Turbotax 2015 free platform increased by approximately 37%. This percentage includes suspicious filers and filers who had their information compromised by hackers. TurboTax 2013 creators were not aware of this glitch for quite some time. When they discovered the issue, they started making changes to their interface, and now these issues are becoming less frequent.

The chief tax officer of Intuit, David Williams, believes internet fraud will be an ongoing problem. If they correct one problem, he expects the problem to pop up somewhere else. Intuit plans to do their part by placing safeguards and deterrents in vulnerable spots within the interface.

TurboTax 2015
Photo by CustomUSB.com

This will help out the tax filer tremendously, but the tax filer needs to do their part as well. Intuit encourages tax filers to guard their information when they are filing a tax return. This will put another barrier in front of any hackers and thieves.

Healthcare & Intuit TurboTax

To know the ropes of TurboTax Health care and understand the highlighters of Affordable Care Act, turn your glances towards Intuit Inc. to get apprised of the facts. In addition to Health Care, you can File taxes online 2013 with the assistance of nation’s No. 1 rated online tax preparation services, Intuit Inc.

TurboTax(R) has been at your services for over 20 years, and has helped countless Americans decode the know-how of taxing processes. And, with the innovative launch of TurboTax Health, it has widened its spectrum and has taken up the initiative to educate the uninsured Americans how they can be a beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act, as per their requirements.

English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3...
English: Depiction of the House vote on H.R. 3590 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) on March 21, 2010, by congressional district. Democratic yea Democratic nay Republican nay No representative seated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feel free to logon to www.TurboTaxHealth.com, and check out the new free online tool TurboTax Health. It provides you with the insight into ACA, and how you can make the most of it through an interview-like experience, synonymous with the popular TurboTax software.

Making health care choices can be brain-rattlers, for people may not be sure if they are barking the right tree. Hence, this is where TurboTax Health steps in, and in three easy to-understand steps familiarizes you with Affordable Care Guide. You learn about the health care options you have to make the right decision. Answering to few questions simplifies thing for you, including:

  • · Do you qualify for a tax subsidy? And the estimated amount that would help you to get health insurance at a discount.
  • · Know the estimate of how much you have to pay for your health insurance.
  • · You come to know about the tax penalties in-case you opt not to go for health insurance.

For the ones opting to buy health insurance, TurboTax Health simplifies things for you, as it gets you connected to your state or federal health insurance sellers, or to eHealth, a leading private health insurance site.

Intuit Inc. has helped Americans to decode the complexity of taxation procedures and educated the masses with layman’s terms on the latest tax laws and legislation, and this process they have carried forward with health care.

People with health care queries can get their answers from TurboTax Health, which has created a unique social community of tax professionals and, personal experiences of peers. With the help of AnswerXchange community, people are breathe easy has they can get step-by-step guidance and be more confident on taking their own decision for their health care needs.

With Intuit you are in safe hands, as it has made impression with revenue of $4.2 billion in its fiscal year 2013.

How To Check Your Tax Return Online

Check Your Tax Return Online

Everyone needs to be updated on the progress of his or her application for a tax return after they file. Failure to do this could unnecessarily prolong the waiting time, which is typically twenty one days. In most cases, the internal revenue service, commonly known as the IRS, is able to meet the 21 day target. However, delays associated with incomplete information or inaccurate details will hold up the process especially if the applicant does not get details of the hindrance. As a rule of thumb, one is advised to keep track of the process by checking the status of his or her tax return online.

There are several ways of verifying the condition of your tax return. To begin with, one can use a telephone to check the status of is of her tax return. The process is simple and it entails calling the IRS hotline at 1-800-829-1954. Besides this toll-free hotline, those with iPhone and Android phones can also check their tax return via a special application, IRS 2go. If you would like to check your tax return status online, the IRS website is the most appropriate place to visit. The website application is easy to navigate through and thus accessible to all and sundry.

The Where’s my Refund IRS web application will help you get the status of your tax return. However, this website is usually updated once in a day. For electrically-filed tax return, the refund information should be available in 24 hours after ISR receives the information. Alternatively, you can check your tax return online by simply having your security number ready at hand while logging in to the IRS website. Going by this option, a number of details would be required, including the exact amount to be refunded. Nevertheless, the goal will be met since one will be able to quickly learn the status of his or her returns.

Check Tax Return Online

Check Tax Return Online

Since the 2008 Economic debacle, the U.S. has looked for ways to maximize income while minimizing expenses. As a government’s chief method of income is the taxation of its citizens, the Federal government has looked to allowing the lapse of Bush era tax breaks, raising taxes where appropriate, and stricter guidelines for tax professionals.

This ethos is trickling down to the state level. In some of the harder hit states, new and tighter regulations concerning the taxpayer and his/her tax bill are coming into existence and the taxpayer is facing new and more intense scrutiny. This effectively translates into greater responsibility and headache for the professional tax preparer.

Already living in one of America’s most highly taxed states, the average citizen in the state of New York may not be aware of the ordinances in place that dictate nearly every phase of the tax preparer’s profession and his/her relationship with corporate and individual clients. Tax preparers have to pay a fee and register with the New York Department of Taxation and Finance if they make a least ten tax returns in a calendar year (deeming them professionals). As the Internal Revenue Service already has tax preparer registration in place, this is a double whammy for tax preparers who reside in the state of New York. Twice represented and twice accessed for the privilege of practicing within New York.

Of course, state and federal governments maintain that this regulation is good for the state and good for the country. Regulating tax preparers provides additional assurance that more citizens are in compliance with tax regulations (regulating at every level will ensure more scrupulous compliance). This regulation may persuade people to seek internet services in order to check tax return online and streamline the entire process.

Completing Your Taxes

Completing Your 2010 Taxes

Completing an annual tax return is a responsibility that is shared by all American wage earners.  If you fail to file a tax return in any given year, you could face both legal and monetary penalties.  If you have not yet filed past due tax returns for your 2010 taxes or previous years, it would be a good idea to file a complete tax return for those years as soon as possible to avoid being penalized.

When looking to complete a return for 2010 or a previous year, the first thing that you need to do is gather as much of your financial records as possible.  If you have lost or thrown away pay stubs or bank statements, you should be able to get everything you need by contacting your employer, bank, brokerage firm, or any other entity that provided you with tax information that needs to be reported.

You are one of 50,000,000 Americans who must f...
You are one of 50,000,000 Americans who must fill out an income tax return by March 15 do it now! …. (Photo credit: Keijo Knutas)

Once you have gathered all of your financial information, the next thing to do is prepare the tax returns.  Be sure that you prepare the tax returns based off of 2010 forms.  Since the tax law changes from one year to the next, 2012 tax forms will not be usable to complete the 2010 tax return.  These forms are available through either the IRS directly, your accountant, or any tax preparation software.

After you have completed the return, be sure to mail it in as soon as possible.  It would be a good idea to also include a check for any owed taxes, but you should be prepared to have to pay interest or fees on any past due amount.