Minnesota suspends TurboTax filings, cites security concern

The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Thursday that it had temporarily stopped accepting TurboTax individual returns due to "potential fraudulent activity." Friday morning, Intuit said it was proactively holding returns filed with TurboTax software as well.

Taxpayers find returns already filed

The state temporarily stopped accepting returns filed using TurboTax after learning two Minnesota taxpayers had logged on and discovered a return had already been filed in their name. Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly said in a conference call that this could indicate possible fraud, so TurboTax filings have been blocked, at least for now. Tax professionals can continue using other products made by the software company Intuit, including Lacerte, Intuit online and ProSeries.

"(Intuit) indicated to us that they don't believe it's a breach of their system," Assistant Revenue Commissioner Terri Steenblock said. "They believe that it's information that fraudsters have received from another source and they're using that to file returns."

As of Wednesday, about 267,000 Minnesotans had filed tax returns this season. Steenblock said the state is currently looking at about 2,000 returns right now.

"That does not mean they're fraudulent," she said. "They are returns that were filed by TurboTax that we want to take a look at."

Update: 2/6 from MN Dept of Revenue

We are working quickly to verify Intuit's new security measures and their impact on Minnesota returns. Minnesotans rightfully expect us to protect their private information and avoid fraudulent activity. That is our first responsibility and foremost priority. We will work continuously until we can assure Minnesotans that TurboTax returns will be filed safely.

What if you already filed with TurboTax?

"If somebody has filed with TurboTax and they received an acceptance notification, they just need to know we have accepted that return and we will process it," Steenblock said. "If we find any issues we will contact them. If they file and they don't receive an acceptance notification right now, we're asking them to hold tight."

The state is currently working with Intuit to verify the returns they've received through TurboTax.

"If they did identify that a return was already filed, they can contact us and we will work with them to determine what's happening there," Steenblock said.

TurboTax help line

TurboTax has set up a dedicated phone number for impacted taxpayers. Beginning Friday, February 6, at 8 a.m. CT, affected taxpayers can call 1-800-944-8596 to get personal assistance.

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