TurboTax maker received gov’t inquiries about fraud

Associated Press

New York — The maker of TurboTax software said Friday that it had been contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies about a recent spike in fraudulent income tax filings.

Intuit Inc. said that it received a formal request for information from the Justice Department and was also contacted by the Federal Trade Commission and Congress. Intuit said it will cooperate with all inquiries and wants to show that its products are secure.

TurboTax is the most popular do-it-yourself tax preparation software in the U.S.

On Feb. 6, Intuit said it stopped processing state tax returns for about 24 hours because of an increase in fraudulent filings. The Mountain View, California, company says its systems weren’t breached and that the personal information used in the filings was stolen from other companies. Most victims found out that a fraudulent tax return was submitted in their names when they filed their returns and got a rejection notice.

H&R Block reported its third-quarter results Wednesday and said that the number of tax returns it handled fell 4.2 percent compared to last year. It said tax fraud was one of several reasons for the decrease.

Intuit shares are up 5.7 percent in 2015 and closed down 71 cents at $97.41 Friday. They lost 21 cents to $97.20 in aftermarket trading.