Intuit Sued Over TurboTax Security
Two victims of identity theft have sued Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, claiming that poor security measures contributed to a possible spike in tax fraud this year.
In the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in the Northern District Court of California, the two taxpayers accused the company of not taking enough steps to protect customers’ data or to stop criminals from using that information to file fraudulent tax returns and steal tax refunds.
One plaintiff, Christine Diaz, said she had not used TurboTax since 2011. But in March, before she had filed this year’s tax return, she said that she received a bill for $242 from TurboTax for supposedly filing a federal tax return through the software, along with state returns in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma.
The other plaintiff, Michelle Fugatt, alleged that she received a similar bill in March despite having never used TurboTax.
Richard McCune, a lawyer representing the taxpayers, said his firm would seek class-action status down the line to represent other tax victims – both TurboTax customers whose personal information was stolen through TurboTax and non-customers whose information was stolen elsewhere but were victims of fake tax returns filed in their names through TurboTax.
Total damages sought will depend on how many people were affected, how taxpayers’ personal information was obtained and if fraud victims lost moneybecause of the fraud, McCune said.
TurboTax temporarily halted transmitting state tax returns in early February after a spike in suspicious returns.