As technology evolves, the fraud and identity theft risks do as well. In the last couple of months we have blogged about tax fraud prevention and the IRS refund delays. Recent lawsuits have showed that any type of tax preparation has its risks and rewards.
Taxes are important to consumers and businesses since they are required and affect all members of the workforce, while there is no debating that, there are different ways to file a return. In the past, a person preparing the taxes was the only option; however, now with software like TurboTax there are additional options.
TurboTax can be accessed from a personal computer on a desktop application or through the software’s website. In addition, the program simplifies and can speed up the filing process for the do-it-yourself filers. Other conveniences include being able to pay once the refund goes through and the ability to receive funds on a Visa prepaid card.
The combination of the most sensitive personally identifying information such as social security numbers and birth dates mixed with the online filing, consumers can only assume that the proper security measures are being followed.
According to the lawsuit, two plaintiffs in California have filed a class action complaint against Intuit, because, “This action arises from Defendant’s failure, despite its knowledge of the sudden increase in fraudulent tax filings and massive data breaches in recent years, to take commercially reasonable measures to protect identity theft victims by preventing cyber criminals from filing fraudulent tax returns in the victims’ names.”
Although consumers should be aware of identity and tax prevention fraud risks, businesses are ultimately responsible for the data they store. Both parties must take every measure to safeguard information; however, a customer may assume their information is safe. Companies can assist in safeguarding their information through authentication and verification.