Monday, March 11, 2013

Minnesota Tax Authorities Warn Taxpayers To Stop Using Intuit Products

Every year, we expect to see a few glitches in tax filings, including software bugs and processing issues. Generally, those are resolved pretty quickly and without much interruption.

This year, however, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has taken the rather remarkable step of advising taxpayers not to use Intuit products, including TurboTax, to file your Minnesota taxes (downloads as a pdf) � in any form, electronically or on paper.

According to the Department of Revenue, Intuit has discovered �multiple issues� with their products affecting 2012 Minnesota tax returns. These problems include errors with property tax refunds, education expenses and political contributions. The Department of Revenue advises taxpayers that these issues could �jeopardize the accuracy of your return or delay your refund.�

So what should taxpayers do? If you have already filed your Minnesota tax return using Intuit, the Department of Revenue recommends that you contact Intuit directly at 1.866.888.4609. If you haven�t yet prepared or filed your tax returns, the Department of Revenue advises that you file using a software product other than those offered by Intuit (TurboTax, Lacerte, Intuit online, ProSeries).

Intuit is working to correct the errors, so if you have prepared your return using Intuit but have not yet filed, the Department of Revenue advises that you wait to file until Intuit communicates the problems are corrected.

The Department of Revenue used some pretty stern language in its warning, noting that it finds the errors �unacceptable.� The Department further warned that they expect Intuit to correct these problems immediately but that if the tax software giant fails to do so, �the department will stop processing returns filed using Intuit.� Realistically, I don�t know how the latter could happen since affected taxpayers would have, in theory, filed legitimate returns on their end unless they are kicked back automatically. My guess is that those statements are meant to serve more as warning shots to Intuit to get them moving quickly on a solution.

So far, it appears that about 10,000 tax returns are affected. Just over 2,500,000 individual tax returns were filed in Minnesota in 2009, the last year for which data is available (downloads as a pdf).

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