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ASK THE EDD ATTORNEY – TURBO TAX FRAUD ISSUES FOUND BY THE FTB

By Robert S. Schriebman

February 24, 2015

Introduction

The FTB has just issued a newsletter warning of possible identity theft lurking in the use of online tax preparation products for the 2014 income tax filing season. The FTB has issued Public Service Bulletin 15-05 dated February 13, 2015. This article will discuss this FTB Bulletin.

Beware of potential identity theft.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has been alerted to identity theft occurring in the use of online tax preparation products for the 2014 personal income tax filing season. Some are finding that their personal income tax return has already been filed! The FTB warns that this is clear evidence that you may be the victim of identity theft. Thieves are taking your personal data, filing a false return in your name, and taking your refund. If your refund is stolen, both the IRS and the FTB will replace the refund so you will not be out of pocket, but the process can be hassle.

The FTB bulletin states that Intuit (the maker of Turbo Tax) has reported an increase in suspicious income filings this year. Think about it, it's only February. We are at the very beginning of the 2014 filing season which can extend to mid-October 2015. Intuit has confirmed that there has been no breach of its data.

In response to the potential identity theft results Intuit has implemented additional security elements to verify taxpayer authentication when accessing a customer's account to file or check the status of a return.

Intuit has also set up a customer service line to assist anyone who believes that he or she may be a victim of identity theft or other forms of tax fraud when using Turbo Tax. If you believe you are a victim, call the following number: 800-944-8596.

According to the FTB Bulletin, Intuit will provide identity protection services and free credit monitoring as well as access to all versions of its software.

While the amounts of potential identity theft attacks are relatively small, remember we are only at the beginning of the tax filing season; we have a long way to go to October 15.

The motto for protecting yourself from identity theft is "Be alert, Be prepared, Be proactive." If you suspect anything unusual in using an online tax preparation product, call the above 800 number and contact the Franchise Tax Board. Do not give any information to any stranger over the phone. Remember the IRS and the FTB will not call you making threats. If this happens to you, review the articles that I have written posted on this website.

Be careful.

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Robert Schriebman has a successful practice in the Rolling Hills Estates area of Los Angeles County serving clients throughout California and the United States. He has successfully dedicated more than 40 years to helping individual taxpayers, business owners, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and tax attorneys navigate the complicated tax systems of the federal and state governments.

Robert Schriebman has written the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House.

Robert Schriebman has written over 20 books including the major manual used nationally by practitioners and the IRS, "IRS Tax Collection Procedures - A Manual for Practitioners" published by Commerce Clearing House in addition to the only 2 books ever published dealing with how California Employment Development Department (EDD) operates. See "California Tax Collection Practice and Procedures" and "California Taxation Practice and Procedure", both published by Commerce Clearing House.

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