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Minn. Officials Warn Against Using TurboTax

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a warning for anyone who uses a popular brand of software to file their taxes.

Over the last week, the department has found numerous problems with Intuit Products like TurboTax, Lacerte and ProSeries. According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, the issues range from calculation errors to misdirected political donations.

Tax time has never been difficult for Erin Darsow. A longtime customer of TurboTax, she likes its do-it-yourself approach.

"Being able to do something on my own is convenient," Darsow said.

Like any taxpayer, she knows some years don't always end with a refund.

"It ruined my day. It really put a damper on my afternoon," she said.

Not long after that Erin realized she would have to pay in, she also learned Intuit - the company that runs TurboTax - was having errors of its system.

"That just made my stress level go even higher, knowing something could be wrong in the calculations," she said.

The Minn. Department of Revenue got wind of the issues last Thursday from a complaint. It discovered $5 political donations were being sent to the wrong party. Intuit said they were aware of that issue and were already making corrections.

On Monday, the Department learned some tax returns calculated the wrong number of claimed dependents.

And then Friday afternoon, the Department said they've learned of property tax miscalculations, returns coming by mail when direct deposit was requested, and more.

Terri Steenblock of the Department of Revenue says the issues with Intuit products are unacceptable. She says Intuit doesn't know the source of the problem, but if it's not fixed quickly, Minnesota taxpayers will need to look elsewhere.

"We have advised them if they are not corrected immediately, we will stop processing their returns," Steenblock said.

Erin plans to follow the advice to call the company to double check her return, but her concern is that she'll ultimately have to pay more.

"I just need to know because otherwise it will bother me," Darsow said.

Steenblock says tens of thousands of Minnesotans rely on TurboTax or other Intuit products. The Department recommends you file your return electronically, which makes it easier to track. A return by mail makes it more difficult to alert the tax payer of any problems.

Julie Miller of Intuit says the company is aware of the issues with their products, and they're working to resolve the problems. She said the source of the issue is a coding problem.

"We have been working with the state to identify and resolve a number of issues," Miller said. "We apologize for any inconvenience or anxiety this has caused."

Intuit says they will contact anyone who's been affected by the problem.

Miller reiterated that no personal information has been compromised due to the coding issues.

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