TurboTax state e-filing resumes following brief stoppage

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - TurboTax announced it's resumed accepting e-filing of state income tax returns, hours after it stopped accepting them because of concerns of fraudulent e-filings.

The tax giant's parent company, Intuit, said on its website an internal investigation found an increased number of "suspicious filings" with stolen information. The company said third-party security firm Palantir confirmed there was not a security breach, and the fraudulent information came from "sources outside the tax preparation process." Intuit said in a news release the company has instituted additional security measures to prevent identity theft. 

According to the Utah Tax commission, more than 19 states had seen similar fraud issues. It is unclear if Missouri was one of those states.

However, Missouri Department of Revenue Director of Communications Michelle Gleba said the department had been tracking the problem.

"The Missouri Department of Revenue is aware of the situation involving TurboTax and will continue to monitor it," she said in an email. "The Department works diligently to safeguard taxpayer information. The Missouri Department of Revenue computer system has not been compromised."

University of Missouri economics professor Marty Steffens said via phone call, the major impact would have been the inconvenience of mailing state tax reforms.

"It's much easier to deal with electronic records than with print," she said.

Peter Mueser, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri, explained that for each paper filing, there needs to be someone to plug the information into the database and decide if an audit needs to occur. E-filing expedites the process of getting tax returns back to citizens.

"When it's e-filed, it can largely be mechanized," he said. "The computer can look at material and see if it can be audited at little to no cost."

Gleba said if anyone thinks they may be the victims of fraud, to call Intuit, the developer of TurboTax, at 800-944-8596.