Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Users of Intuit Inc.'s TurboTax tax preparation software who elect to have refunds loaded onto general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards have experienced delays in receiving refunds. In a YouTube video directed at TurboTax users, a member of the TurboTax Refund Card Team acknowledged that Intuit was experiencing "challenges" in getting refunds loaded onto the cards and attributed the delays to increased tax fraud.
"As a result of an increase we've seen across the industry in regards to identity theft and fraud related to customers' refunds, there have been delays in reviewing customers' accounts and responding to customers," the TurboTax representative said. "In order to address this, we've increased our processes and improved our communications to you [TurboTax users] along the way to ensure legitimate customers get the refunds they deserve."
TurboTax gives users the option of having refunds direct deposited to bank accounts, issued on paper checks or loaded onto the TurboTax Refund Card. According to information on the TurboTax website, TurboTax users receive federal tax refunds seven to 14 days after users file taxes electronically. But an April 12, 2012, report from First Coast News, a Jacksonville, Fla., news station, said TurboTax users in the Jacksonville area had been unable to use their Visa Inc.-branded GPR cards.
When reached for comment, Colleen Gatlin, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Intuit, provided a statement that said, "[A]s a result of a significant rise in fraud across the industry, Intuit has put in place more stringent processes to ensure that only legitimate cardholders receive the refunds to which they are entitled on a TurboTax Refund Card. For the protection of our customers, when we detect suspicious activity that could indicate fraud, we place a hold on the card so no transactions can be made."
Gatlin added that Intuit is working with the Internal Revenue Service to safeguard taxpayers' information and prevent tax fraud.
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