United States tax preparation company TurboTax, a subsidiary of "financial software" developer Intuit, has discontinued its e-filing service for state tax returns due to concerns over massive fraud. Reportedly Utah was the first state to raise concerns to the company identifying 28 returns as fraudulent with a further 8,000 suspected fraudulent returns. Minnesota followed by refusing to accept state returns filed through Turbo Tax after users reported logging in and seeing TurboTax show their taxes already had already been filed for them. Alabama similarly flagged 16,000 returns as likely fraudulent and insists that their computer and network security practices are in no way connected to the existence of fraudulent returns.
Contributing to the ease with which fraudulent tax filings may be used to get a resident's tax overpayment refunded to a thieving party is a legal and financial system utilized in the United States which by default accepts information about a person as an acceptable surrogate for an actual verifiable signature. This surrogacy of information about a person serving as a surrogate for a signature.
This aberration of information about a person being given equivalence to a signature is a substantial part of why the recent breech of United States health insurance provider Anthem presents a catastrophic scenario for persons whose information was included in the breach. One of the most popular methods of identification for persons seeking financial services or credit in the United States are subjected to involves answering questions to see if the requester can supply answers which are in concordance with the information present in one's credit report.
These services are often offered to businesses by the credit reporting agencies themselves. An example of this is Experian's PreciseIDSM which is offered as:
an Online Identity Verification System Used by Clients Needing Basic Consumer Verification.
This particular product and a number of similar products are popular among Fiat/Bitcoin interfaces like CoinBase which as a habit and manner of doing business refrain from showing their customers the slightest bit of respect towards their privacy or autonomy.
The system which enables this fraud shows no signs of stopping or changing in any appreciable manner making the pain likely to continue for residents of the United States and concerns seeking to do business there. In the United States theft by the fraudulent filing of other people's tax returns is by no means a new phenomenon, but a major national tax preparer having to take the step TurboTax did of totally ceasing to process state tax returns is unprecedented. It is also endemic of the deep sickness within United States commercial and legal culture arising from confusion over the difference between a signature and meta data.