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TurboTax Promises Refunds to Oregon Filers Whose Returns It Bungled

TurboTax recommended some Oregon filers take the standard state tax deduction even though they'd save more money itemizing.

By Mike Rogoway, (TNS)

TurboTax began notifying some Oregon customers this week that it made a mistake in their tax returns, offering them instructions on how to amend their filings and promising to refund money they paid for TurboTax’s service.

“We truly apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused and want to say thanks for being part of the TurboTax family,” the service told customers in messages sent out beginning Monday. It aims to notify everyone affected by its mistake by May 14.

TurboTax incorrectly recommended that some Oregon filers take the standard state tax deduction even in cases when they could save money by itemizing their deduction.

The error affected more than 12,000 Oregon tax filers, according to information TurboTax’s parent company, Intuit, provided to the state Department of Revenue.

State officials notified Intuit that they suspected a problem in early April, before the April 15 tax filing deadline. But Intuit initially said it couldn’t replicate the problem.

The company acknowledged the issue last week after additional inquiries from the Department of Revenue and The Oregonian/OregonLive. It hasn’t provided an estimate of how much Oregon tax filers overpaid as a result of TurboTax’s mistake and didn’t respond to an inquiry on Wednesday.

The TurboTax website now lays out a 28-step process for online tax filers to amend their Oregon returns. (It’s only 23 steps for customers who use TurboTax’s desktop software.) The company also posted a phone number (844-333-2161) for people to call with assistance.

After amending their returns, those who have lower tax bills or bigger tax refunds will either get a check from the state or money deposited in their bank account, depending on the option they selected.

TurboTax said those who amend their returns because of its mistake will be refunded the entire cost of the online service or $60 back to partially cover the cost of the company’s desktop product, which often sells for more than that. TurboTax said previously that nearly all the filers affected by its mistake were using its desktop software.

“We appreciate that they’ve taken ownership of the issue and the communication they’ve had with us since they acknowledged the problem and we’re working with them at this point to meet our customers’ needs,” said Robin Maxey, spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Revenue.

The state will send out its own message about the issue to taxpayers next week, Maxey said, once TurboTax has completed its notification process.


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