TurboTax Resumes State Tax Filing Service Nationwide After Fraud Concerns

Tax preparation giant TurboTax says it has lifted its suspension on processing state tax returns following reports of suspicious activity.

TurboTax's announcement to suspend today followed a move this week by Minnesota's Department of Revenue to stop accepting tax returns submitted using TurboTax due to "potentially fraudulent activity."

But by 3 p.n. Pacific, the filings resumed, and the company, which is owned by Intuit, said in a statement that it "continues to work with the states as they build their own anti-fraud capabilities," and "after working with third-party security expert Palantir on a preliminary examination of recent fraud activities, Intuit believes that these instances of fraud did not result from a security breach of its systems."

Authorities in Utah and Alabama issued similar warnings without naming TurboTax, saying they will stop accepting tax returns through "third-party" software.

"We've identified specific patterns of behavior where fraud is more likely to occur," Brad Smith, Intuit president and CEO, said in a statement earlier today.

A spokeswoman for Intuit said that during the suspension, Well securely hold the file until we resume transmissions. Customers can also still mail their tax returns completed through TurboTax, she said.

Intuit Inc.'s TurboTax logos are displayed on a computer monitor in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 13, 2012. The announcement didn't affect the filing of federal income tax returns.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue said it's still accepting returns filed with Intuit professional preparer products, which include Lacerte, Intuit Tax Online, and ProSeries.

"There has not been a breach of Department of Revenue systems," the Minnesota's government website states. "Our priority is maintaining the security of private taxpayer data and preventing fraudulent activity within our system. We have sophisticated technology in place to safeguard private taxpayer information."'

In 2013, Minnesota's Department of Revenue issued a similar warning after discovering "multiple issues" with Intuit products that created problems for property tax refunds, education expenses and political contributions, tax expert and attorney Kelly Phillips Erb noted.

This is the second publicity wrinkle for TurboTax early in the 2015 tax season. Last month, the company increased the price of one version of TurboTax online, which caused its Amazon.com rating to plummet to one star out of five and an offer from H&R Block for customers to switch to the competitor.

A spokesman for H&R Block said his company has no indication the same issue exists with H&Rs online state returns.

H&R Block has sophisticated monitoring and quality assurance methods in place, H&R Blocks director of media relations said in a statement. Importantly, our procedures require an accepted e-filed federal return prior to transmitting a state e-filed return.

Tax identity theft cases increased 135 percent in 2014 from 2013, according to IDT911s fraud center, likely due to the rash of breaches exposing personal information, Matt Cullina, CEO of IDT911, told ABC News yesterday.

On Wednesday, health insurer Anthem Inc. said as many as 80 million customers personal data may have been compromised in a cyber-attack. That personal information included social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information.


Top 5 Reasons to Invest With Peer to Peer Lending by Willis Harrison

Peer to peer lending is an exciting new phenomenon. For the first time lenders can efficiently find borrowers that are looking for personal loans without having to go to a bank. This efficient process benefits the borrower by giving them an additional way to secure a personal loan without having to meet strict bank restrictions. The lender benefits by being able to take on the role of the loan officer at the bank and deciding which loan they wish to fund, and being compensated with a higher interest rate for their effort.

The efficiency of P2P lending is what brings down the cost to the borrower and lender and allows both parties to benefit from lower interest rates than a bank can offer. These low interest rates make peer to peer lending attractive to borrowers. While at the same time appeal to people who are looking for a greater return on their investment than they can receive in their bank account.

Just like with any other transaction the fewer parties that are involved the more efficient the process becomes. The fewer amount of hands that need to see a return lower the cost of the transaction and benefit the parties that are still involved in the transaction. In this case people can see how both parties are equally benefited from the removal of the bank's part in the process.

Bank's will continue to dominate the personal loan market. However, as time moves on peer to peer lending will become a larger part of the personal loan market. As borrowers become more aware of ways to achieve a lower interest rate on a loan they will turn to p2p lending before they turn to the bank.

Investing with peer to peer lending is a fairly new concept, providing many benefits for the investor. This type of investing has become an alternative way to invest money because banks are no longer involved, giving the investor a better return on their money. Here are the top 5 reasons why someone would want to invest their money using peer to peer lending.

1. Knowing exactly where your money is being invested

Peer to peer lending, or p2p lending for short is gratifying because you are investing in other people. Your money is being used by other people who are trying to improve their lives, whether it is through getting out of debt, funding a business or using that money to improve their home. Each borrower has a story, and based on that story, you can choose a borrower that you can relate to or just want to help out.

2. Begin investing with just $25

If you have at least $25 to invest, then you can start investing in peer to peer lending. This is unlike many banks and mutual funds, where you have to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars to get started. With p2p lending, you can invest in lower increments of money, getting you an investment account a lot sooner.

3. CD's remain to pay less than 3%

Even though CD's are protected and insured by the FDIC, you are likely to lose money due to inflation if you were to get a five year CD right now. Currently, according to bankrate.com, the maximum return is 2.61%, with 2% for a three year CD. If you are trying to grow a nest egg, investing through a CD will not be very effective.

4. You get true diversification in your investment portfolio

It has been said by financial planners that diversification is an essential aspect to investing. P2P lending helps provide just that. You are investing in a complete different asset class, consumer credit, as asset class that is not available in most traditional investments. In 2008, almost every asset class lost value, making investing traditionally a bigger risk. With peer to peer lending you are adding more diversification to your investment portfolio.

5. You don't have to deal with Wall Street or banks

We all know how the big banks and financial institutions on Wall Street were the main cause of the financial crisis that everyone has been affected by. By using peer to peer lending, you can completely avoid using these institutions and get a better return on your money. Your money is in better hands with p2p lending, rather than in the hands of institutions that made poor decisions and showed a high level of greed with other's hard earned money. With p2p lending you are in control.

Martha wanted to buy a new car when her old Rover gave way and required about ??2,500 to buy the one she liked. Her bank offered her a loan at a shocking 29% for ??2,500 for a loan term of 4 years. This was way beyond her means. As she enquired among her friends for a more feasible loan rate, she came across social lending and decided to give it a try. Within the next three weeks she had got the much wanted loan at 15% which she could easily payback in the next five years. How does P2P lending manage loans at reasonable rates and that too for borrowers with not so perfect credit rating? It does so by cutting out middlemen with their huge overheads and big margins.

How does peer to peer lending work?

Most social lending marketplaces function on the eBay model where borrowers and lenders work out a loan without recourse to a third party. The borrowers' loan requests are listed on the online platform, indicating the required amount, interest rate and the duration of the loans. Lenders place bids on the loan listings which suit their investment criteria after sifting through hundreds of borrowing requests. The borrowers' online profiles can provide their financial strengths as well as responsibilities including their monthly income and expenses. Most sites get the borrowers' creditworthiness assessed through their credit scores as well as various other parameters like calculating their DTI ratio, their stability and affordability scores etc. Most social lending websites offer lending amounts up to ??25000 for duration of 1 to 5 years.

Who can join P2P lending sites?

The registration procedure for most social lending sites is quick and easy to comply with. You can apply as long as you meet the minimum application criteria. Borrowers can request for a loan for a plethora of reasons including debt consolidation, marriage, traveling, surgery, business, house repairs and student loan. Providing an authentic explanation of why you want the loan and how you intend to pay it back as well as a few indicators on your stability and reliability as a borrower can go a long way in getting your loan funded. However, you can choose to be discreet about your personal and financial information by using your privacy settings on your profile.

What is the plus of peer to peer lending?

P2P lending endeavours to build an online community for timely and affordable financial help to people turned down by traditional lending institutions for a number of reasons. It attempts to assess the creditworthiness of the borrowers through more than just their credit scores. Being online, their service charges are low and access is much easier. It can also be instrumental in helping borrowers build a healthy credit history for the future by making timely repayments on their loans.

In the process, peer lending can generate tangible benefits for real people on their hard earned money rather than for impersonal institutions like banks. Moreover, it also diversifies the risk quotient involved in unsecured lending by spreading the money over a number of borrowers. Obviously, lower risk markets generate lower returns while higher risk categories will give higher returns. Recently, a few social lending websites have launched a secondary market for loans to improve liquidity and investment options for the lenders.

Some peer to peer lending sites

Zopa and Prosper pioneered peer to peer lending in the UK and US respectively and have already created a sizeable place for themselves in the social lending scenario. Communitylend, too joined the P2P lending network in Australia. In the UK, a number of social lending platforms such as YES-secure, RateSetter, Quakle and Funding Circle have been launched in 2010.

In nutshell, if you find it difficult to fulfill the legal obligations set by the banks or would like to avoid the tedious transactions with traditional financial institutions, P2P could be the right option for you. It might be the way to a quick, easy and affordable loan you have been dreaming about

With the advent of peer-to-peer lending websites such as Prosper.com, it may seem as though a new era in online lending is beginning. As with any loan, however, it's important that you take the time to look into the advantages and disadvantages of this type of loan so as to make sure that you know exactly where your money is coming from and what will be expected of you when it comes time to pay it back. Even though the loan doesn't come from a bank of major lender, a peer-to-peer loan is still a debt and the repayment of such a loan should be considered a serious matter.

Is it right for you?

Before you start looking at whether peer-to-peer lending is right for you, you should first make sure that you understand how this type of lending service works. After creating an account with the lending site, you can either make a listing for a loan that you need or you can search the listings and find loans that you are willing to contribute to.

Loan requesters list the amount that they want to borrow, the interest rates that they're willing to pay, what the loan will be used for, and a little bit about themselves in order to show why they need the money. Loan contributors don't have to supply the full amount of the loan, just the portion that they're willing to pay. Multiple contributors can pay into a single loan, and once the requested amount has been reached then the borrower will have the full loan deposited into their checking or savings account.


One of the main advantages of peer-to-peer lending is the fact that it doesn't require a bank or other major lending institution to be involved. The money that you borrow is supplied by private individuals just like yourself, who fund part or all of your loan and who receive interest from your loan payments. Of course, you don't have to have direct contact with any of the individuals who contribute to your loan... the peer-to-peer lending service acts as a proxy, with the site handling all loan payments with direct deposits and withdrawals. This is how multiple lenders can be used to fill your loan needs, with the payments that are automatically withdrawn from your bank account being divided up among them each month.

It's even possible to make money through a peer-to-peer lending service, provided that you have the money to invest into it. You'll be making interest on any money that you lend, minus any service fees that are taken out by the service itself. Unfortunately, unless you have a decent amount that you're able to invest into funding loans the amount that you make likely won't be significant.


This type of lending isn't without its disadvantages, however. Since the money that you borrow isn't supplied by a bank or other federally-insured lender, in the rare event that there was some problem then you may not be able to recover your losses. Additionally, if you aren't able to get enough people willing to invest in your loan then you might not be able to receive the entire amount that you need.

Because of the different advantages and disadvantages, peer-to-peer lending isn't right for everyone. Some people may have good experiences with this sort of loan, especially if they are only wanting to borrow a small amount or haven't been able to get a loan elsewhere. Those individuals who have better credit or who have equity that they can use to secure a loan would likely be better served with a more traditional loan, however.


Tax :: Know More about Tax Software Applications at Find Tax Service

As modern technology keeps on developing, the tasks of the people are made even easier. When you want to shop for clothes or for other things, all you have to do is log on to your computer. Hiring services is also possible over the Internet. From trucking services to catering companies, you will be able to find the perfect service provider for you. The advancement of technology has even brought in sites which cater to the needs of tax payers. There are online sites which provide you with your tax returns or prepare your tax returns for you. On the other hand, you can determine the proper amount of tax deduction through downloadable tax software. There are also some websites where you can get tax services help.

Tax software suites are available online in different sophistication and complexity. There are simple software programs which calculate and print out tax returns for common tax payers. On the other hand, there are also some high-end software programs which are utilized by professionals like an accountant or a CPA. This type has features which help the user plan taxes, and provide better customer service. There are also some programs which offer products for finance services and integrated banking.

Calculating your taxes is simple because it only involves simple subtraction and addition. However, the preparation of your tax is considered as a very complicated job. This is due to the complexity of the tax laws which have been imposed by the state and the federal government. If you want to file a tax return, you still have to distinguish the filing requirements of your tax. What is more, you are required to identify and claim the proper tax deduction. You need to choose from various tax deductions and tax credits. You also have to look into deductible components of your income and non-deductible components. With the complicated process of organizing your tax returns, you need something which will allow you to make everything easier.

If you are going to research the entirety of your state's tax laws, you will soon get lost amongst all of the information that you have amassed. In turn, the whole process of tax preparation will be very confusing for you. What is more, it will take up so much of your time. But with the help of effective tax software, you will be able to deal with the complexity of tax preparation. Your tax software program is comprised of features which will allow you to comprehend it in no time. These features will also guide you through the whole process while you are arranging your tax return.

Aside from tax software programs, there are several online sites which offer tax services to individuals who need assistance with their taxes. These services include the preparation of tax returns, the e-filing of taxes, counseling services, and financial counseling. When you want more than the help of a downloadable program; the enrolled agents of tax service centers will be glad to aid you. Most tax websites require you to log in as a member before you can avail of their services. When this is the case, choose those sites which offer free registration. This way, you will be able to avoid sites which might scam you out of your money.

When you want to get tax services help, this also implies that you want the professional advice of a tax attorney. This goes especially when you want to seek counseling regarding your taxes. On the other hand, an attorney is also of great help when you are in a jam with the IRS.


Jackson Hewitt® Reports Strong 2015 Tax Season


Hewitt Tax Service® today announced the best results it has seen in

over five years following what has been a transformative 2015 tax season

with the launch of a new consumer brand promise and growth across all

major areas of its tax business. Total revenues increased 7.4% compared

to prior year, and same store sales increased 4.3%. Total returns were

up nearly 3% with same store assisted returns increasing 0.5%, driven by

new customer growth and improved customer retention. These results are

in contrast to a flat in-person tax preparation industry as a whole,

according to Internal

Revenue Service statistics through April 17. Jackson Hewitt also

upgraded its online platform, which grew almost 400%. The company

expanded its footprint, adding 34 new franchise groups and nearly 250

new locations in Walmart stores nationwide.

"It's gratifying to see how clients responded to our new 'Working Hard

for the Hardest Working?' brand promise and our focus on our 100%

accuracy and Biggest Refund guarantees. Our new products, services and

promotions helped drive positive results this tax season," said David

Prokupek, CEO of Jackson Hewitt. "By providing expert and affordable tax

services, helping clients navigate the ACA tax implications, and

committing to the best customer experience in tax, we made a difference

in our clients' lives and that made a difference in our business


Programs Focused on Value, Service and Convenience Attract Clients

Through their nearly 3,000 locations in Walmart stores, Jackson Hewitt

offered a convenient, trusted option for clients to file their tax

returns. They also piloted Walmart's Direct2Cash program in select

locations, offering clients the option to pick up their refunds in cash

at Walmart for a low fee of $7.

Clients also benefited from one of the best values in online tax

preparation with the ability to download their W-2 and import last

year's online return information for free even if it was filed with an

online tax service competitor.

For the first time, Jackson Hewitt also offered free online tax services

as part of the Free File Alliance (FFA). Through this partnership with

the IRS, individuals with incomes of $60,000 or less were able to use

Jackson Hewitt online for free.

"The entire Jackson Hewitt team was determined to make good on our new

brand promise to work hard for the hardest working Americans," said

Prokupek. "We focused our partnerships and programs on delivering value,

service and convenience to those often underserved."

This was especially important this year with the confusion taxpayers had

regarding the Affordable Care Act. Jackson Hewitt's personal advice

helped clients understand how the Affordable Care Act may impact them,

and by answering a few simple questions during the tax interview, learn

if they qualified for money-saving tax credits. Jackson Hewitt also

renewed its partnership with GetInsured, a leading private health

insurance exchange that helped clients learn about and enroll in a

health insurance plan that fit their budget.

Planning for Continued Growth

Jackson Hewitt plans for continued growth, expecting to add

approximately 50 new franchise groups as well as additional locations in

Walmart stores nationwide for the 2016 tax season. In addition, the

company will continue to innovate in its core tax and financial service

business, and begin to roll out new low- and no-cost products to help

Americans manage their taxes and finances year-round.

"For many of our clients, their tax refund is the biggest paycheck they

receive all year. These taxpayers also want help to make smart financial

choices," said Prokupek. "Jackson Hewitt aims to bring access to

innovative offerings and services to help hardworking Americans provide

for themselves and their families, and to get ahead."

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is a leading full service multi-channel

tax preparation company with approximately 6,300 franchised and

company-owned locations including nearly 3,000 locations in Walmart

stores throughout the United States. Jackson Hewitt also provides a full

suite of online and mobile tax filing solutions for the "do-it-yourself"

marketplace at www.jacksonhewittonline.com.

We stand behind our 25,000 professional tax preparers with our Biggest

Refund and 100% Accuracy Guarantees. For more information, product and

offer details, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt office,

visit www.jacksonhewitt.com

or call 1-800.234.1040.


‘Luther’ & Idris Elba Hit U.S. Viewership High In Season 4 Debut; Steady In UK

TV Ratings: Luther & Idris Elba Hit High With Season 4 Debut | Deadline

Absence certainly made hearts grow a little fonder on this side of the pond for the return of Luther this week. Season 4 of the Idris Elba drama pulled in 252,000 total viewers for its more than 2-hour special last night on BBC America. That's up 22% in total viewers from what the Season 3 premiere of the Neil Cross-created series drew on September 3, 2013, a Tuesday on the cusp of the fall season. Among the targeted adults 25-54 demo the 9 - 11:45 PM, Season 4 had 99,000 viewers. That's a rise of 87% from Season 3 and the highest rated episode of the entire series on BBC America.

Related'Luther' Season 4 Review: Idris Elba & BritGrit Drama's Strong Return Proves There's No School Like The Old School

More a TV movie than a series in many ways, Thursday's Luther was the best the series has ever done in the U.S. viewershipwise. The same could not be said of the show's Season 4 opener in the UK on December 15.

With 4.9 million viewers and a 22.5 share, the results were mixed for the BBC One effort. Down a mere 2% from the July 2, 2013 Season 3 opener of Luther, the Season 4 debut actually snagged the lowest audience the show has ever had. Having said that, Luther was up 4% in share over its last debut more than 2.5 years ago. Having bested the Season 3 average of 4.4 million and won its BBC One slot, Luther Season 4 returns for its second and final episode on December 22 in the UK.

Recent CommentsAdd Comment3 People Commenting5 hoursWhat about the number who watched later on their DVR? (as I did)Herb Flynn6 hoursDoctor Who gets more viewers with REGULAR episodes for goodness sakes! :)Hoya7 hoursI can't believe only 225K watched Luther, arguably the best crime show on television, anywhere. Millions of...

Next to be seen in Star Trek Beyond, Elba scored both SAG Awards and Golden Globes nominations last week for Luther and his warlord role in Netflix's Beasts Of No Nation,


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