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Post date: February 16 2004

Error Found In Tax Preparation Software

Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement with a leading software maker to address an error in a popular income tax preparation program.

Intuit, Inc. settled Spitzer's investigation into its widely distributed "TurboTax" software for 2001 and 2002 after a consumer complained that he had not received a tax credit for which he was qualified.

"As software programs become more popular in preparing tax returns, it is critical that accuracy be maintained," Spitzer said. "As a result of this agreement, taxpayers may have the opportunity to claim an additional credit if they seek to file amended tax returns."

According to Intuit, TurboTax is the nation's #1 selling tax preparation software program that uses the marketing slogan: "Taxes Made Easy. Taxes Done Right." At least 682,000 New Yorkers purchased the software program that was marketed as an "easy, accurate, complete" way for people to prepare their own income taxes.

After receiving a complaint from a Binghamton-area consumer, Spitzer's office commenced an investigation which revealed that Intuit's TurboTax program for the tax years 2001 and 2002 contained an error that may have prevented taxpayers who were eligible for the New York State College Tuition Credit from receiving the credit.

The state college tuition tax credit reduces an individual's state personal income tax by as much as $200.

In settling the investigation, the California-based company agreed to notify by mail all consumers on file who purchased the 2001 and 2002 New York State TurboTax software and explain the process by which those consumers may prepare and file amended income taxes.

Intuit also agreed to pay $15,000 in costs to the state.

Individuals with questions about the settlement with Intuit are encouraged to contact Spitzer's office by calling his consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Michael Danaher of the Binghamton Regional Office.