Personal Privacy

If the IRS is Government’s “Big Brother,” Who does Corporate America have?

Who knows as much [or more] about your most confidential financial affairs as the IRS?  If you’ve been a user of Turbo Tax and Quicken software products, the answer could be “Intuit."

Having just finished my 2008 income tax return using Intuit’s Turbo Tax, I was exploring the program’s various sections when I noticed a “My Forms” menu.  Within that menu I found a long list of tax forms and workpapers the software had generated in relation to my tax return. 

As I scanned the list, I spotted something called a “tax history report.”  I didn’t recall ever seeing this report before - and I’ve used Turbo Tax for quite a few years, so I decided to print-it-out. 

The report turned-out to be a five-year tax history for my wife and I, and it was quite comprehensive.  For each year from 2004 through 2008, the history reflected such things as my filing status, total income, adjustments to income, tax expense, interest expense, charitable contributions, miscellaneous deductions, exemption amounts, taxable income, tax, credits, payments, refunds, effective tax rate and tax bracket.

Suddenly, a question came to mind.  How was it that Turbo Tax had five years’ worth of my tax return information? 

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