If you use a free online tax prep service to file your tax returns, you could be at risk for identity fraud.
Six out of 13 online tax prep services audited by the global nonprofit Online Trust Alliance failed cybersecurity tests, meaning they could be putting your privacy and security at risk if you use them to prepare your taxes and file online.
The firms failed “due to poor site security and not taking steps to help protect consumers from fraudulent and malicious email,” reported the Online Trust Alliance. All of the audited sites are “approved” by the IRS as free e-file tax sites.
In the past, some online tax filers have been victimized by hackers, who steal personal information to file a false return and nab the filer’s tax refund.
The failing firms were Jackson Hewitt Online, 1040now.net, FileYourTaxes.com, 1040.com, Free1040TaxReturn.com, and Online Taxes at OLT.com.
On the other end of the spectrum, seven firms passed with flying colors and earned a place on Online Trust Alliance’s “Honor Roll,” including TurboTax, H&R Block, FreeTaxUSA, TaxAct, eSmart Tax, ezTaxReturn.com and TaxSlayer.