Elizabeth Warren accuses TurboTax owner of hiding refunds from customers

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren leveled a bombshell allegation this week when she accused a major tax processing software company of defrauding its customers. 

Warren: “Taxpayers find it difficult or impossible” to access refunds

According to the Boston Herald, Warren joined with New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Monday in demanding an investigation of Intuit, the company which produces TurboTax.

That call came in a letter the Warren and Shaheen sent to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig.

“Numerous taxpayers have reported that they cannot access their tax refunds due to Intuit’s partnership with Green Dot Bank,” the lawmakers wrote.

They went on to assert that Intuit has been taking tax refunds owed to customers and putting them into accounts the company holds with Green Dot Bank.

The two Democrats insist that these deposits are being made without the knowledge or consent of taxpayers, who are then unable to access their money.

“While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online tool indicates a refund was issued, taxpayers find it difficult or impossible for them to access these funds, as the taxpayer’s own banking institution has no record of it and they have no existing banking relationship with Green Dot Bank,” they complained.

Warren and Shaheen assert that customers who use a tax refund to pay for their TurboTax service find that they are unable to access the remainder of their funds.

In addition to seeking an investigation of Intuit, the pair are also asking that the IRS create a tax filing software system and make it available to the public.

The audit found millions of Americans paid for unneeded tax preparation services

“We urge the IRS to develop its own simple, free filing service that taxpayers can use if they prefer not to have their refunds diminished by fees, their tax data shared with private companies, and their money whisked into banks they themselves did not choose,” they urged.

This is not the first time Warren has taken Intuit to task, as CBS News reported in April that she sent a letter to the company’s CEO accusing it of  “unethical and potentially illegal practices that cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.”

Her letter came on the heels of an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration which found that millions of Americans needlessly paid for tax preparation services because companies hid their free products.