anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

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puzzledhomeowner
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:16 pm

anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by puzzledhomeowner » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:42 pm

Hi,

I have been using turbotax online for past couple of years. Has anyone been brave enough to read through the terms and conditions to see what protections they have for consumers if they get hacked?

maxq
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by maxq » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:13 pm

Well, after TaxAct got hacked last year, I waded through their TOS. Customer protections were basically non-existent as the legal verbiage is all skewed to protect the business (as done by all companies I assume). The only "protection" was to tell victims months after they found the hack to re-set passwords, offer ID theft coverage (but IF and ONLY if you can prove the theft was because of that particular hack). They then rewarded themselves for their bad behavior by almost tripling the cost of the tax year 2016 downloadable version.... :oops:

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Watty
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Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by Watty » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:43 pm

I have not read that one but a little known fact is that you can often return software and get a refund for it because of all the terms you have to accept.

I once bought a computer game that just would not install but it did get as far as the "click to accept terms" window.

Deep in the fine print of all the legal mumbo-jumbo it has to give you instructions on how to get a refund of you decline to accept their one-sided terms. Apparently they have to leave a way to say no to make the contract binding.

It said that if the terms were not acceptable then you needed to return it to the store where you bought it for a full refund. I bought it at a local computer store so I printed that out and took it into the store. The first clerk said that there were no refunds on software but once I showed that to a manager he gave the OK for the refund. They did not say so but they gave in pretty easy so I suspect that they have seen that before. I had bought it with a credit card so if they had refused to give a refund I would have disputed the credit card charge.

Even thing like new PC's or phones often have a "click to accept terms" pop-up when you first turn them on so I would suspect that those could be returned that way too.

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puzzledhomeowner
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:16 pm

Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by puzzledhomeowner » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:16 am

I have been struggling between using a computer based version which is not very appealing because of chances of malware attack on my PC versus using the cloud version and hoping that they do not get hacked :( I guess no real good option here other than doing taxes by hand..

Tamales
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Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by Tamales » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:30 am

puzzledhomeowner wrote:...using a computer based version which is not very appealing because of chances of malware attack on my PC...
Why would using a local install of TaxAct (or other) change your chances of a malware attack?
In my view, when I weigh the risks of storing personal data in the cloud and using a cloud-based application, versus a local installation and local storage, it doesn't even seem close (assuming you have security software installed on your machine). While they both have risks and always will, Cloud has more, and uncontrollable, plausible risks. I can't see that equation ever swinging the other way (where cloud would be the preferred lower risk approach). But maybe I'm missing something.

Mudpuppy
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Re: anyone brave enough to read fineprint of online tax filing software

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:49 pm

puzzledhomeowner wrote:I have been struggling between using a computer based version which is not very appealing because of chances of malware attack on my PC versus using the cloud version and hoping that they do not get hacked :( I guess no real good option here other than doing taxes by hand..
Use the PC version with your tax software and data stored on an encrypted partition protected by a strong password. Keep the partition unmounted unless it is in active use. This is probably the safest approach, as any malware which later gets on your PC when you aren't using the partition would have to brute force the master password or attack the encryption software to get at your personal data.

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