Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

How to Stop TurboTax From Selling Your Tax Return Details

Even if you love using TurboTax to file a return, you probably don’t enjoy giving away your privacy rights to the tax preparation service.

Unfortunately, if you are not careful, that is exactly what you might do.

Writing in The Washington Post, technology columnist Shira Ovide reports that those who use TurboTax software to file their returns often agree to privacy prompts, resulting in information from their returns being used to target them with specific types of advertisements for several years. Such information can include your income and the details of your mortgage and student loan payments.

For example, sharing your income and debt situation could result in getting email pitches for credit monitoring help from Credit Karma, Ovide reports. Intuit owns both TurboTax and Credit Karma.

If that makes you uncomfortable, know that there is something you can do about it.

The easiest fix is to say “no” when TurboTax asks for the right to share your data, though this can be tricky. Here is how Ovide says you should do it:

  • Watch for the following words to appear on your screen when preparing your taxes in TurboTax: “We just need your OK on a couple of things.”
  • Decline when TurboTax asks for permission to use your information for anything other than filing your return.

If instead of declining, you simply skip the process, you will be asked again at the end. So, you will need to respond at some point.

You might have to decline or otherwise dodge the question more than once, though. Money Talks News managing editor Karla Bowsher and her spouse, a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, used TurboTax to prepare their return this year and saw no obvious way to decline the privacy prompt. There was no “No” button. Instead, Bowsher said they had to decline and then back out of the privacy prompt a couple of times before TurboTax stopped prompting them to disclose their personal information.

If you decline, TurboTax will still file your return, Ovide reports:

“If you read the FAQ documents, TurboTax is clear that your permission is voluntary to use your tax return information to sell you more financial products down the line.”

Ovide writes that companies such as H&R Block might request similar permission to use your info. So, you need to be vigilant no matter which software program you use to file your return.

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More