Some 12,000 Oregonians might be getting thousands of dollars in refunds due to TurboTax error

Tax day is not over for thousands of Oregonians.

Intuit, a Silicon Valley company that makes the popular Turbotax software, has contacted more than 12,000 taxpayers who used it to file their state and federal returns, telling them they may have paid more than they should have because of an error in the software. 

The error was discovered by an Oregon Department of Revenue employee and involved directing people to take the standard deduction when itemizing expenses would have lowered their tax bill. 

The company initially downplayed the impact of the error, saying few had been affected, according to reporting by The Oregonian/OregonLive, but after being pressed by the revenue department it found that as many as 12,000 people were affected, with thousands of dollars at stake.

The company also came under pressure from Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. He wrote to Intuit’s CEO, Sasan Goodarzi, on May 2, noting that the company urges customers to “file with confidence” and has a maximum refund guarantee that includes a refund for buying the software. 

“Fixing this error will require identifying all affected Oregonians, notifying them and ensuring they can be made whole,” Wyden wrote. “In part because of TurboTax’s various guarantees and market share, Oregonians who overpaid due to TurboTax’s error likely assumed the software opted them into claiming state standard deduction to minimize their taxes. That assumption was wrong.”

Intuit has promised to refund the original purchase price for the software to affected customers, something which Wyden expects to happen.

“Intuit has a history of deceptive advertising but I expect it to make good on this guarantee,” Wyden said.

The 12,000 Oregonians now face filing an amended return and possibly waiting six months for money back, which is how long it can take for officials to process returns if they have errors or are missing information.

Taxpayers need to fill out amended returns following Turbotax instructions – either using the online or desktop versions – and then printing them out and mailing them to the Department of Revenue at  P.O. Box 14700, Salem, OR, 97309-0930. Taxpayers can also drop them off at a revenue office or use the state’s online tax filing service. The state offers instructions on this website.

To avoid a months long wait for money, the state officials advised filers to:

  • File a complete amended return, including the federal form and all schedules that were with the original filing.
  • Check the “Amended Return” box on the first page.
  • Use a current address even if it is different from the one on the original return. 
  • Provide direct deposit information; otherwise the department will send a check. 
  • Sign the amended return.

Tax filers can also call 844-333-2161 Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and mention “2023 Oregon itemized deductions” to an expert who can help.

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Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience, including a recent stint as editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years. She has won state, regional and national awards, including a National Headliner Award for a long-term care facility story and a top award from the National Association of Health Care Journalists for an investigation into government failures to protect the public from repeated salmonella outbreaks. She loves to cook and entertain, speaks French and is learning Portuguese.