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Millions of taxpayers’ information shared with Facebook and Google by tax preparation websites



About 10 million people type their personal financial information into H&R Block, TaxSlayer and TaxAct websites every year to prepare their taxes, trusting the companies to keep their information safe. Instead, the companies shared that personal information with Google and Facebook, some going as far back as 2011, members of Congress wrote in a new report.

The congressional investigation, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), follows a report last year about such data-sharing with Facebook by the technology journalism website The Markup. Warren and six other lawmakers wrote to the Justice Department on Tuesday urging criminal charges against the companies for violating laws that prevent tax preparers from sharing their clients’ personal information.

Calling the three tax prep companies’ extensive sharing of user data with tech companies “outrageous,” the seven Democrats said the episode is reason enough to support a plan being developed by the IRS to build its own free tax preparation software, rather than steering taxpayers to commercial tax preparation software.

IRS tests free tax filing software that could compete with private companies

H&R Block said its do-it-yourself tax filing website filed 8.4 million returns in the most recent tax filing season. An analysis of IRS data by tax prep


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