The Turbotax Defense

Rodney P. Mock

California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo - Orfalea College of Business

Nancy Shurtz

University of Oregon - School of Law

March 24, 2014

This Article analyzes the “TurboTax defense” under section 6664(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Article addresses the issue of whether reliance on computer tax software may be permitted as reasonable cause in good faith exempting taxpayers from the accuracy-related penalty of section 6662(a). It suggests (1) the courts have missed an opportunity to clarify when a TurboTax defense is justifiable, (2) the software companies, in conjunction with the IRS, should work together to promote a more equitable, efficient, and effective use of computer tax software, (3) the Treasury should promulgate detailed guidelines or regulations establishing when a TurboTax defense can be used by an individual taxpayer, (4) the IRS should consider offering taxpayers the option of assessing their tax due or refund owing, and (5) the current informal partnership between the software companies and the IRS should be critically assessed to address advances in software technology and increasing taxpayer reliance on commercial tax preparation software.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 90

Keywords: tax, accuracy related penalty, 6664, Code, IRS, TurboTax, Software, Penalty, Relief, Interest, Defense, Tax Court, reasonable cause, good faith

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Date posted: March 26, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Mock, Rodney P. and Shurtz, Nancy, The Turbotax Defense (March 24, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2414196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2414196

Contact Information

Rodney P. Mock (Contact Author)
California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo - Orfalea College of Business ( email )
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
United States
Nancy Shurtz
University of Oregon - School of Law ( email )
1515 Agate Street
Eugene, OR Oregon 97403
United States
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