Tax filing services such as H&R Block, TaxAct, TaxSlayer and Ramsey Solutions SmartTax have been quietly transmitting sensitive financial information to Facebook, The Markup reported.  The data was sent through a widely used code called Meta Pixel.  Information released included full name, email address and often detailed information including income, filing status, refund amounts and dependents’ college scholarship amounts.  Facebook uses this information to power its advertising algorithms

Millions of US taxpayers information has been shared.  TaxAct said it has about 3 million “consumer and professional” users.  TaxAct wasn’t the only tax filing service using the Meta Pixel.  Tax preparation giant H&R Block, which offers an online option attracts millions of customers per year.  TaxSlayer sent personal information to Facebook as part of the social media company’s “advanced matching” system.  TaxSlayer said it completed 10 million US Federal and state tax returns last year.  Ramsey Solutions version of TaxSlayer’s service provided even more personal data from a tax return summary page, including information on income and refund amounts. 

“We take the privacy of our customers’ data very seriously,” Nicole Coburn, a spokesperson for TaxAct, said in an email. “TaxAct, at all times, endeavors to comply with all IRS regulations.” Angela Davied, a spokesperson for H&R Block, said the company “regularly evaluate[s] our practices as part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, and will review the information.”

Megan McConnell, a spokesperson for Ramsey Solutions, said in an email that the company “implemented the Meta Pixel to deliver a more personalized customer experience.” 

For full details and more quotes from online tax prep software, please read original article in The Verge

Ramsey Solutions Picture promoting Ramsey SmartTax