Click to enlarge image.

Millions of taxpayers are filing their returns online. But how safe is their personally identifiable information?

The IRS where taxpayers can submit their returns without charge if they meet certain eligibility criteria, such as age, income and state of residence.

Our experts took a closer look at the way these companies approach privacy and the handling of consumer data, and they graded the websites based on how well they protect a person’s personal information.

Specifically, 10 criteria were evaluated. The first five were whether the company had a privacy policy; the last time the privacy policy was updated; sharing of third-party information; web tracking; and cookies. Of the next five criteria—TRUSTe endorsements; outsourcing data management; and the collection of personal, payment, and computer information—none of the companies earned any points.

Each category received a rating of -2, -1, 0, or 1. After a tally, final scores added up to A for 4 points, B for 3 points, C for 2 points, D for 1 point, F for 0 points, and Dropout for -1.

The report card doesn’t endorse the companies, but rather, offers a quick comparison of the way they treat your personally identifiable information.

Leave a Reply