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Indiana Department of Revenue

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Protecting Your Identity: The Identity Confirmation Quiz

March 2, 2015Couple at laptop

Tax season is underway. Many taxpayers are concerned about recent security hacks hacked and the potential for customer identity information to be stolen. Once identity thieves have someone’s information, it’s hard to say what they’ll do with it.

One way identity thieves use victims’ identities is to file fraudulent tax returns requesting refunds in the victims’ names. By filing a fake tax return using a real identity, thieves potentially can siphon money from the state.

AND, they don’t just use victims’ identities to file a fake return in one state—they might use the same taxpayer’s identity information to file a tax return in every state!

That’s why the Indiana Department of Revenue puts so much effort into its identity protection program.

The department has special security features in its tax processing system. These security features make up the department’s identity protection program. The program specifically looks at the identity information in each tax return, making sure each taxpayer is who he says he is.

To protect taxpayers’ refunds, some taxpayers are asked to complete an Identity Confirmation Quiz. Those selected will receive a letter from the department.

The letter first asks the taxpayer to confirm that the letter recipient’s name and address information matches an Indiana tax return he recently submitted. If a taxpayer receives this letter and the identity information is not correct or he did not submit an Indiana tax return, he should not complete the quiz, but rather follow the letter’s instructions to contact the department.

The quiz contains four short questions, which only the person asked to complete the quiz would be able to answer. It is taken on a secure website hosted by the department or over the phone. It should take no more than two minutes to complete.

Remember, electronically filed tax refunds process in 10-14 business days. Those selected to complete the Identity Confirmation Quiz receive a letter within the 10-14 day timeframe. After successful quiz completion, returns are processed within 7-10 days.

The department works diligently to process returns accurately and securely. Increased security features are meant to protect taxpayer identities with as little refund delay as possible.


7 Things First-time Filers Need to Know

Woman on laptopFeb. 25, 2015

For some taxpayers, tax season is a routine process dealt with every year. But every year, more Hoosiers become new taxpayers. The idea of paying and filing taxes for the first time can be daunting and confusing. For these new taxpayers, the department created a list of seven things first-time filers need to know:

  1. Paying taxes is required by law for anyone who makes more than $1,000 in a year.
  2.  There are two main types of individual income taxes: federal and state. You pay federal tax to the Internal Revenue Service. If your job is in Indiana, your state tax dollars stay in Indiana, and you pay tax to the Indiana Department of Revenue.
  3. Once you have a job, you must first fill out federal and state forms. Everyone who is an Indiana employee has to complete the Indiana WH4. This form tells your new employer how much in Indiana taxes to take out of your earnings before giving you your paycheck. This is called withholding. That way, your employer withholds the taxes from your paychecks instead of you having to pay the state every few months or owing the state a lot of money when you file your taxes at the end of the year.
  4. Those who didn’t pay enough state tax throughout the year owe the state money, and those who paid too much state tax receive a refund. You can check the status of your refund here.
  5. The tax filing season opened in January and closes April 15. That means you must submit your taxes before April 15 or pay a penalty. However, an extension of time to file is available. However, filing an extension does not provide you with more time to pay if you owe money.
  6. Many new tax filers qualify for Indiana Freefile—which lets those with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less file their tax returns for free. It is an online tax filing program provided by the department. To get started, click here.
  7. The department always is willing to help. Taxpayers can call the department at 317-232-2240 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They also can submit general questions through the department’s Facebook or Twitter account private message features. Note that taxpayers should never send personal information such as a Social Security number through social media.

 

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