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March 2, 2015
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.
Feb. 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: