Tax season is officially upon us as consumers could begin filing their taxes on January 31st. Unfortunately, with tax season comes the potential for tax id theft. Tax ID theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to file for a tax refund. Your BBB has learned of a new program being instituted by the State of Indiana for this tax season that may request Hoosiers confirm their identities before receiving their refund.
Indiana has contracted with LexisNexis Risk Solutions to verify taxpayer identities’ when they file for a tax refund. According to an article on GCN.com, in order for LexisNexis to do this, a portion of each tax return that seeks a refund will be sent through a secure exchange to LexisNexis who will use “billions of identity records culled from public databases and commercial resources” to verify the taxpayer’s identity. The Indiana Department of Revenue, in a press release, stated that they expect “more than 90 percent of all returns will be verified through this process.”
In addition, some Hoosiers will be asked to verify their identity through the use of an Identity Confirmation Quiz. Those selected will receive a letter from the Indiana Department of Revenue with instructions on how to take the quiz. The Department of Revenue points out in its press release “that those required to take the quiz are not suspected of identity theft” but that “this effort is designed to further protect taxpayer’s from identity theft.” It is important to note that the Department of Revenue doesn’t expect any delays in issuing refunds to consumers even with this added layer of protection.
As tax id theft appears to be a growing crime, the Indiana Department of Revenue and the Indiana Attorney General’s office have combined their resources to help educate the public. You can view their tips here. Your BBB also has information and tips to help protect consumers from identity theft. To see our tips, check out the related posts below and this slideshare presentation.
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville.