Happy Birthday DOR – You don’t look a day over 70!
February 20, 2017
This weekend, the Indiana Department of Revenue celebrated an important milestone – its 70th birthday!
While we clean up the cake and streamers, here are a few interesting tidbits about the department’s history:
- 1933 – Gross income tax is enacted on all Indiana taxpayers for the first time, which causes much controversy and political debate. A new division titled the Gross Income Tax Division is created under the state treasurer’s office to manage these tax responsibilities. By 1937, gross income tax is largely responsible for the state’s $24 million surplus.
- 1947 – The department is created by an act of the Indiana General Assembly on Feb. 18.
- 1949 – The IT-40 form includes a WWII bonus tax and checkboxes for taxpayer professions, listing only 24 options.
- 1963 – Indiana adopts its first sales tax on Oct. 24 at a rate of 2%. The sales tax rate has changed over the years, but the current rate of 7% has been in effect since April 1, 2008.
- 1963 – Legislation switches individual taxes from being based on gross income to adjusted gross income.
- 1963-1964 – The first district offices are established. In 1964, district office phone numbers are listed in income tax booklets for the first time.
- 1988 – The Today Show (starring Bryant Gumbel and Indiana native Jane Pauley) broadcasts outside of the department.
- 1993 – The ability to electronically file a tax return through e-file is accepted from third parties.
- 1996 – The department launches its first website.
- 1997 – The IT40-EZ is created and made available for residents with a federal taxable income less than $50,000. The department stops supporting the IT-40EZ beginning with 2016 taxes filed in 2017.
- 1997 – The department begins accepting credit card payments for both paper and electronic tax filers.
- 2000 – Taxpayers are able to pay their taxes online for the first time.
- 2004 – For the first time, Indiana taxpayers can check the status of their state individual income tax refunds online.
- 2004 – INtax, a new electronic method for businesses to manage their state tax accounts, is launched.
- 2005 – The state’s first tax amnesty program allows taxpayers to pay the base tax for existing liabilities for amounts due before July 1, 2004. Penalties, interest, and collection fees are waived for participating taxpayers. More than $244 million in delinquent taxes was collected, surpassing the program goal by $179 million.
- 2007 – The department’s Motor Carrier Services division establishes a national unified web portal for Unified Carrier Registration (UCR). A mobile version of the portal is launched in 2015.
- 2010 – The department begins using the social media tools Facebook and Twitter as a means to connect with individual and business taxpayers as well as organizations interested in tax updates, general information, and special tax news.
- 2014 – The department’s identity protection program is implemented, which increases security features. Since its inception, the program has stopped more than $100 million in attempted identity theft tax refund fraud.
- 2015 – The department collects more than $188 million during Tax Amnesty 2015, a limited time opportunity for taxpayers to pay past-due base taxes free of penalty, interest, and collection fees. This surpasses the program goal of $90 million.
A lot can happen in 70 years. For more department (and state of Indiana) history, check out the department’s 2016 Annual Report.
Helpful Tips to Protect Your Identity
February 15, 2017
It’s the time of year when we scramble to gather our W-2s to file taxes before the April 18 individual income tax deadline. As you gather important paperwork, remember it is vitally important to keep this information safe from identity thieves.
How can you prevent an identity thief from stealing your refund? We are so glad you asked.
- Be aware of impersonators. Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
- Store your personal information and financial documents in a safe place. Avoid carrying your Social Security card and keep financial documents in a secure location.
- Safely dispose of personal information. Shred receipts, bank statements, checks, and other documents with personal information when you are done using them.
- Check your credit report annually. You can check your credit report every 12 months for free by contacting the three credit report agencies – Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.
- Protect your personal computers. Use firewalls and anti-spam/virus software. Update security patches to keep your personal information safe online.
Remember, identity thieves are professional criminals and are skilled at finding ways to steal your personal information. For more information about keeping your identity safe, visit the Indiana Department of Revenue’s Stop ID Theft website.