Increased Security Features Continue in 2015
Jan 15, 2015 - TaxTalk Blog
We spend so much of our lives trying to develop our identities—our likes, goals and who we want to be. Unfortunately, identity theft criminals spend a lot of time trying to find our identities too! This became evident when the Indiana Department of Revenue’s identity protection program stopped more than $88 million that identity theft criminals tried to steal from Hoosier taxpayers and the state of Indiana through fraudulent refunds.
The department again will implement an identity protection program for the 2015 tax season to continue protecting taxpayer identities. This program will look similar to the security measures implemented last year, including the Identity Confirmation Quiz, a two-minute quiz asking some taxpayers to verify their identities. In 2014, only 5 percent of taxpayers were asked to complete the quiz, and the department expects a similar amount in 2015.
Though the department is proactively protecting taxpayer identities, Hoosiers should still be cautious when managing their and their families’ personal information. As W-2 forms, bank account summaries and other tax-related documents are gathered in preparation for the upcoming tax season, taxpayers should take care in storing these sensitive documents in secure locations.
The need for continued identity protection is demonstrated by the 2014 identity protection program. The extent of 2014’s stopped identity theft includes:
- $88 million in tax refunds from stolen or manufactured identities stopped (out of $800 million in total requested refunds);
- 74,000 fraudulent returns identified (out of 2.2 million total returns requesting refunds);
- 3.5 percent of all tax returns were fraudulent.
In thousands of cases, the increased security features helped taxpayers from Indiana and other states realize their identities had been stolen and used to file for an Indiana tax refund.
Hoosiers with questions about protecting their identities can visit the department’s Stop ID Theft website at www.in.gov/dor/4794.htm for answers to frequently asked questions, identity protection tips, a video and additional resources. Hoosiers can also sign up for the Attorney General’s ID Theft Protection Tool Kit at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2853.htm.
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