Published on 1/22/2016
Writtin by: Paul Bogdanoff, CPA, Tim Dages, CPA, Stacia Getz
The initial meeting led by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen back in March 2015 has kept taxpayers’ identity protection a priority. Identity theft is still one of the fastest growing crimes and as thieves and criminal syndicates evolve, so has the IRS. Starting January 2016, a renewed effort will make for a safer, more secure filing season. Most changes are invisible and verify legitimacy before returns even enter the tax processing system. To read these changes in more detail visit the IRS’s full article by clicking here.
At the State level, the Indiana Department of Revenue again will implement the Identity Protection Program for the 2016 tax season.
IDR will use the automated identity verification services of LexisNexis, an industry leader that helps 50 of the top 50 U.S. banks prevent crime, achieve regulatory compliance and mitigate business risk.
Identity information from individual income tax returns is checked against the LexisNexis identity verification database. This database confirms that the person submitting the return is who they say they are. Approximately 95 percent of all taxpayer returns are confirmed and moved into processing at this step.
If there is an issue, which occurs with less than 5% of submissions, additional steps of verification will take place. One of these steps could be an Identity Confirmation Quiz.
The Identity Confirmation Quiz is an increased security feature to protect taxpayers from the recent epidemic of identity theft.
Each taxpayer selected has two attempts to take the quiz via a secure website. After successful completion of the quiz, the taxpayer should receive his or her refund on time—within 14 days if electronically filed and within 12 weeks if filed by paper.
Those who do not pass the quiz in two online attempts will be asked to contact the department at a special number where they have an additional chance to take it via telephone.
Those selected to take the quiz are not suspected of committing identity theft. Irregularities that may trigger the requirement to take the quiz include the taxpayer having moved very recently and neither the department nor LexisNexis had the updated address; or, a taxpayer may have accidently transposed some numbers of his SSN or street address.
The IRS and IDR will deliver documents via mail NOT electronically. Please take the time to review our previous blog 5 Ways to Spot an IRS Scam.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be an agent of the IRS or another tax authority, take caution. Feel free to contact Bogdanoff Dages and Co., P. C. to answer your questions or review any correspondence you may have received.