The individual income tax filing season has come and gone, but Virginia Tax is working year-round researching and developing tools and processes to keep your information safe.
Just in 2017 alone, we evaluated approximately 2.8 million individual income tax returns, stopping more than $40 million in fraudulent returns.
We take our job of protecting Virginia taxpayers from a variety of threats, including tax refund fraud, very seriously. We have a whole team of experts – called the Refund Fraud Team -- developing cutting-edge technology to stay one step ahead of sophisticated identity theft and tax fraud schemes. However, this does impact some taxpayers who have not done anything wrong, causing their refunds to be delayed. While our most important objectives are to protect your information and minimize the amount of fraudulent refunds that are issued, we are always looking to improve our ability to select returns and to make it easier for taxpayers whose returns are stopped to verify their information.
Some of the Refund Fraud Team’s 2018 innovations include:
- Online Refund Verification – This new tool allows eligible returns to be verified online, by simply having taxpayers answer a few questions. Last year, taxpayers who had returns stopped for review were required to submit paper documents to verify their returns. This year, more than 66,000 returns were eligible for online verification, which reduced processing turn-around time by 28%.
- Online Submission of Documents – This new application allows taxpayers who had returns stopped for review to submit documentation online, making the review process speedier, putting refunds in the hands of the correct taxpayer more quickly. More than 17,000 taxpayers used this new service this filing season, uploading more than 50,000 documents; and
- Automated Return Release Process – This new tool allows us to automate the release of some returns by checking against a large database of state, federal and commercial information. The enhancement resulted in the automated release of more than 9,000 returns.
For more information and the steps you can take to safeguard your own taxpayer data, visit Refund Fraud Prevention.