Treasury protects taxpayers from tax-related identity theft

LANSING — In an effort to protect Michigan taxpayers, the Michigan Department of Treasury continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, some individual income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation.

If an individual income tax return has been selected for identity confirmation, the taxpayer will receive a letter from state Treasury Department asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available as an alternative to the online quiz.

After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity, their tax refund will be issued in about a month.

“Our priority is to protect Michigan taxpayers from cybercriminals,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “As we make progress in the fight against tax-related identify theft, cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated when impersonating taxpayers and filing fraudulent returns. This additional layer of security helps ensure the appropriate taxpayers receive their much-deserved refunds.”

Taxpayers who have been recent victims of identity theft are asked to report their circumstances to the state Treasury Department. Reporting identity theft helps thwart cybercriminals who attempt to file returns and steal state tax refunds.

In 2017, increased security measures protected more than 4,000 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan refunds. This prevented more than $16 million from being distributed to scammers.

To learn more about identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft. For more information about state income taxes, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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