More Glitches For Fraud Victims and Longer Refund Times This Tax Season

Photo Credit:Flickr/Chris Potter
Photo Credit:Flickr/Chris Potter

As if massive refund theft wasn’t enough to make every taxpayer nuts last year, this year’s tax season, while promising to be more secure is still going to cause plenty of anxiety. For starters, the more than 1.4 million victims of identity theft have received a letter from the IRS with identity protection personal identification numbers (IP PINs) they must use to file their tax returns with a big mistake. The letters indicate the IP PINs are for use for the 2014 tax season.

If I had been an identity theft victim I might be concerned that this letter could be from a sophisticated scammer.  However, according to the IRS, they sent out letters citing the mistake and, according Journal of Accountancy, “emphasized that taxpayers and their tax professionals should use the IP PINs on these notices when they file their 2015 returns despite the mistake.” 

If the IP PINs are not used on the tax return of taxpayers who’ve been issued a number, the tax return will be rejected until the proper number is used. So tax fraud victims have to be especially careful to make sure their tax preparers have the correct number.

Every taxpayer is going to be facing increased protections this year, which will make it more difficult for someone to use your identity, however the additional processes will also make the wait time for refunds longer.

According to a BloombergBusiness article quoting the Deputy Director of the Federation of Tax Administrators, Verenda Smith, “There will be less certainty about when taxpayers can expect state refund checks. You may have a perfectly fine return, but the state will take just a little longer to confirm that it’s you who is filing it.” 

The best strategy is to get your taxes filed as soon as possible starting January 19th.

Apparently the scammers have a history of laying in wait for procrastinators! Best of all though is to set your deductions ahead of time so you don’t get a refund.