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Georgia Tax Process Enhanced to Battle Unprecedented Levels of Tax ID Fraud

To assist in combatting the growing problem of tax identity theft, the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced new enhanced security measures for individual income tax filers, including a way that taxpayers can register to be notified if someone else files with their social security number. As part of the program, the DOR now will require some taxpayers to complete an identity verification quiz online through the Georgia Tax Center. The agency also is adopting one of the IRS’s earlier tactics to block fraudulent filings by sending some taxpayers letters with PIN numbers that must be used to verify a taxpayer’s identify prior to processing their return. (For sample letters, go to the Tax Center home and click on “Return Verification” at the bottom of the screen.)

The DOR also is encouraging taxpayers to register with the Georgia Tax Center to activate the filing alert. If a taxpayer gets a filing notification, the taxpayer can quickly notify DOR, and the agency can take immediate steps to protect his or her identity.

“These security enhancements are excellent tools that our Fraud Detection Unit employs, which increase the level of confidence in information received on individual income tax returns,” said Director of the DOR’s Office of Special Investigations, Josh Waites.

Unprecedented Fraud Levels Seen

The Georgia DOR has experienced “unprecedented levels” of tax fraud attempts, according to State Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley. As of the end of 2016, the DOR blocked over $55 million in fraudulently filed returns. The agency has implemented a sophisticated Fraud Management System that requires these substantial verification measures from taxpayers before the agency will release a refund.

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