Tax Season Means ID Theft Season As Well
It's tax time,and a top state official says be hyper vigilant about making sure your tax return is safe.
Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler says 85 percent of state tax filing were done on line last year. He says the department is putting a lot of effort into stopping cyber crimes.
He says criminals find a variety of means to get personal information then try to file fake tax returns...
"....we screen all returns, and if we see any signs that there might be a reason to think any return is fraudulent, we do an identity verification quiz. We ask the taxpayer to answer several short questions that should be easy to answer if they are the real taxpayer. If they're a fraudster they won't know the answers..."
Chandler says if they do an identity verification quiz, it could delay the refund check up to 12 weeks. The majority of taxpayers will see a refund much sooner than that. Chandler says fraudsters also try to trick taxpayers into giving up information over the telephone.He says the Department of Revenue will not ask for confidential information over the telephone. They will contact you via mail.
Chandler says there are about 200 tax sites around the state that offer free assistance to do tax returns. He says Dept. of Revenue trained volunteers are available to help low income and senior citizens get their taxes done for free. He says people can dial 2-1-1 to find a free tax preparing location near them.
He says the department also has a free efile online tool to file their taxes at Wisconsin efile.
He recommends people file taxes as soon as possible because if there is a problem, there's time to get it corrected, as opposed to filing at the last minute.
The deadline to file taxes this year is April 18 because the routine filing day, April 15, is on a weekend and there's also a conflict with a Washington , D.C. holiday.