The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) has seen a surge in attempted income tax fraud over the last several years. Fraudsters are using stolen social security numbers to file fraudulent income tax returns requesting hundreds of millions of dollars of bogus refunds. To help thwart this type of fraud, ODT has implemented security measures to confirm the identity of taxpayers filing income tax returns requesting refunds.
One of these security measures is the implementation of an Identity Confirmation Quiz. Through the beginning of the 2015 filing season roughly 50% of returns requesting a refund have been selected for the Identity Confirmation Quiz. Taxpayers are being selected based on data analysis of information on the filed tax return, and must complete and pass an identification confirmation quiz before further processing of the return and issuance of the refund will take place. For jointly filed tax returns, both of the spouses will receive a separate identity confirmation letter and both will be required to take a separate identity confirmation quiz.
If you are selected you will receive an identity confirmation letter from ODT with instructions to proceed to the ODT website to complete the identity confirmation quiz. You are given 60 days to complete the quiz. To begin the quiz you will need the reference number from your identity confirmation letter, your social security number and the amount of the refund claimed on your tax return. You are then given 5 minutes to answer 4 questions. The questions are multiple choice and cover current and historical information about you. Questions may range from information on the mortgage of your residence, to information on vehicles you have owned, to birthdates of family members.
Very Important: ODT will only contact you about being selected for the quiz via a letter, not through a telephone call or email requesting personal information from you. Make sure that you keep this letter as a second letter will not be issued and if you don’t respond properly you will be required to submit other documentation to ODT to process your return and issue your refund.
If you fail the quiz you will be given a second opportunity to take a quiz. If you fail the quiz twice, you will be required to submit documentation to ODT proving your identity before processing of your return will proceed and your refund will be issued. Once your identity has been verified by ODT you should receive your refund within 3 weeks.
If you receive notification from ODT of the need to confirm your identity and have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact our office.
Written by: Bill Nagel, CPA