RALEIGH, North Carolina – As the end of tax season approaches, people are rushing to file their returns before Monday’s deadline, especially since many people are expecting money back.
Some people may receive letters from the IRS this year informing them that there is a problem with their tax return.
In many cases, tax fraud on the part of scammers will result in you receiving a letter from the IRS stating that there are questions about who filed your return and who received your refund.
You may be waiting for your refund in North Carolina as well, and it may have nothing to do with a scam.
The late passage of the massive state budget, which was not signed until the end of November, included many changes to state tax law, causing delays in accepting returns at the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Even now, in mid-April, those delays are still being felt when it comes to refunds.
According to the department, those refunds are being processed, and most taxpayers should receive their refunds by the end of April, depending on when they filed.
Meanwhile, tax agencies such as the NCDOR and the IRS are dealing with identity theft and the filing of false returns.
“Identity theft is a big issue, especially when it comes to tax returns,” said Paige Hanson, NortonLifeLock’s chief of Cyber Safety Education.
As a result, the IRS is sending letters to many taxpayers informing them that they may have been the victim of identity fraud.
“Someone filed under our name and number and got a refund,” Raleigh resident Madeline Budway explained.
It’s not difficult for a criminal to do.
“We have our social security number, date of birth, and name,” Hanson explained. “Usually, that’s all they need to file a tax return in our name.”
If it happens, it will be a nightmare.
“It became a pain for a few years and may still be the case,” Budway explained. “There’s a flag on our account, so when it comes in, they automatically look at it.”
If you receive an ID theft letter from the IRS, carefully examine it.
It may claim that you were the victim of a data breach and request that you file an identity theft affidavit.
Some letters request that you go online and confirm that you actually filed that return.
One version of the letter instructs you to forego the online verification process and instead visit an IRS taxpayer assistance centre to verify your ID in person.
In any case, if a tax return is flagged as potentially fraudulent, the IRS will halt processing that return until the taxpayer responds, so don’t put off responding to one of those ID theft letters.