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Massachusetts DOR Increases Scrutiny of Tax Return Refunds

March 11, 2015

Some MA taxpayers will receive their tax return refunds later than expected due to heightened verification requirements from the DOR.

In attempt to prevent fraud, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has increased its efforts in authenticating the legitimacy of tax return refunds. Early last month the DOR temporarily halted their issue of refunds after hearing reports of widespread tax refund fraud. Though refunds were resumed within a reasonable time after this brief termination, there is still growing concern over tax refund fraud, which has led to heightened protection efforts.

New Online Application

The DOR has started constructing an online application in response to the fraud anxiety, which should be ready before March 15th. The application is intended to collect information from taxpayers whose refunds have been set aside for further examination. These taxpayers will be sent (via mail) directions on filling out the secure online verification process using specific information pertaining to their refund.

The application should be available within the next couple of weeks, but until then, any additional refunds kept back for additional scrutiny will be held. Though only a small percentage of taxpayers’ refunds will be included in the verification process, there could be a delay in refund delivery for more than 20,000 taxpayers. Once the online application is released, notices and instructions will be sent to those affected.

Worth the delay

Though the fraud protection measures will delay the receipt of refunds for some innocent taxpayers, it is essential that the DOR performs these precautionary measures. Massachusetts taxpayers can view their refund’s status any time online using the “Where’s My Refund?” app at http://www.mass.gov/dor or by calling 617-887-6367.

Questions? Contact any member of our Tax Services Team.

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