Jan 20, 201412:11 PMSmall Business, Big Ideas
with Jean Willard
New ‘identity quiz’ may delay state tax refunds
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Danger comes in many forms. We used to worry about our wallets or purses being stolen, or losing our Social Security cards or driver’s licenses. Now we need to worry about breaches in security at stores we frequent, or people stealing our identities as a result of online security lapses. So it’s only natural to wonder whether our information is secure when we file our tax returns. Since so much sensitive data is required on a return, it’s critical that government agencies protect it; you should know that they do.
Both federal and state government agencies are now putting greater emphasis on ensuring that cybercriminals do not get their hands on your personal information. For many years, governments have been encouraging taxpayers to e-file their returns. Therefore it is critical that they make sure your information is secure.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR) has come out with a new initiative that will make many people unhappy. Still, it will protect taxpayers, and we should realize that the inconvenience and delay it creates are minor problems compared to the issues you would face if your identity were stolen.
Beginning this year, the WDOR is implementing a new tool called the Identity Verification Quiz. Some filers will be required to take the Identity Verification Quiz before the state finishes processing their state tax refunds. In some cases, taxpayers will be required to send in documentation to help WDOR verify their identities. If you are selected for this additional inquiry, you will receive a letter outlining everything that you need to do to take the quiz. We are told this verification will include four multiple choice questions with answers that will help verify that you are the taxpayer who has submitted the return filed with the WDOR.