Ohio taxpayers may file their 2016 state income tax returns with the opening of the income tax filing season on January 23.
Again this year, the top priority for the Ohio Department of Taxation is to ensure that taxpayers’ personal and tax information remain secure as criminals step up attempts across the internet to steal income tax refunds by filing fraudulent returns. Tax Commissioner Joe Testa said the department will continue using an Identity Confirmation Quiz to help verify the legitimacy of a refund request. The quiz and increased awareness of taxpayers, tax preparers, the financial community, the IRS and Taxation staff, has helped repel cyber-criminals.
This year, taxpayers are being asked to provide driver’s license or state ID card information for the primary taxpayer and spouse (if married filing jointly) to help combat stolen-identity tax fraud. Taxpayers who do not have the requested identification will have the option to indicate such and still be allowed to e-file.
Since June 2014, the Ohio Department of Taxation has blocked more than $500 million in attempted theft of income tax refunds. Despite increases in fraud attempts, the amount of money requested on fraudulent tax returns has declined significantly.
Tax Commissioner Testa said this year’s income tax filing process features the following changes:
Taxpayers should consider filing their state income tax returns using Ohio I-File, which is fast, easy and free to use. Most I-File filers receive their refunds in about 15 business days by direct deposit as opposed to eight to 10 weeks for paper returns. If you have additional questions, please visit our Web site at tax.ohio.gov or call 1-800-282-1780 for taxpayer assistance.