I wanted to pass along important information I recently received from the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) regarding changes to state tax refunds.
In an effort to combat fraud and identity theft select taxpayers may have to provide additional information in order to claim their refund checks.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below or go to the DRS website http://www.ct.gov/drs/site/default.asp
FAQs for the Refund Protection Program
The Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is committed to protecting taxpayers from identity theft and fraud. This year we have implemented a new tax refund protection program. The program will further curb identity theft and fraudulent tax refunds.
Some taxpayers who may be due a state income tax refund will be notified by DRS when the new refund protection plan indicates the possibility of identity theft and a fraudulent claim. The notice will ask taxpayers to call a toll free number or visit a website in order to answer a few questions where the correct answer should only be known to the specific taxpayer.
While this new security program may cause a brief delay for taxpayers entitled to refunds, the result will be much better protection for taxpayers and for the state.
QUESTION 1: Why is DRS making me answer questions before issuing my Connecticut tax refund?
ANSWER: This helps assure that your refund will not be stolen by someone who has stolen your identity or made a fraudulent claim.
QUESTION 2: Where did DRS get my personal information?
ANSWER: All the taxpayer specific information comes from public records but the responses will usually only be familiar to the actual taxpayer.
QUESTION 3: Why was I selected to go through this process?
ANSWER: Some of the information from the tax return submitted in your name has automatically triggered this further review. All you have to do is correctly answer a few questions specific to your identity.
QUESTION 4: What if I elect not to answer the questions?
ANSWER: DRS cannot release your refund until assured that your refund is not being issued to someone posing as you.
QUESTION 5: What happens if make a mistake and answer the questions incorrectly?
ANSWER: You will be able to answer a second short series of questions.
QUESTION 6: What if I cannot answer the second set of questions?
ANSWER: Your refund cannot be released until our tax investigations staff works with you to confirm your identity.
QUESTION 7: How can I be sure that the DRS notice is not some sort of identity theft scam?
ANSWER: The DRS notice you receive will provide a specific, secure toll-free telephone number (855-842-1441). Note that this is the only way to contact DRS in order quickly to clear a refund that is due to you.