The Georgia Department of Revenue says new security measures designed to combat tax fraud are working. This year the new system is saving the state around $20-million.
The anti-fraud program is designed to stop criminals from stealing the identities of taxpayers and claiming their tax refunds. The pilot program, launched in January, screens returns using detailed information to confirm a taxpayer’s identity.
Staci Guest heads up the fraud investigation unit at the Georgia Department of Revenue. She says 2-percent of this year’s returns were flagged and investigated.
“We send a letter to the taxpayer saying there might be something suspicious about your tax return regarding identity theft, and we would like you to come answer a couple of questions. If you answer the questions we’ll release your refund. If you don’t answer the questions correctly we will not issue the refund.”
Georgia is second in the nation for identity theft.