File your taxes in SC? You might get a letter before you get a r - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

File your taxes in SC? You might get a letter before you get a refund

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

New security measures may delay your refund, but will protect you from fraud, according to the state Revenue Department.

Income tax returns filed in 2013 will be processed by means of a new security safeguard to ensure fraudulent activity does not take place.

For tax returns that are questionable, SCDOR will mail the taxpayer a letter asking for additional information in order to complete the processing of the return.

The letter will detail instructions for the taxpayer to either go online or to call SCDOR in order to answer questions specific to the individual.

Once this process has been successfully completed, the tax refund will be issued. 

The goal of the security program is to protect taxpayers from fraud by individuals filing tax returns in a legitimate taxpayer's name, according to SCDOR officials.

Additionally, SCDOR has implemented the program in an effort to decrease the number of fraudulent tax returns and, subsequently, decrease the issuance of fraudulent tax refunds.

"We make arrests for individuals periodically who have not worked or have altered their tax returns in order to receive larger refund amounts," said Samantha Cheek, DOR's public information director.

In keeping with filing dates of the Internal Revenue Service, SCDOR opened the 2013 electronic filing season for processing on Jan. 30.

Officials say it is the goal of SCDOR to assure taxpayers that filing electronically is and has always been a secure method, and taxpayers should continue to utilize this means of filing as it is more efficient than filing paper returns.

Georgia used similar methods last year. It helped the state recoup $21 million in fraudulent tax returns. South Carolina is hoping it could do the same.

For helpful information throughout income tax filing season, please visit www.sctax.org or call the SC Department of Revenue at (803) 898-5000.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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