Revenue Department Warns of Fraudulent Tax Returns

The department has caught about 25 attempts to collect a total of $26,000 in fraudulent refunds

By Justin Franz

HELENA — The state Revenue Department is thoroughly reviewing all Montana income tax returns because of an increase in the filing of fraudulent returns seeking refunds.

Since the tax filing season started on Jan. 20, the department has caught about 25 attempts to collect a total of $26,000 in fraudulent refunds, Director Mike Kadas said.

The department stopped over 1,200 fraudulent attempts that sought about $1.5 million in refunds last year, department spokeswoman Molly Petersen said. The agency continually updates its safeguards and believes it has caught most, if not all, of the fraudulent refunds, Petersen said.

However, the state has not been able to determine who is filing the returns, so no one has been prosecuted, officials said.

The extra diligence has increased the time it takes to process returns, so it may take longer to receive refunds, Kadas said.

The department is contacting taxpayers who have been victims of a fraudulent filing. If you log onto your tax software and it says you’ve already filed a return for 2014, your identity may have been stolen, officials said.

Revenue officials suggest changing usernames and passwords on tax software and not using the same login information on other accounts.

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