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LANSING – Some Michigan taxpayers who file a state income tax return may receive a letter from the Michigan Department of Treasury asking for more information to confirm their identity.
The letters are a result of the state Treasury Department’s efforts to protect individuals from cybercriminals, who attempt to file state income tax returns on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers and steal refunds. After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity by taking a short online quiz or submitting paperwork, the tax refund will be issued in about a month.
A phone option is available as an alternative to the online quiz.
“If you receive one of these letters, please follow the instructions carefully,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, who oversees Treasury’s Tax Administration programs. “When we detect something that may not be right with a tax return, we ask for additional information to protect the taxpayer.”
Taxpayers who have been recent victims of identity theft are asked to report their circumstances to the state Treasury Department. Reporting identity theft helps thwart cybercriminals who attempt to file returns and steal state tax refunds.
Since 2016, the state Treasury Department’s increased security measures protected more than 4,500 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan income tax refunds. This prevented more than $19 million from being distributed to scammers.