As Internet use progresses most people have received emails or other communications from scammers and spammers. Many of these communications are attempting to find personal and or banking information. Most people have become accustomed to simply ignoring and deleting these email communications. However, what would you do if you received a phone call from the Ohio Department of Taxation telling you that you are in trouble with the government?
Scammers utilize numerous methods in order to attempt to defraud individuals, businesses, and the government. One of the increasingly utilized methods scammers are using is committing tax fraud by filing fake State of Ohio income tax returns in order to get refunds from the state. According to the OSCPA interview in 2014 with Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa, the State of Ohio Department of Taxation had blocked two hundred thirty million dollars in attempted theft and by October of 2014 according to the document Stopping ID Theft from Paying Off the Ohio Department of Taxation had stopped over $250,000,000 in fraudulent personal income tax refunds. According to WLWT news in Cincinnati, Ohio, as of August of 2015 the state of Ohio has already blocked more than twice as many returns this year as all of 2014. In a September 20th article on Fox 8 of Cleveland, Ohio, Attorney General Mike DeWine reports receiving more than 600 so far for the month.
If you are contacted by the Ohio Department of Taxation, the IRS, or a local tax authority it is not a matter that should be taken lightly. However, before sharing any personal information it is important that you are certain that you are actually dealing with the taxation agency and not a scammer attempting to gain personal information to steal your identity. These scammers acquire information of their victims and file multiple State of Ohio income tax returns utilizing stolen social security numbers and information in an attempt to get refunds issued from the state of Ohio.
Unfortunately, as the state of Ohio now must take enhanced security measures in order to prevent tax fraud and stop scammers who are filing fraudulent returns, the increased security efforts can impact the amount of time that it takes to receive your income tax refund from the State of Ohio.
As with any taxation issue or problem it should not be ignored. If you are contacted by someone requesting personal information claiming that you have a tax problem, the Ohio Department of Taxation can be called directly at (800) 282-1780 or you can call our office at (877) 505-9455. If you find that there is a problem with your Ohio, Federal, or Local taxes, Sheppard Tax Relief is here to help you to resolve your tax problems. In addition to a tax attorney to handle taxation problems, we also have an income tax preparation service offices in Columbus and Canton to prepare individual and small or mid-size business income tax returns.