MICHIGAN IDENTITY VERIFICATION MAY BE HOLDING UP YOUR STATE TAXES!!!

Michigan taxpayers who get a letter relating to an "Identity Confirmation Quiz" must realize that they'll get their Michigan state refund only after tackling that quiz — and passing it. The state says state income refunds would be issued in 14 days to 21 days after there's been confirmation that you've passed that quiz.

This tax season, the state of Michigan could send a letter and ask you to take an "Identity Confirmation Quiz." Some select taxpayers could have to confirm identities before receiving state refunds.

  • Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and other states ramp up efforts to combat state income tax refund fraud.

  • Michigan claims it stopped more than 83,000 suspicious income tax returns last year.

  • Tax refunds could be delayed as new filters are in place to fight fraudsters.

Last year, we heard about a surge of fraudulent state tax return filings via TurboTax. Now, states across the country are adding filters and security measures this tax season to combat potential refund fraud. No surprise, some of those steps could delay your state refund.

Michigan's Department of Treasury is alerting tax filers that some returns will be selected for what's called "identity confirmation." As part of this process, the legitimate taxpayer in Michigan receives a letter from the state and is asked to confirm his or her identity by completing a short online quiz.

Jeremy Sampson, a spokesman for the Michigan Treasury, said the state plans to send out about 80,000 to 100,000 such letters. It's a relatively small group given 3.9 million Michigan taxpayers submitted individual income tax returns via e-file last year.

But if someone receives a letter, it does not mean his or her identity has necessarily been stolen, Sampson said. Increasingly, criminals are using stolen identities, including Social Security numbers, to steal money from the U.S. Treasury by filing fake tax returns that claim made-up, over-inflated tax refunds.

Crooks can steal IDs from anywhere, including hospitals, nursing homes, and other databases.

But if someone filed a bogus return using your Social Security number and ID, you'd want the state to think twice about sending the crooks a check. After all, there's added hassle for tax filers once refund money has been sent to con artists using your ID.

The Michigan Treasury said that last year, the state stopped about $75 million in possibly fraudulent returns involving more than 83,000 suspicious state income tax returns.Added tax return security is sort of like added security at the airport. At some point in the game, the legitimate taxpayer will face added delays.

Michigan taxpayers who get a letter relating to an "Identity Confirmation Quiz" must realize that they'll get their Michigan state refund only after tackling that quiz — and passing it. The state says state income refunds would be issued in 14 days to 21 days after there's been confirmation that you've passed that quiz.

But Sampson said if another error is spotted, the state could need additional information, and the process would take longer. In some cases, the delays could be three to six months if additional paperwork is needed.

Michigan's "Identity Confirmation" letter notes that various pieces of information are needed to complete the online quiz. You'd need to know the refund amount listed on Line 35 of the state return or the amount of tax you owe listed on Line 32 of the state return. You'd also need the last name that is listed on the letter you received. A Quiz ID number is listed at the top right hand corner of the letter you receive from the state.

Michigan isn't alone with this ID quiz bowl for taxpayers. Ohio also is doing it.

Other states are also expecting delays for some refunds.

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