Ohio Taxpayer Fraud Alert

The Ohio Department of Taxation began sending notifications to individual taxpayers that their 2014 Ohio income tax refunds may be delayed due to additional precautions being taken to prevent tax fraud.

Below is the full text of the communication released by the Ohio Department of Taxation:

“In order to better protect Ohio taxpayers and prevent tax fraud, the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is implementing additional safeguards that will inevitably cause some refunds to be delayed this upcoming income tax filing season.

These steps are being taken to further bolster defenses in anticipation of a continuing increase in attempted tax fraud involving identity theft. Last year, ODT intercepted an unprecedented number of fraudulent income tax returns seeking to steal refunds totaling more than $250 million. In previous years, attempted tax fraud averaged about $10 million.

To detect and counter refund fraud related to ID theft, an additional up-front filter will now be applied to all tax refund requests to analyze the demographic information reported on a return. This analysis will then assign a “probability of fraud” factor that will determine how the return is then further processed by ODT.
If a return is pulled for review, ODT’s additional security measures will require some taxpayers to successfully complete an Identification Confirmation Quiz, before the return will continue to be processed. If a taxpayer’s return is selected for identity confirmation they will receive a letter from ODT directing them to our website (www.tax.ohio.gov). The website will provide access to the quiz, detailed instructions on how to complete it, and frequently asked questions for reference. Taxpayers without Internet access will be directed to call ODT at 1-855-855-7579, for assistance with completing the quiz.

The additional screening and security measures will unfortunately slow the processing of electronic and paper returns, and the issuance of refunds. Electronic returns requesting a refund may take up to 15 days to be direct deposited this year, and paper returns could take up to 30 days for a physical check to be mailed out.”

Ohio Residency Requirements Change for Income Tax Purposes

Ohio increased the number of “contact periods” allowed before a person is considered an Ohio resident for state income tax purposes from 182 to 212.

Contact periods are defined as being away overnight from their abode outside the state and while away are in Ohio for part of two consecutive days.

That means someone whose residence is outside Ohio could remain in the state up to about seven months without being considered an Ohio resident for income tax purposes.

ARM Announces New Staff Accountant

ARM is pleased to announce that Cody Morris will join the firm as a staff accountant in the tax department.  Cody is a Capital University graduate and prior to joining the firm, Cody was a tax professional at Deloitte in Columbus, Ohio.