New! DOR Deploys Identity Quiz to Protect Taxpayers

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is taking new steps to combat identity theft. DOR teamed up with LexisNexis to provide a new measure on top of existing filters already in place. LexisNexis will review selected taxpayer identity information from returns that have already passed through the Department's own measures. If a return is flagged, the taxpayer will be asked to take an online quiz within 30 days. It only takes about two minutes for the taxpayer to answer the four questions included in the quiz. When the taxpayer answers three out of the four questions correctly, DOR will continue processing the return.  Because the quiz is so personalized, practitioners should NOT attempt to take the quiz for their client. Click here to learn more.

Charges Filed in Alleged Illegal Tobacco Operation

A Connecticut man has been charged in federal court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, trafficking in contraband smokeless tobacco, money laundering, and violation of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act. Charges were filed after several federal, state and local agencies including the Department of Revenue teamed up for an investigation into an alleged illegal tobacco operation. The man is accused of allegedly defrauding Massachusetts and Connecticut by failing to pay excise taxes on smokeless tobacco and cigars owed by businesses he owned, transferring smokeless tobacco into the state without reporting it, accepting payments for tobacco products in cash amounts of more than $10,000 without filing the required paperwork, providing fake invoices and causing the filing of false excise tax returns to state tax authorities. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney's Springfield Office. If found guilty, the defendant faces multiple sentences totaling as many as 20 years in prison and fines of as  much as half a million dollars. Click here pdf format of Tobacco Wholesaler Charged - Scheme to Defraud 2 States
for the full press release.

Senior Circuit Breaker Credit Annual Updates Now Available

Massachusetts residents who are 65 years or older at the close of the 2014 tax year and whose principal residence is in Massachusetts, may be eligible for the Senior Circuit Breaker, a refundable credit against personal income taxes.  The 2014 annual update to the tax credit is now available online. To receive the Senior Circuit Breaker, a taxpayer must file a Schedule CB pdf format of Schedule CB
 with the 2014 state tax return.