For Immediate Release - August 12, 2015

DOR Encourages Taxpayers to Complete Their Tax Refund Return Process

Taxpayers protected by new security measures this filing season

(Boston, MA) The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) today reported that, with the filing season winding down, they are reaching out to taxpayers who were asked to verify information online or send additional information, and asking them to complete the process to receive their refund.

In February, DOR took several proactive and precautionary steps in coordination with the IRS and other states after reports of an increase in the filing of fraudulent refund returns.

“Although DOR’s system wasn’t breached, the agency boosted security by adding another layer of fraud protection to further check the veracity of refund returns,” Commissioner Mark Nunnelly said. “This was new for taxpayers and added to refund processing times, but we felt it was worth the effort to protect taxpayers and the Commonwealth. We’ll continue to put deterrents in place and look to redouble efforts to protect the identity of our taxpayers, while making sure that tax crime is met aggressively with the full measure of our efforts.”

This year, DOR processed just over 3,000,000 returns and issued roughly 2,360,000 refunds. Of these millions, less than 7% of the returns had to be pulled back to allow taxpayers to verify information or, in some cases, amend incomplete submissions or provide additional information.

“Although this tax season was particularly challenging following the reports of increased fraud, it was a success, in large part, to taxpayers’ patience,” said the Commissioner. “Streamlining the process to meet taxpayers’ expectations for a speedy refund is a top priority as we fully incorporate the new risk management measures. Now, we would like to hear from those who haven’t yet responded so that we can get refunds out the door to legitimate taxpayers. We believe a certain number of returns were filed fraudulently and we don’t expect to hear from those individuals.”

The number of returns in the review process today is very small by comparison to the total number of returns DOR receives, and could be reduced fairly quickly when taxpayers complete the new and simple online quiz to receive their refunds. Taxpayers whose refund returns were selected for additional scrutiny received a notice from DOR with instructions for completing the process.

Taxpayers with questions on the status of their refund or return may contact DOR at 617-887-6367.