Future tax refunds should be protected

info@islandpacket.comDecember 6, 2012 

In four weeks, South Carolina residents can begin to file their taxes.

Since the security breach occurred, there has been much effort to join Experian and protect credit through monitoring. But what if the breach leads to tax fraud?

In Florida this year, a purchasing program for Winn-Dixie employees resulted in the theft of personal data. When an employee went to file his taxes, he was informed he had already filed. He was due a refund from the state, but it had already been paid out under a fraudulent return.

What safeguards can the S.C. Department of Revenue put in place to prevent fraudulent tax return filings in 2013, which could lead to lost refunds for state taxpayers?

Do you have your bank account linked to your tax return? Do you file electronically? Will you get a refund via electronic transfer or through the mail?

At this stage, I would like to be able to guarantee that no refund is paid electronically and is only sent to my permanent address through the U.S. Postal Service.

This is not a hypothetical situation. It has already happened.

I read that a mailing is being prepared by the state. One option might be for that mailing to include a code that we enter, which directs the department to pay refunds by check only.

Barnaby Page

Hilton Head Island

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