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Wisconsin Gets Proactive In Protecting Taxpayers From Identity Theft

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is requiring some taxpayers to complete its new Identity Verification tool in order to protect them from fraud.  Select taxpayers will have to take the verification "quiz" prior to having their state refund processed, and in some cases, taxpayers will be required to send in documentation to help the state verify their identity.


How are taxpayers selected?

The state is not releasing the criteria being used to identify suspicious returns.  Factors that prompt taxpayers to be selected for the quiz are based solely on analytics.  If selected, the taxpayer, or homestead credit claimant, will receive a letter outlining everything needed to take the quiz.  The quiz includes four multiple choice questions, and the goal is to help verify the identity of the person who filed the return.

How does one take the quiz?

The quiz can be taken over the phone or online, and must be completed within 20 days of receiving the notification in the mail.  Taxpayers with questions or concerns about the quiz have been directed to call the DoR customer service helpdesk.  Only the taxpayer can answer the questions on the quiz, and no one else should take the quiz on behalf of the taxpayer.

Will the taxpayer know if they passed or failed?
Upon completing the quiz, the taxpayer will know whether they passed or failed.  If passed, the refund will be processed.  If failed, a second quiz will be provided (different questions).  If the taxpayer fails the second quiz, the taxpayer must mail documentation to the DoR to prove their identity.

What type of documents will need to be mailed in?
The taxpayer must mail the identity verification letter and a copy of two documents, one from each category, within 30 days of failing the second quiz. The taxpayer should not mail original documents.

Category 1: A document that has your photograph and full name, such as:

  • Wisconsin photo driver's license (current or expired less than one year)
  • Driver's license from any other state (current)
  • State identification card
  • Passport
  • Military identification
  • Government issued photo identification
  • U.S. college or university photo ID
  • Employee photo ID card with recent payroll stub

AND

Category 2: A document that has the taxpayer's full name and complete address used on the tax return filed, such as:

  • Utility bill (gas, electric, cable, cell phone, etc.)
  • Bank statement
  • Payroll stub
  • Tax bill
  • Rental agreement (signed by landlord and renter)
  • College or university transcript
  • Insurance policy (vehicle, homeowners, renters, health, life)
  • Credit card statement

How can the tax preparer assist?
The preparer will not be notified in this process, and the preparer should not attempt to take the quiz on behalf of the taxpayer.

Will all selected taxpayers have to take the quiz?
In some circumstances, selected taxpayers or claimants will receive only a letter requiring them to send in documents to prove their identity if there is not enough data to produce a quiz for them.

More resources on Identity Verification
Revenue's website
Identity Verification Video
Identity Verification - Common questions for Practitioners

Source: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/taxpro/news/2014/140109b.html

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