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With identity theft on the rise, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is taking new steps to combat the problem and protect taxpayers. In some cases, this means asking taxpayers to take a quiz before getting their state refund check.

DOR is teaming up with LexisNexis to provide this new measure on top of a number of filters and other precautions already in place. LexisNexis will review selected taxpayer identity information from returns that have already passed through the Department’s own measures to further match existing records with filing information.

If a return is flagged, the taxpayer will be asked to take an online quiz within 30 days.   It only takes about two minutes to complete the quiz and will include four questions that the taxpayer would know.  When the taxpayer answers three out of the four questions correctly, DOR will continue processing the return.

Most taxpayers will get their refund as usual. DOR expects only a small percentage of taxpayers will be asked to take the additional step.

Last year, the department caught more than $24 million in fraudulent tax refund requests. DOR hopes this new partnership will further protect taxpayers and revenue before refund checks head out the door.

 

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