Virginia officials work to combat tax refund fraud

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia taxpayers may have to wait a little longer for expected tax refunds as state officials work to combat tax refund fraud related to identity theft.

State officials have mailed about 104,000 letters to taxpayers this year asking for additional information to verify their identities.

Officials say the extra paperwork helps ensure refunds go to the right people.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2n4zAfU ) that officials sent 140,000 letters during last year’s filing season, denying or reducing refunds on about 35,000 of 4.2 million returns filed with the state.

Taxation Department spokeswoman Paige Tucker says more than $60 million in fraudulent and erroneous refunds were stopped from being issued in 2015 and 2016. In 2013 and 2014, more than $40 million in fraudulent and erroneous refunds were prevented from being issued.

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