Early Filers Prevent Cybercriminals from Stealing Refunds
Michigan’s individual income tax filing season officially begins today, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).
Effective immediately, Michiganders can start filing their 2017 tax year state individual income tax returns online or through the U.S. Postal Service. All individual income tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
“The easiest and quickest way for Michigan taxpayers to get their refund is to file electronically,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “This helps ensure tax returns are accurate and improves tax refund turnaround times.”
Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit is convenient, safe and secure. Last year, more than 4.1 million Michigan taxpayers e-filed, which is nearly 83 percent of state income tax filers.
After Feb. 5, limited quantities of printed tax forms will be available at public libraries, northern Michigan post offices, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services county offices and Treasury Field Offices.
For the benefit and convenience of taxpayers, both the beginning and end of the individual income tax filing season are the same as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Tax-Related Identity Theft Protections
In an effort to protect Michigan taxpayers, the state Treasury Department continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, some individual income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation.
If an individual income tax return has been selected for identity confirmation, the taxpayer will receive a letter from Treasury asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available for those with functional needs or are not computer savvy.
After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity, their tax refund will be issued in about a month.
“Don’t wait to file your tax return,” White said. “By filing early, taxpayers can prevent cybercriminals from stealing their refunds.”
Taxpayers who have been recent victims of identity theft are asked to report their circumstances to the state Treasury Department. Reporting identity theft helps thwart cybercriminals who attempt to file returns and steal state tax refunds.
In 2017, increased security measures protected more than 4,000 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan refunds. This prevented more than $16 million from being distributed to scammers.
To learn more about identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft.
Free Tax Help
Seniors and individuals with functional needs may qualify for free tax preparation help from IRS-trained volunteers or Tax Counseling for the Elderly preparers. For information about free tax help, go to www.michiganfreetaxhelp.org or dial 2-1-1.
Contact: Ron Leix, Treasury,