- Associated Press - Saturday, March 7, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Some Oklahoma tax refunds are being delayed while the state Tax Commission conducts fraud protection reviews, according to a statement on the commission’s website.

“Throughout the nation, taxpayers have been victims of identity theft by those filing fraudulent income tax returns,” according to the statement, which said the OTC has added security measures in an effort to verify that the returns it receives are legitimate.

“Sometimes, however, these safeguards can impact the honest taxpayer whose return is randomly selected for review and therefore may take longer than usual to process. When a taxpayer receives a letter from the OTC requesting further information, many times it is simply an identity verification check,” the statement said.

Tax officials have said that information such as stolen social security numbers have been used to file fraudulent tax returns and receive refunds. The victims often don’t learn of the crime until they try to file their returns and learn that a return has already been filed using their names.

Such fraud has been more common in other parts of the country than in Oklahoma, commission spokeswoman Paula Ross told The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1EpWy7K )).



“It hasn’t been as big of an issue in Oklahoma, but it has been nationwide,” Ross said. “We’re trying to prevent it from becoming bigger here. But it definitely is something the IRS has had a large problem with, and it has been seen in other states,” Ross said.

The OTC already has identified some fraud this year when it asked some taxpayers for follow-up information and was told the taxpayers had not yet filed.

Ross said taxpayers can still receive their refund, even if it already has been fraudulently paid to someone else.

“It’s not gone from them,” Ross said. “We will work with them and get them their refund.”

Taxpayers who suspect they have been victims of fraud or have questions about the process can contact the tax commission at www.tax.ok.gov.

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Online: https://www.tax.ok.gov/upmin030615.html

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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