You read that correctly.  You may need to take an identity confirmation quiz in order for your Ohio tax return to be processed and your refund issued if you were one of the lucky selected individuals.  Since each tax year stands on its own, you could have been required to take the quiz in 2015 and again for the 2016 year.  The identity theft quiz has been an effective measure to reduce the overall fraudulent refunds issued by the state of Ohio.  Additionally, the size of the fraudulent refunds being requested are smaller as the ability to get them through the system without being detected is declining.

A new procedure for 2016 filings will be that in order to electronically file your Ohio tax return, you will need to provide your driver’s license information including the license number, the issue date, and the expiration date for both you and your spouse.

With all of the private information needed to file your tax return – your birth-date, social security number and now your driver’s license information, taxpayers need to be aware of the risks of not securing your private information.  This includes sending documents by email without secured transmissions and faxing documents to general phone numbers.  The bottom line is you need to take precautions to actively protect your identity.  Also don’t dismiss warning signs of potential identity theft with your name, social security number or private information.  Unusual tax notices, collection attempts for taxes for which you aren’t aware, or receiving larger refunds than expected could all indicate some fraudulent activity based on your private information.

Combatting Identity Theft

The Internal Revenue Service and the Ohio Department of Taxation have instituted measures to combat against identity theft and income tax fraud.  This quiz is one of those measures.  If you received a notification letter, you must complete the identity theft quiz within 30 days from the date of the letter.  If you receive a joint letter, both spouses will need to complete the identity theft quiz.  Ideally you will complete this quiz online at tax.ohio.gov.  You will get three tries to take this timed test.  You must answer 3 of the 4 questions correctly in 5 minutes.  The questions are specific to the individual that receives the notification.  The questions are compiled from public and commercial sources.  If you fail the quiz or choose not to take the quiz, you must provide the following information to the state of Ohio to confirm your identity by fax or mail with all but the last four digits of your social security number redacted on the documents:

  • 2016 tax information including copies of W2s and K-1s
  • Page 1 and Page 2 of your federal 1040, and
  • A copy of the identity confirmation quiz letter.

You may also contact the Ohio personal income tax identity theft confirmation unit at 1-800-282-1780 if you fail the quiz. If you are unable to pass the quiz and the representative is unable to assist you, then you will need to forward all of the aforementioned information in order for your tax return and refund to be processed.  This process is expected to delay refunds issued by the state of Ohio.  This process could take an additional 6 months to get your refund.

Information required to complete the quiz includes the following:

  • The reference number and authorization code from the letter
  • The refund amount requested less any credit carry forward applied to 2017. Please note that you may receive more than one identity confirmation quiz if you file additional returns
  • For additional information please go to tax.ohio.gov/IdentityTheft-IDQuiz.aspx