To: The Taxpayers of Georgia
From: Commissioner Lynne Riley
Date: October 2016
Informational Memo: Tax Fraud Prevention Strategies for Georgia Taxpayers
The Georgia Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service have experienced unprecedented levels of tax fraud attempts in 2016. To date, the Department of Revenue has blocked over $55 million in fraudulently filed returns, protecting the taxpayers of Georgia from these potential revenue losses. To assist in our efforts to defend against tax fraud, the Department has implemented a sophisticated Fraud Management System. A key component to the effectiveness of the Fraud Management System is to obtain as much verification information about a return as possible before releasing a refund to the taxpayer.
In order to expedite the process of releasing returns in 2017, the Department is seeking your assistance. The filing deadline for employers to submit W-2 information to the Department has changed to January 31st. The Department must receive the employer’s W-2 data to verify information presented on tax returns, or the release of a refund will be delayed. The Department is advising taxpayers to expect longer processing times in 2017 and to allow a minimum of 90 days from the date of filing a return before calling the Department to inquire about the status of a refund claim.
Many businesses believe that when they file W-2 information with the IRS they do not need to file with the State of Georgia. This is incorrect – businesses must submit this data separately to the IRS and the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Other filing dates have changed for 2017 as well:
The Department is encouraging taxpayers to adjust their payroll withholding in order to be less reliant on a tax refund. When taxpayers reduce their withholding, they realize in their paychecks the immediate benefit of their hard work all throughout the year. Employees may complete and submit IRS Form W-4 and GA DOR Form G-4 to their employers to make the withholding adjustments for Federal and State purposes.
The Department also encourages taxpayers to register with the agency’s Georgia Tax Center (GTC) at https://gtc.dor.ga.gov to better monitor the status of their tax refund. In GTC, taxpayers may also activate an alert that will send them a notification when a return has been filed using their social security number. In the event the return has been fraudulently filed, the taxpayer can immediately notify the Department, and steps can be quickly taken to protect their identity and their precious tax dollars.
Please visit www.dor.ga.gov for informational bulletins and notices on many helpful tax topics and services. We encourage you to share this information with family and friends.
It is a pleasure to be of service to the taxpayers of Georgia.