As tax refund fraud becomes more widespread, we’re working with taxpayers, tax professionals, employers, and payroll providers to help prevent it. 

Here's How You Can Help

  • Do not provide personal information by mail, phone, email, or text to an unknown person. 
  • File your tax return early - and file electronically.
  • Include your Virginia driver’s license number or Virginia identification card number and issue date on your return.  
  • Watch for signs that an unauthorized person may have filed a return using your name or Social Security number: 
    • More than one tax return was filed using your Social Security number.  
    • You receive an unexpected assessment or notice indicating that you owe additional tax.
    • You receive a federal or state tax refund that you didn’t request.  
    • You had collection actions taken against you that you didn’t expect, and the information doesn’t appear to be valid. 
    • The IRS notified you that a false federal return was filed. 
  • If you are a victim of identity theft, we suggest taking the following steps: 
Tax Professionals
Employers and Payroll Providers
  • File your withholding records electronically by January 31 every year. Failure to file your withholding information on time could cause significant delays to your employees' refunds, since we will need to verify their identity and return information manually.
  • Store all taxpayer records securely. 
  • Notify us immediately if you think any payroll records have been compromised. Call our Identity Theft Information Line at 804.404.4185

Steps Virginia Tax is Taking to Prevent Refund Fraud

To make sure that refunds go to the rightful owners, we’re committed to taking the time needed to carefully review all individual income tax returns we receive. 

Our Refund Review Process

We use an automated system that reviews returns for suspicious activity or possible fraud. If your return is selected for additional review, our Refund Review Team manually reviews the return and may send you a letter requesting additional information. 

If your return is selected for review, it will take longer to receive your refund. However, our goal is to stop fraudulent refunds before they’re issued, not to slow down your refund.

Steps you can take to help us process your return smoothly.

Other steps we're taking to protect taxpayers

We issue personal identification numbers (PINs) to taxpayers identified as possible victims of identity theft. These PINs are another way for us to verify a taxpayer's identity when they file. As refund tax fraud schemes grow more elaborate, we continue to coordinate with the IRS, other state tax departments, and the tax software industry to protect your personal information and reduce refund fraud.