Dept. of Revenue: Stepped-up identity theft protection efforts protect taxpayers

CONTACT:  Patty Mayers, Communications Director

608.266.2300 or DORCommunications@wisconsin.gov

Anti-Fraud Initiatives Save Taxpayers More Than $416 Million Over Ten Years

More than $51.3 million in fraudulent and erroneous refunds and credits were blocked last tax season thanks in part to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s use of identity verification tools that can also protect identity theft.

“Identify verification is extremely important to us.  It helps ensure that the identities of tax filers are secure and protected, and that their tax dollars are not stolen,” said Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca. “Cybercrime and identity theft have become more common.  As a result, we’ve implemented a number of measures to combat it,” Secretary Barca said. “Our systems are very secure, but when criminals steal someone’s personal information from other sources, they may use it to file a fraudulent tax return.”

How ID Verification Works

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) uses analytics to identify tax returns that indicate possible identity theft.  If there’s a concern, DOR sends a letter to the tax filer asking them to complete a quiz, enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN), or submit documentation to confirm their identity. The unique PINs are a tool DOR uses to help safeguard tax filers.

It is important to note that DOR does not call to request information.  Rather, a letter is sent requesting that the tax filer contact DOR.

During the past ten years, the department stopped more than $416 million in potential fraud. The increase is due to DOR’s continuous expansion of its anti-fraud efforts and tools as more cybercriminals attempt fraud. For more information, visit DOR’s Protecting Taxpayers page.

DOR Anti-Fraud Efforts
Fiscal YearTotal Savings
2018$51,356,674
2017$59,566,026
2016$63,043,527
2015$57,786,246
2014$49,659,865
2013$30,173,245
2012$25,738,269
2011$29,054,408
2010$18,604,585
2009$18,084,318
2008$13,881,956
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