The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) announced Jan. 4 a delay in state income tax refunds. The agency cited concerns about fraud and identity theft. Tax filers submitting their returns electronically before March 1, 2016, will be issued refunds within two to three weeks of that date. Refunds for those filing returns on or after the March 1 date will be issued within two to three weeks from the date the return was submitted.
IDOR Director Connie Beard said in an agency press release, “By delaying tax refunds by just a few weeks, we’ll be able to better detect attempts at identity theft and ensure taxpayer refunds do not fall needlessly into the hands of criminals.” Beard also commented that fraud prevention measures helped the agency save nearly $5 million during last year’s tax season. According to IDOR, tax refunds are not impacted by the current budget impasse because they are not subject to budgetary appropriations.