SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Revenue is announcing it does not anticipate releasing individual income tax refunds for the 2016 tax filing season until March 1.
The decision comes as fraud prevention efforts from last year’s tax season illustrate the positive impact additional delays and scrutiny have had in combating tax return fraud and identity theft. The agency is reminding taxpayers that filing tax returns electronically and requesting direct deposit into a checking or savings account is still the fastest way to receive a refund.
“Fraud prevention measures implemented by the Department of Revenue during last year’s tax season resulted in an overall savings of nearly $5 million that would have, otherwise, been paid,” Department of Revenue Director Connie Beard said. “Our new security protocols proved very beneficial in detecting and stopping fraudulently filed returns last year, and we are continuing to enhance our fraud detection efforts this year. 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.”
For electronic returns filed prior to March 1, the agency anticipates refunds will be issued within two to three weeks from the March 1 date. For electronic returns submitted error-free on or after March 1, the agency anticipates refunds will be issued two to three weeks from the date the return was submitted.
Tax refunds are not subject to budgetary appropriation by the Illinois General Assembly and are not affected by the current budget impasse.
For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2016 Illinois Income Tax Filing season, visit IDOR’s website at www.tax.illinois.gov.