INDIANAPOLIS — Just a little more than a month remains before the April 15 deadline for Hoosiers to file their 2018 federal and state income tax returns.
According to the Indiana Department of Revenue, more than 1.4 million Hoosiers already have filed their income taxes for last year, and 930,000 of them are getting, or likely already have received, a refund.
DOR records show electronically filed returns are being processed in fewer than 11 days, with nearly 9 in 10 refunds claimed by Hoosier taxpayers being issued within 14 days.
"With an average turnaround time of fewer than two weeks, customers are getting their refunds faster thanks to our hard-working DOR team members meeting the processing demands of tax season," said Adam Krupp, state revenue commissioner.
"I couldn't be more proud of our team and how fast they are helping our Hoosier customers."
More than 2 million Hoosiers with incomes of less than $66,000 last year may qualify to file electronic federal and state income tax returns at no cost.
Details of the INFreeFile program are available online at freefile.dor.in.gov.
Individuals who file their taxes through the mail on paper this year are receiving their refunds in about 20 days. Krupp said that's more than three weeks faster than last year.
"The average individual refund issued by DOR has been just under $300," Krupp said. "Getting this money into people's hands by processing tax returns efficiently and securely is one of DOR’s top priorities."
The state revenue agency is using a variety of tools to prevent Hoosiers from being victims of refund fraud, phishing schemes and other tax-related scams.
A primary component of DOR's fraud prevention program is an identity confirmation quiz used for the past five years that requires selected tax filers, prior to receiving a refund, to provide additional information that confirms their identity or to submit a one-time code sent via text message to their wireless phone.
"The amount of stolen identity tax refund fraud has been reduced by 99 percent since 2014, from $88 million to less than $1 million," Krupp said.
"We are sending a clear message to criminals — Indiana is not an easy target to commit tax fraud — and they are going elsewhere."
At the same time, Krupp urged Hoosier taxpayers to remain vigilant against identity theft attempts, and to be aware that neither the state or federal tax agency will ask for sensitive taxpayer information through e-mail correspondence.
"When in doubt, contact DOR or the IRS before clicking on any link or providing any information," Krupp said.