If is a priority for the new year, expect it to be a while before seeing a refund from the state.
The Illinois Department of Revenue says it does not anticipate releasing income tax refunds until March 1.
The decision comes as fraud prevention efforts from last year’s showed additional delays and scrutiny have had in combating tax return fraud and identity theft, according to the agency.
The Illinois says filing tax returns electronically and requesting Direct Deposit into a checking or savings account is 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,” said Illinois Department of Revenue Director Connie Beard. “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.”
She said by delaying tax refunds 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 Illinois Department of Revenue anticipates refunds will be issued within two to three weeks from March 1. For electronic returns submitted error-free by March 1, refunds are expected within two to three weeks from when the return was submitted.
Tax refunds are not subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and are not affected by the current budget impasse.