Ohio Residents May Need To Take “Quiz” Before Getting State Tax Refunds

3outof4If you’re an Ohio resident and you’re expecting a refund on your state taxes this spring, you might have to go online and take a personalized “quiz” in order to prove you are who you claim to be before you can get your money.

The Dayton Daily News reports [via Credit.com] that, after a year in which Ohio’s tax folks intercepted nearly a quarter billion dollars worth of fraudulent refunds, the state is implementing a program that requires some taxpayers to answer some questions that only they should know the answers to.

People hit with this “quiz” will have to go online and answer four questions within five minutes. They must get three correct in order for their refunds to be released.

Judging by responses from readers to this story, it looks like the questions are the sort you might see when filling out a credit application online — identifying former addresses of yours, types of cars you have registered — things that are available through various governmental records but which an ID thief might not have ready access to.

If you get too may questions wrong, you’ll get one more chance to take the quiz. If you fail a second time or are unable to take the test, you’ll have to provide the state with a variety of documents to prove that you’re not someone trying to steal another taxpayer’s refund.

This program is apparently costing the state $6 million, but in just the first six months of 2014, Ohio caught 58,000 fraudulent refunds worth $247 million, a huge increase from 10,000 bogus returns worth $8 million only a year earlier.

“We have to stay a step ahead of the would-be thieves and block refunds from going out to people they shouldn’t go to,” explains Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa.

Let’s just hope they didn’t spend most of that $6 million on this explainer video: