COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - It could take longer to get your state income tax refund this year.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue says it is reviewing "a significant number" of 2014 income tax returns, flagged as being potentially fraudulent, according to a release from the agency.
Officials with the Department of Revenue believe the fraudulent filings, are primarily related to third-party commercial tax preparation software, and they narrowed down their focus to TurboTax.
"Protecting taxpayer information and preventing fraudulent activity is our highest priority," Director Rick Reames said in a statement. "Our system is intact and data has not been compromised."
Reames said the fraud cases involve criminals filing fake returns and attempting to steal refunds.
"We want to ensure taxpayers that we are taking every necessary step to help protect their information and refund," Reames said.
So far this year, the SCDOR flagged 96,000 tax returns from the tax preparation software. The extra time required to investigate those returns could delay refund processing by two to three days.
The agency says it has a fraud detection unit in place for many years, but that unit is increasing and expanding its efforts after reports of increased fraudulent activity.
Eighteen states across the country are experiencing the same kind of problem.
Taxpayers who have already filed a 2014 Individual Income Tax Return can call (803) 898-5300 to check the status of their return or check online at this website: https://www3.sctax.org/refundstatus/refund.aspx