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Identity theft concerns as tax filing deadline nears

COLUMBUS (WCMH) - The hours dwindle for late tax filers. The required annual filing can be a hassle for some taxpayers, but for some folks, like Randall Hertzer, it can be a security land-mine.

Hertzer filed his taxes electronically months ago. A week later, he received a notice from the state of Ohio, wanting him to verify his identity, out of concern for identity theft.

"It's kind of ironic that they're telling me, they're trying to protect from identity theft and at the same time tell me because I had been a victim of identity theft, that they couldn't verify me quickly", said Hertzer.

Meaning, his return could be delayed up to six months.

"If there's senior citizens or other folks out there that really needed that money, that would be a ridiculously long amount of time to have to wait to get essentially their money back," said Hertzer.

Hertzer has issues with the reference number and authorization code listed in the letter from the state.

"The letter they sent has these two codes you are supposed to go online to use that are very key to identifying you, were sent through the US postal service, anybody could have gotten it out the mail or out of my mailbox", says Hertzer. 

A few weeks ago, Hertzer received his tax return.

The State of Ohio, like other states, has experienced increasing numbers of identity theft via tax returns, that's why the state is taking extra steps.

You can find out more about the state's efforts to protect taxpayer identity at https://www.tax.ny.gov/.

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