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 What is Tax Refund Fraud:

Tax refund fraud is when someone files a fake tax return using your personal information (like your Social Security number) to get a tax refund from the IRS or a state tax department. 

How big of a problem is tax refund fraud?
  • Tax refund fraud has reached pandemic levels across the nation.
  • Tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Tax refund fraud has cost the US billions of dollars, so our anti-fraud measures have to be aggressive. 
What does this mean to South Carolina taxpayers?
  • The SCDOR is committed to protecting taxpayers and taxpayer dollars.
  • For many years, the SCDOR fraud detection unit has focused on identifying fraud. As fraudsters continue to change and evolve, we have to do the same. 
  • In order to protect taxpayers in the digital age, it is our responsibility to carefully review returns and use all available tools and resources to identify, isolate, and stop tax refund fraud. 
  • Our enhanced fraud measures may mean that some returns take longer to process, but we want your refund to end up in your pocket and not in the hands of a criminal.
Our approach to fighting fraud includes:
  1. Enhanced use of technology: The SCDOR utilizes predictive analytics to detect fraud.
  2. Partnerships: Our partners in the fight against fraud include payroll industry leaders, the IRS, tax preparer industry leaders, and other states.
  3. Public information: The best way to fight tax refund fraud is to prevent it. Key stakeholders in this effort are South Carolina taxpayers. Taxpayers can help fight tax fraud by becoming more vigilant in protecting their private and personal information, not oversharing on social media, using strong passwords, and keeping their devices clean and secure. Visit our Security Center for more tips.

 Reporting Tax Fraud:

The SCDOR is committed to the fair administration of South Carolina tax laws. This means that every taxpayer should pay no more and no less than they owe the State of South Carolina. We recognize that most taxpayers are honest and seek to pay their fair share for the services they receive. Unfortunately, a few individuals and businesses intentionally do not comply with state tax laws. This is fraud and it's illegal.

The Criminal Investigations Division is the SCDOR's primary criminal tax enforcement unit. Its function is to review alleged violations to the tax laws, to investigate those violations, and to recommend criminal prosecutions as warranted. In carrying out its role to identify willful noncompliance with the state's tax laws, the division relies on referrals from other divisions, as well as information from other governmental agencies and the public.