The Illinois Department of Revenue has announced that they do not anticipate releasing individual tax refunds for the 2016 tax filing season until after March 1, 2016 (downloads as a pdf). The decision is, as you can imagine, related to concerns over identity theft-related tax fraud. The Department plans to spend more time examining tax returns in order to ensure that tax refunds are properly paid over to the taxpayers who are entitled to receive them.

According to Department Director Connie Beard, “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.” Beard says that “[b]y delaying tax refunds by just 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.”

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