New Tax Refund Scam – It’s Not What You’d Expect

The Delaware Division of Revenue would like to alert taxpayers to a new and growing scam involving fraudulent tax refunds being deposited into real taxpayer bank accounts. After the money is deposited, the crooks use various tactics to con taxpayers into turning over those funds.

How does it work? Thieves are using schemes, including phishing, to steal client data from tax professionals. They then use that data to file fraudulent tax returns, and use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts to deposit those tax refunds. Finally, the thieves pose as the IRS or other law enforcement representatives, call attention to the error, and ask taxpayers to return the money to them.

If you ever receive a refund that you are not expecting, call the Division of Revenue for more information. You can also check out the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft at IRS.gov to learn how to protect yourself from tax scams, where you can also find help with returning an erroneous refund.

The IRS warns that versions of this new scam may continue to evolve. If you think you’re being scammed, call the Delaware Division of Revenue’s Fraud Team at (302) 856-5358 for assistance.

Scam steals tax money!


Delaware Personal Income Tax Season Begins January 29

Division of Revenue Director Jennifer R. Hudson has announced that the Delaware individual income tax season will begin on Monday, January 29, 2018, concurrently with the opening of the federal individual tax season announced by the IRS. While this is slightly later than previous years, the January 29 date was set to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems, and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns. Delaware will begin issuing income tax refunds on Monday, February 19, 2018. The State of Delaware will begin to accept business tax returns on January 16, 2018.

Tax Form

Electronic filing remains the fastest and safest way to file your personal income tax returns. Delaware will continue to offer taxpayers the opportunity to file for free through the Division of Revenue website. Delaware’s user-friendly system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and allows taxpayers to file their returns and schedule payments to be made closer to the April 30, 2018 deadline. You may pay your State of Delaware taxes using a credit card, or by debiting your bank account.

If you prefer to use tax-preparation software, you can electronically file your federal and state income tax returns for a fee. Many of these products also offer free-filing options for Delaware taxpayers who meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Those with adjusted gross income that is less than the software’s established means criteria; or
  • Active-duty military with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less (including Reservists and National Guard); or
  • Those who qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Returns filed in hard copy are processed using a modernized system that identifies tax filings based on the return type. Any taxpayer who files a 2017 tax return using a prior-year return, or who modifies the paper return in some way, could experience significant delays. Paper tax returns will be available at local libraries, Revenue’s three public service offices, or via download at de.gov/17taxforms.

Delaware individual income tax returns will be due on or before April 30, 2018. It is important to remember that anyone who has worked in Delaware must file a Delaware tax return, even if they are not a Delaware resident. Similarly, Delaware residents who work in another state are required to file returns with Delaware in addition to the state in which they worked.
By law, Delaware employees should receive their W-2 forms from their employers no later than January 31, 2018 for any job worked during the 2017 calendar year. If you have not received a W-2 by January 31, 2018 please contact your employer.


Delaware Appoints New State Escheator

Delaware’s Department of Finance today announced the appointment of Brenda R. Mayrack as Delaware’s new State Escheator, effective immediately. As State Escheator, Ms. Mayrack will be the Director of the Office of Unclaimed Property – which is responsible for working with companies to ensure compliance with the State’s abandoned property statutes, as well as administering owner claims to this property.

Photo of Ms. Mayrack, State Escheator
Brenda R. Mayrack

“In my first year as Governor, my administration enacted comprehensive reforms to the State’s unclaimed property system,” said Governor John Carney. “These reforms enabled hundreds of companies that had been under audit to convert into a business-friendly voluntary self-disclosure program or an expedited audit. And last fiscal year, we successfully reunited owners with property valued at more than $150 million in cash and securities. Brenda Mayrack is an ideal candidate to lead the important work of the Office of Unclaimed Property.”

Unclaimed property consists of various types of intangible and tangible properties that have remained unclaimed by their rightful owner for a specified period of time – these can be anything from stocks to unredeemed gift certificates, life insurance policies and more. Earlier this year, Governor Carney signed into law significant changes to Delaware’s unclaimed property law – changes that made Delaware’s unclaimed property laws more consistent with those of other states. Changes included increasing opportunities for companies to voluntarily come into compliance with the State’s abandoned property laws, dramatically reducing the look-back period for businesses under audit, and establishing a clear 10-year records retention requirement.

“Brenda brings a wealth of knowledge to the department,” commented Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger. “Her experience in managing audits combined with her extensive legal experience representing both holders and owners of unclaimed property will be invaluable in our outreach and compliance efforts as the program moves forward under the revised statute and newly issued regulations.”

Immediately prior to joining the Department of Finance, Ms. Mayrack managed unclaimed property examinations with Specialty Audit Services, LLC in Narberth, Pennsylvania. She previously represented and advised holders of unclaimed property as an attorney in private practice and earlier as an attorney with the firm of Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP in Wilmington. She also previously served as a Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice assigned to the the Delaware Public Service Commission. As a Wilmington resident, Ms. Mayrack is an active volunteer with numerous local boards and organizations including the Latin American Community Center and the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation.


Governor Carney Releases Annual Report of Government Efficiency and Accountability Review (GEAR) Board

gear-logo

Board presents recommendations across focus areas, including education, criminal justice, human resources, and health

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday released the first annual report of the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review (GEAR) Board. Governor Carney established GEAR by Executive Order in February to identify ways for state government to operate more efficiently, improve the delivery of state services, and save costs over the long term.

Members of the GEAR Board presented Governor Carney with a series of recommendations across a number of focus areas, including criminal justice, education, financial services, health and social services, human resources, information technology, and public private partnerships.

“Since taking office in January, I have talked to Delawareans about our commitment to operating state government more efficiently, and identifying cost savings so we can direct resources where they are most needed,” said Governor Carney. “We remain committed to improving the way we deliver state services, and spending taxpayer dollars responsibly. That’s what Delawareans expect. Thank you to members of GEAR for their important work on this report.”

By December 1 of each year, the board must submit a report to the Governor, including recommendations that may be included in the recommended state budget. Governor Carney will present his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal on January 25 in Dover.

GEAR recommendations are focused around ways that state-funded agencies can share services, and improve the recruitment, development, and retention of state employees. Visit GEAR’s website for more information, and to submit an idea for improving the way state government operates.

“GEAR seeks to provide the process effectiveness and transparency that Delaware citizens expect from their government,” said James Myran, Executive Director of GEAR, and Bryan Sullivan, OMB Director of Management Efficiency. “Input from the public and employees received through the GEAR website has been great. This input will help us identify and drive recommendations for continued improvements throughout the state.”

 

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Related news:
Governor Carney Announces Launch of GEAR Website to Identify Cost Savings
Governor Carney Creates Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board


Delaware Receives High Marks for Fiscal Responsibility

Delaware Receives AAA Bond Rating

All three major credit rating agencies award Delaware with ‘AAA’ bond rating

WILMINGTON, Del. – All three major credit rating agencies have once again awarded Delaware with a ‘AAA’ rating, citing the state’s ongoing commitment to strong fiscal management. With this endorsement, Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings have favorably acknowledged the current administration’s efforts to balance the state’s budget, make difficult cost cutting decisions, and develop new ways to raise revenue.

“Delawareans expect us to responsibly manage taxpayer dollars, and these ratings reaffirm that we are committed to doing just that,” said Governor John Carney. “We remain focused on building a sustainable financial plan, operating efficiently, and making important investments in education, our economy, and other services that make Delaware an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The ratings agencies noted that Delaware has a strong government framework and provides frequent updates to revenue forecasts. This sets the stage for the state’s ability to proactively manage its budget, and respond to fluctuations in the economy – resulting in what they referred to as the state’s exceptional financial resilience.

Delaware officials worked quickly with financial advisors and bankers over the last two weeks to respond to proposed tax policy changes under consideration by Congress. The State disclosed, structured, marketed and closed $115 million of advance refunding bonds in record time, ensuring that state taxpayers did not miss out on a $4.7 million savings opportunity created by this refinancing.

“Positive credit ratings ultimately translate into long-term savings for Delawareans,” said Rick Geisenberger, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Finance. “In this case, our ability to move quickly to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions will also create near-term savings that will free up funds to invest in growing our economy and improving the lives of Delaware citizens.”

 

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