Personal Income Tax Refund Fraud Prevention Efforts
Safeguarding your information is a top priority for the Department of Revenue. We use a variety of tools to protect taxpayers and prevent others from trying to file a false tax return in your name.
The department utilizes the following methods to protect your identity; the
Identity Verification Quiz and Identity Verification Code. The department’s Bureau of Fraud Detection and Analysis uses these approaches as a way to detect tax returns that have been filed fraudulently.
ID Verification Quiz
Taxpayers will receive an “Identity Verification Quiz Required” letter asking them to complete a six-question multiple choice
ID Verification Quiz to verify their identity. The questions may be based on a taxpayer’s individual credit background or previous tax filing history. Letters are mailed to the address on the taxpayer’s PA-40 (Personal Income Tax Return) or PA-40 KOZ (Keystone Opportunity Zone Personal Income Tax Return).
Here are steps to follow if you are asked to complete an
ID Verification Quiz.
Step 1 - Have the following information available:
The Letter ID printed on the “Identity Verification Quiz Required” letter you received from the department
Your prior year tax return (the last PA-40 state income tax return you filed)
The exact amount from Line 29 from your current year PA-40, or Line 30 from your current year PA-40 KOZ (If you do not have a copy of your PA-40, ask your tax preparer for a copy or print one by logging into your tax preparation software)
The last four digits of your Social Security number
Step 2 – Visit the
Identity Verification Quiz on
myPATH, the department’s online tax filing platform to answer a few questions to verify your identity. Note: you are
not required to create a Username or Password on
myPATH to complete the
Identity Verification Quiz.
Step 3 – Enter the requested information to access the questions to validate your identity. Please keep in mind that you must complete the quiz once you start it. You will not be able to re-enter the quiz if you exit it before it is complete. Here are other things to keep in mind:
- This quiz will expire 65 days from the issue date of the letter.
- After your identity is confirmed, the department will process your tax return.
- If you answered the questions incorrectly, a message will appear stating that additional information is required. The department will send you a separate letter detailing what is needed to complete the process of your tax return.
ID Verification Code
Taxpayers will receive an "Identity Verification Notice" letter asking them to log on to
myPATH to validate their identity. Letters are mailed to the address on the taxpayer’s PA-40 or PA-40 KOZ (Keystone Oppotunity Zone Personal Income Tax Return).
Here are the steps to follow if you receive an “Identity Verification Notice” letter:
Step 1 – Visit
myPATH and use the Enter Verification Code link. Note: you are not required to create a Username or Password on
myPATH to complete this step.
Step 2 – Enter the requested information. Please note that you will need to have the “Identity Verification Notice” you received in the mail with you when entering the requested information. Here are other things to keep in mind:
You will need the exact overpayment amount from Line 29 from your current year PA-40, or Line 30 from your current year PA-40 KOZ.
The verification code will expire 65 days from the date the letter received.
Difficulty Completing ID Validation
If you do not have access to a computer to take the
ID Verfication Quiz or enter the ID Verification Code, call the Bureau of Fraud Detection and Analysis at 717-772-9297. Department representatives are available on this line Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
No Response to ID Validation
If you do not respond to the request from the department to complete the
ID Verification Quiz or enter the ID Verification Code, or if you fail the quiz, you will be asked to provide additional identifying documents before your tax refund can be released.
If you have questions regarding the legitimacy of a notice, call the department’s Taxpayer Service and Information Center at 717-787-8201. You may also visit our
Frequently Asked Questions page.
It will take a few days for the department to process the
ID Verification Quiz. You can check the status of your tax refund by using the “Where’s My Income Tax Refund?” tab on the Department of Revenue website.
Below is contact information for the Bureau of Fraud Detection and Analysis:
For questions concerning identity theft or to report identity theft:
To submit identifying documentation by fax, email or mail:
Fax number: 717-783-5823
PA Department of Revenue
Bureau of Fraud Detection and Analysis
PO Box 280607
Harrisburg, PA 17128-0607
Note: The email account (RA-RVPITFRAUD@PA.GOV)
available for submitting identifying documentation is only designed for the submission of documents. If you have a question and need to speak to a department representative, email RA-RVPADORFRAUD@PA.GOV
or call 717-772-9297.