Colorado taxpayers may be eager to receive their income tax refund, but simple calculation errors, missing information, and fraud prevention measures will cause processing delays for some income tax returns.
To maximize the potential for fast income tax return processing, taxpayers are encouraged to read filing instructions carefully and examine their returns to determine that all information is included and accurate before submitting. This inspection includes filling out all forms completely, double-checking math and important numbers, and attaching all relevant documentation and return schedules. Returns with errors and omissions do not qualify as “correct and complete” and, therefore, the refund processing timelines set in state law do not apply.
The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) encourages taxpayers to pay particular attention to the following fields for potential errors and/or omissions:
• Phone Number
• Date of Birth
• Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
• Driver License or ID Number
• Employer ID Number on W-2 document(s)
• Bank account information (Routing No/Account No)
• Amount entered for Colorado Tax Withholding
A few extra minutes verifying these fields before submitting a return will assist CDOR in minimizing refund delays.
CDOR validates returns using data from multiple sources, such as wage and withholding tax data received from employers. Taxpayers should know that, if their return is selected for review or additional information is required, it does NOT necessarily mean they did anything wrong or that their return was somehow suspicious. It may mean that CDOR is not able to confirm some key information on their return, such as credits claimed.
CDOR is also responding to an increase in tax fraud cases nationwide over the last four years by implementing enhanced security measures to protect state taxpayers, which may delay an expected refund. Since CDOR operates in the public trust with revenue dollars collected and refunded, it takes refund security very seriously and carefully reviews income tax refunds. CDOR is asking taxpayers for patience while the state works to combat identity theft-related tax fraud. CDOR aims to protect taxpayer information, as well as state revenue, and ensure taxpayers receive their Colorado state income tax refund to which they are entitled.
Some taxpayers may see the refund they requested as direct deposit converted to paper check and mailed to the taxpayer’s address as a method of verifying that the refund is legitimate. If the taxpayer receives a paper check, but has not yet filed a return or is not expecting a refund, they should contact CDOR to report potential tax refund fraud through the phone number on the letter that comes with the check.
CDOR has created several webpages with additional information about fraud prevention. Taxpayers can start by clicking on the “Refund Security” button at Colorado.gov/Tax for information if their income tax return was flagged for further identity verification. Follow the links on the bottom of the page for more information about reporting fraud and protecting against identity theft.