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The Department of Revenue's focus is on information safety; taxpayers are urged to e-file (or paper file) early.

Now that 2018 has begun, we are reminded that income tax season is just around the corner.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue (DOR) is finalizing its processes and procedures, striving to make this the most efficient and safe filing season possible.

The IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper federal tax returns on Jan. 29. They will begin processing paper returns later in mid-February as IRS system updates continue. The IRS expects the earliest Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018.

The filing deadline to submit both federal and Kentucky individual income tax returns has been extended to Tuesday, April 17, 2018, because April 15th falls on a Sunday and April 16th is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.

DOR asks Kentucky taxpayers to file as early as possible and will also begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns on Jan. 29. The state will begin processing individual income tax refunds as soon as possible and not later than Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. This date has been pushed back from Kentucky's usual Feb. 15 date to allow more time to test counter-fraud measures using actual data. Once individuals file their Kentucky tax returns, the fastest and easiest way to get state refund status information is to visit Representatives are also available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. to answer taxpayer questions at (502) 564-4581.

Fraud prevention is critical for all taxpayers and DOR will continue to emphasize multiple protection measures to ensure important tax information will remain confidential and safe from potential fraudsters.

 "Data breaches are a risk to everyone and we want to take every precaution to protect taxpayer information," said Daniel Bork, DOR Commissioner. "By adding more testing time of real data, we will have even more confidence in our already extensive fraud prevention procedures."

During the 2017 tax season, Kentucky's anti-fraud measures helped save over $33 million from being stolen by potential fraudsters. While 2017 was a difficult year for data breaches, as multiple large businesses and institutions have had security issues, Kentucky is committed to information safety.

Commissioner Bork reiterated, "Major corporations all over the world have been victims of data breaches that put citizens' personal information at risk. Safeguarding taxpayer information is priority number one for us, and we will continue to remain vigilant in protecting this vital information."

DOR reminds all taxpayers to file early and electronically. "We urge all taxpayers to e-file their returns; it is the most efficient way to file and will greatly assist in getting the refund much faster," Bork stated.

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The Kentucky Department of Revenue conducts work
under the authority of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

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