Taxpayer Security Safeguards

The Colorado Department of Revenue joined in a historic, nationwide partnership with the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state revenue departments and the entire tax industry to redouble efforts to safeguard personally identifying information contained in tax records and battle tax return and refund fraud caused by identity theft.

While identity thieves are constantly changing their tactics, the states, industry and the IRS are taking new steps to battle this issue, and are also calling on taxpayers to take steps to secure their information. Refund fraud detection tools are in place. However, our society is experiencing ever-increasing rates of data security breaches of business, retail, health care and other industries that contain our personal information. 

Refund Security 

Security measures are in place to protect Colorado tax data. The Colorado Department of Revenue accounting system and the public-facing Revenue Online service have not been impacted by data security breaches.

The Department has employed the “two-factor” authentication industry standard when taxpayers use Revenue Online to file returns and manage their tax account. If this is your first time filing a tax return in Colorado, your direct deposit refund may be converted to a paper check and mailed to the address on your tax return. Visit our New Resident page for more information about filing tax returns in Colorado. If you have previously filed a tax return in Colorado, you can sign up to access your tax accounts on Revenue Online to monitor for signs of fraud. For more information, visit the Refund Security web page.

Paper Check Instead of Direct Deposit

Colorado income tax refunds that were requested to be direct deposited may be converted to a paper check. Sending a paper check to the taxpayer’s mailing address is intended to prevent criminals from easily diverting fraudulent refunds to their own account or pre-paid debit/gift card.

Receiving a paper check does not mean a taxpayer’s identity has been compromised. It is a safeguard measure implemented by the Department. If you receive a letter and paper income tax refund check from the Colorado Department of Revenue this year and you have not filed your tax return yet or you are not expecting a refund, you may call the fraud hotline number included in the letter. The Department appreciates taxpayers’ patience and understanding while it takes necessary steps to protect Colorado income tax refunds.

If you need to report a possible individual income tax refund fraud issue, please send us an online request through our Report Tax Refund Fraud Online Form or contact us at 303-205-8292.

Taxpayer Identity Verification 

Identification verification will occur with Colorado income tax refund claims. The Colorado Department of Revenue will mail you correspondence to verify your identity. For more information, visit the Identity Verification Correspondence web page.

Delayed Refunds

There is a potential for refund delays due to the Department's efforts to detect and prevent refund fraud. You may experience a delay in receiving your refund because the Department of Revenue will need to verify that your refund claim is truly yours, not an attempt by someone else to steal a tax refund. See our Refund Status webpage to learn more about your income tax refund status and the Refund Security webpage to learn more about correspondence we may send to you to verify your refund.