AL nation's first with state income tax refund theft protection app

Published: Jan. 31, 2018 at 8:54 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM CST
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The new app is available for both Android and Apple users (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The new app is available for both Android and Apple users (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama is leading the way as the first state in the nation with an app that protects its residents against state income tax refund theft.

The Alabama Department of Revenue says the Alabama eID app is now available in both the Apple Store and Google Play.

State officials first started work on the application last tax season, testing it to ensure it's secure. Now that the pilot program has been completed, it's ready for a full-scale rollout.

Officials say a short registration process is required. It includes a person's driver's license or state-issued ID that must be scanned to verify the identity. A selfie of the user is also taken to ensure they are who they say they are.

"We're very excited about it because it's an identity authentication tool and it's just another tool in our toolbox to fight income tax fraud," said Deputy Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue, Brenda Coone.

Coone says the ADOR wants to be clear and sure the correct person is receiving tax returns. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency authenticates the driver's license information to ensure the ID is correct, but that's not the most important part of the process.

"The most important part is to make sure you register with the Department of Revenue and you'll do that by going to our website," Coone explained. "You'll go in there, answer a few questions, a QR code will show up and then you'll scan that QR code. That allows the taxpayer to register with the department. That way whenever we receive a tax return in your name or using your social security number, we will send you a notification through the app."

From that point, Coone says the person will use their selfie to open the app and see the notification. From there, the person has the option to approve that they filed a tax return and claim that refund, or they have the option to deny.

According to Coone, you cannot file taxes on the app.

Anyone who wants to know more about the app can visit this website.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.