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Illinois tax refund delay speaks to the value of dual-purpose cash and check scanners

Dual-purpose cash and check scanner.

The first quarter of the year is a busy time for tax offices, and dual-purpose cash and check scanners can create efficiencies in the process. This is especially the case in Illinois, where there is a massive delay in tax refunds that highlights the need to optimize the filing process.

Illinois became the first state to announce it will delay tax refunds to have more time to verify returns and effectively prevent fraud, The Chicago Tribune reported. As a result, Illinois residents will not receive their returns until after March 1. Apparently, delaying taxes by just a few weeks will help the state combat the growing number of suspicious returns and reduce refund theft.

"By delaying tax refunds by just a few weeks, we'll be able to better detect attempts at identity theft and ensure taxpayer refunds do not fall needlessly into the hands of criminals," Connie Beard, the director of the Illinois Department of Revenue, said in a statement. 

CNBC pointed out tax-refund fraud was expected to reach $21 billion in 2015 from 6.5 billion two years prior. This trend is the primary cause of the steps the IRS is taking to prevent theft.

Dual-purpose cash and check scanners ease the process

The tax situation in Illinois is indicative of a larger national effort to curtail fraud throughout the country. This speaks to the deep importance of the issue, and tax offices and other stakeholders can play an active role combating this type of theft. While there are any number of procedures that will help reduce the frequency of this behavior, dual-purpose cash and check scanners are certainly part of the solution.

For one, this technology allows tax collectors to spend less time processing payments and more time actually analyzing tax filers' histories, payment methods and other information that could help them identify fraud. Additionally, these machines are equipped with technology to help identify counterfeit cash.

Above all, dual-purpose cash and check counters empower tax office personnel to complete their jobs more quickly and efficiently, which means residents can gain their tax refund as close to March 1 as possible.

Tax season is a busy time for anyone working in government. To ensure the process is efficient, accurate, timely and safe, tax offices should employ dual-purpose cash and check counters.

February 11, 2016