BOISE, Idaho – Tax refund fraud related to identity theft is declining in Idaho, according to the Idaho State Tax Commission.

The Tax Commission said Thursday in a new release that it has identified and stopped more than $129,000 in fraudulent income tax refund requests so far this year, down almost 74 percent from the same period last year.

“We’re continually adapting to the latest fraud schemes and adjusting our tools to identify tax fraud and identity theft,” Tax Commission Chairman Ken Roberts said in the prepared statement. “This makes it harder for criminals to swindle legitimate Idaho taxpayers, and the crooks know it.”

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Roberts said part of the decline is due to improved secure information sharing among state tax agencies, the IRS, software developers, tax professionals, the financial industry and other government agencies.

Taxpayers, however, still remain at risk and should take precautions to protect their information. The Tax Commission does what it can to protect taxpayer information, explaining that all income tax returns go through fraud detection before any refund is issued.

“The Tax Commission will remain vigilant when it comes to preventing identity thieves from getting tax refunds that don’t belong to them,” Roberts said. “We hope to get to a point where they give up on Idaho because it’s not worth their effort. But we can’t let down our guard.”