CT tax department restores paper check refund option

The state’s tax department will give income tax filers the choice of receiving refunds by paper check next year in response to a computer data breach of its debit card system.

The Department of Revenue Services also announced it would issue refunds by paper checks to “several thousand” filers still needing to resolve their 2013 taxes.

Taxpayers also still may request an electronic deposit of their refund into a bank account.

“Using debit cards for most refunds still makes sense and saves nearly $300,000 every year,” Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said.

But the commissioner also said the policy change to restore the paper check option was necessary given the recent breach of the system administered by JPMorganChase. That breach compromised personal information of certain refund debit cardholders who accessed the bank’s website between July and September. The bank didn’t notify the state until Dec. 3, he said.

According to DRS, the types of information at risk include Social Security numbers, account passwords and password confirmation questions.

Sullivan said about 2 percent of Connecticut’s refund debit cardholders, about 7,000 filers, have been affected. But because of leaked data, more than 14,000 various, privately held accounts statewide may have been affected.

“We have every confidence, however, that the state treasurer [Denise L. Nappier] will not let JPMorganChase off the hook for the consequences of this breach,” he said.

The state already directed the bank to reissue debit cards, or paper checks, to those affected by the breach, and to offer two years of free credit security protection.

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