Georgia tax officials say preventing fraud requires changes

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia officials say changes to prevent fraud could mean it will take more than three months to process Georgians' income tax returns and issue refunds next year.

Georgia Department of Revenue Commissioner Lynne Riley says the changes will protect tax dollars and taxpayers' confidential information.

The Department of Revenue says it will issue paper check refunds for any individuals filing for the first time in Georgia and anyone who hasn't filed in the state for at least five years. The agency will begin processing individual returns on Feb. 1.

The department also moved up the deadline for businesses to file employee W-2 information to January 31. Officials say filing late could mean penalties and will slow down processing of employees' tax returns.

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