Ohio glitch delays tax refunds, opens up ID theft

Posted by Mark Raby

Columbus (OH) - Over 150,000 Ohio citizens still haven't received their 2006 tax refunds due to a computer glitch, also opening them up to possible identity theft.

It's because of new optical scanners that the state's Department of Taxation installed this year, which local ABC affiliate WCPO says were actually slowing down the process.

A glitch caused around 160,000 tax returns to get backed up, but are now scheduled to go out in July.  However, a large security breach put all of these people at risk for identity theft.

Earlier this summer, a storage device from the state was stolen, containing names and social security numbers of each of the state's 64,000 government employees.  As more information became available, it turned out to be the biggest data theft in Ohio's history.

Now estimated to include sensitive information from over 500,000 people, a big chunk of that was from people who had not received their tax returns on June 11, the date of the theft.

The data was stolen from the car of an intern working for the state government.  It was the state's policy to have individuals take home sensitive data discs as a security precaution.  Ohio governor Ted Strickland has since put an end to this practice.