ATLANTA, GA- In accordance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the Georgia Department of Revenue began accepting individual tax returns on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 and will extend the deadline to Monday, April 18, 2016. The Department of Revenue takes every measure to process tax returns in a timely manner. Due to issues during 2015 regarding security breaches of third party preparers and the constant threat of tax fraud and refund theft, the Department of Revenue is taking additional fraud prevention measures this filing season to ensure tax refunds are issued to the correct individuals. These additional measures may create the need to further review a tax return, and ultimately extend the time between when an individual files their tax return and when they receive their tax refund. Individuals who file error-free, electronic returns may receive their refund within 30 - 45 days from their file date. Individuals who do not file electronically, or error free, may take six to eight weeks from their file date to receive their refund.

"Our primary goal is to protect the taxpayers of the State of Georgia," said Josh Waites, Director of the Department of Revenue's Office of Special Investigations. "We determined from the 2015 filing season that the additional time between the taxpayer filing their tax return and receiving their refund allows us to better detect fraudulent returns, and ultimately get the refund to the individual it belongs to."

The Georgia Department of Revenue also offers taxpayers the ability to track their refund through the "Where's my refund?" feature on the Georgia Tax Center.