No Illinois tax refunds until after March 1

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IRS tax form. CNN Wire image.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Revenue says taxpayers will have to wait until after March 1 to receive income tax refunds.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the department says the delay is because of efforts to stop fraud. The department says it’s not because of the state budget impasse.

State Revenue Director Connie Beard says in a statement the delay of a few weeks will let the department “better detect attempts at identity theft and ensure taxpayer refunds do not fall needlessly into hands of criminals.”

The department says those who file state tax returns before March 1 will receive their refunds two to three weeks after March 1. The department will issue refunds two to three weeks after returns are submitted for those who file after March 1.