Jan 30, 2013 3:59 PM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - People can now file their state income tax returns, but the state revenue department says the earliest tax filers will get their refunds is Feb. 26.
The department announced Wednesday that new computer software designed to prevent fraudulent electronic filing is being rolled out. That identity verification software means the first taxpayer returns will be processed Feb. 15 and the first refunds issued a week and a half later.
If a return is flagged as questionable, taxpayers will be directed to an online data test or telephone survey to verify their identities.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says 82 percent of Louisiana taxpayers e-filed their state income tax returns for 2011, and the department says with the increase in electronic filing comes an increased risk for tax fraud.