OHIO — Unemployment levels in Ohio hit an all-time high in 2020 due to the pandemic, and Kimberly Hall, the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), said a result, so will 1099-G tax forms.
“Before the pandemic, we issued about 200,000 1099-G forms annually," Hall said. "This year, we will be issuing around 1.7 million 1099-G forms."
A 1099-G is the tax form for those who collect unemployment benefits. As a result of the increase in 1099’s this year, Hall said ODJFS is expecting more claims of fraud — something they’re already working to uncover.
“In advance to issuing that 1.7 million, we were able to kind of pull out of the mix 166,000 1099’s that would have been gone out because we know they are linked to fraud," Hall explained.
Phil Huff, the vice president of Independence Wealth Advisors, said it is important for Ohioans to pay attention to the tax forms they are sent.
“If you have not received unemployment benefits this year, and you did receive a 1099-G, that may mean that somebody else has fraudulently used your name to file,” said Huff.
ODJFS has launched a new “Report Identity Theft” button on their website for Ohioans to report any incidents of fraud, an addition Huff believes will help.
“It will give everyone the opportunity, a quick and easy way to submit if they feel like they’ve been a victim of fraud this year," Huff said.
ODJFS released a warning to the state this week, and said they're unsure how many victims of fraud there will be. But so far, they're expecting hundreds, possibly thousands.
“ODJFS will issue confirmation emails to everyone who files a report with information about identity theft and protection. The agency will process the reports, conduct investigations and, if necessary, issue corrections to the Internal Revenue Service,” ODJFS said in a statement.
If you believe you are victim of fraud, you can go to ohioattorneygeneral.gov/identitytheft for more assistance.