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The Illinois Department of Revenue says the state's tax filing season is underway.

The agency begins accepting 2018 state individual income tax returns on Monday. It's the same day the Internal Revenue Service starts accepting federal income tax returns.

The state revenue department says the fastest, most secure way to file tax returns and receive refunds is to file online and request direct deposits into checking or savings accounts.

The Illinois agency says it's continuing to focus on identity theft and fraud prevention this tax year. Last year its efforts prevented more than $66 million in refund fraud.

Illinois officials anticipate direct deposit refunds will be issued about four weeks from the time an error-free electronically filed tax return is submitted.

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