Some still waiting on state tax refunds - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Some still waiting on state tax refunds

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April 15, tax day, has long since come and gone. But your wait for your refund from the state of Alabama may be so slow it's growing whiskers.

Joe Garrett, who is the deputy commissioner with the Alabama Department of Revenue confirmed for me the department must begin paying interest July 15. 

The state is having to take more time with returns this year to crack down on tax refund fraud.

But, those waiting for their money are growing antsy. 

Steve Moore is a certified professional accountant. Some of his clients are still waiting on their tax refund.

"T
here have been a few calls to that effect," says Moore. "Often it is 'in process' and they get them shortly thereafter. As far as the current year is concerned the longest has been 45 days or even up to 60 days in some cases."

Deputy commissioner Garrett told me more than 90% of refunds have gone out without issue.

However, there are some exceptions.

He explained it this way:  When a return is filed, the first review is automated by computer. If the return passes the automated review, it moves on to be processed and a refund is issued.

If it does not pass the first review, the return is set aside for a manual review. That process can take much longer.

Garrett says due to heightened concerns of refund fraud and identity theft, more returns are undergoing a second review.

That's one reason why it has taken longer for some taxpayers to get their refund. 

Moore says, "The accuracy of the return is so important. Once a return has been prepared, to look over it carefully and be sure that it's been properly completed."

Garrett denies there has been an increase of filed tax returns. He also says the revenue department is adequately staffed to handle the returns. Returns undergoing manual reviews are the only ones yet to be paid.

Garrett declined to say how many Alabamians are still waiting for refunds. Garrett told me it may be a few more weeks before the remaining refunds are issued.

But, most likely they will be sent out by mid July. After all the state doesn't want to have to pay interest.

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