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Tardy tax refund? State may owe you even more money

More than 300,000 Georgia residents are still waiting to receive their state tax refunds. The long wait could mean more money for some. State law entitles residents whose tax refund checks are postmarked after July 15 to a 1 percent interest payment from the Department of Revenue, spokesman Reg Lansbury said. In order to be eligible for the interest, residents’ taxes must have been filed correctly by April 15. For every 30 days after July 15 that the refund is not processed, the refund will earn another 1 percent interest. Lansbury said it was difficult to determine how many Hall County residents are due interest. Of the 321,000 refunds that have not been issued, approximately 60,000 are not eligible to receive interest because those returns were filed late. The agency blames the huge backlog on statewide budget cuts. The Department of Revenue, dealing with a $12 million reduction in funding, cut 155 employees who processed tax returns, according to statements made by the department last month. The department has added temporary staff to help reduce the backlog. The new employees helped the department reduce the backlog by about 100,000 last month. Friday, the state agency announced that it had processed approximately 2.7 million returns this year. Department employees are currently processing returns filed between April 1 and April 6. A news release from the agency says those refund checks should be mailed by July 14. The department has no plans to work overtime to speed the process, Lansbury said. If postmarked after July 15, the interest payments will automatically be sent in a check separate from the tax refund check, Lansbury said. ”I believe we’re just going to keep our heads down and keep working as hard as we’ve been working,” Lansbury said. ———————————————– Originally written by Ashley Fielding POSTED July 5, 2009 11:13 p.m.

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