Local Politics

State: Be patient, tax refunds will come

Posted March 26, 2010

— Many North Carolina residents continue to seethe as they wait for state tax refunds they believe are slow in coming.

Department of Revenue Secretary Ken Lay said Friday that, like last year, refund checks are going out later than in years past. He blamed the slow economy and the state's budget deficit for the delay.

Department of Revenue, Revenue Department Economy, budget blamed for slow refunds

"It's much like how you manage your own family checkbook," Lay said. "Toward the end of the month, you want to make sure you have enough of the balance so that you can write all the checks that you need to write."

The state has already processed nearly a million tax refunds, totaling $690 million, according to the Department of Revenue.

Lay said the state has until May 31 to issue refunds before they are considered late and taxpayers start accruing interest on the tardy payments. Last year, he said, everyone who was due a refund received it by May 13.

The explanations aren't enough for some taxpayers.

"If my personal economy is bad – my budget – and I owe taxes and can't afford to pay them, they're not going to give me a three- to four-week, even six-week window," Wake County taxpayer Patti Clapper said. "Give me my money."

Clapper said she waited about six weeks longer than she expected to last year to receive her refund, and she is worried her refund is delayed again this year.

"I haven't really had the experience of having to wait this long to get money back," she said. "I started asking my friends, 'When did you get yours back?' 'Did you e-file?' and some of them were saying they filed four weeks ago and they're still waiting to get theirs back."

The Department of Revenue has added a section to its Web site where people can check the status of their refund and learn more about common problems that hinder issuing checks.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • USA Mar 29, 2010

    If I paid $10,000 in NC state taxes last year and my tax was only $8,000, where did the other $2,000 go? If they collected it from my pay, shouldn't they have it to give back to me?

  • SS67 Mar 29, 2010

    Change your deductions so you owe next year. Then wait until the last day to send them your check. Better yet, apply for an extension, then pay them even later.

  • Scrapper Mar 26, 2010

    The government should not be in this position to start with!

  • earliegrace Mar 26, 2010

    To quote the Secretary, "the state has until May 31 to issue refunds before they are considered late and taxpayers start accruing interest on the tardy payments." If you file early, you can't assume that you're going to get it back "early." I'm sure they process them as they come in, but you shouldn't spend the money until you get it.

  • are you kidding me Mar 26, 2010

    2008 refund filed in Oct 2009 has not been received. The words in the story is quite warming. Criminals!