Local Politics

Some N.C. taxpayers wait two months for refunds

Posted June 18, 2010

— More than two months after tax day, some North Carolinians are still waiting for their state income tax refunds.

The State Controller's Office estimates that the state still owes $319 million in 2009 income tax returns. Revenue officials said the state will be paying back at least $160 million of that early next week.

Gerald Wichmann and his wife Barbara filed their tax return April 8. He said they had no idea how long they would wait for their $1,051 return.

"It's always been no big problem. This is the first time we've ever really had any difficulties," Wichmann said.

Residents still wait for tax refunds Residents still wait for tax refunds

The state Department of Revenue had a May 31 deadline to issue the refunds. Once that deadline passed, frustrated taxpayers asked WRAL News to find out why they were still waiting for their checks.

"Taxpayers are frustrated, and we understand that," DOR spokeswoman Beth Stevens said. "We are working as quickly and diligently as we can to get those refunds out as quickly as possible."

Officials with the Controller's Office said that the basic problem is cash flow. The state can't pay all the refunds at once and be able to pay its other bills, officials said.

"Unfortunately, we can't anticipate from week to week what the cash flow is going to be," Stevenson said.

Wichmann said that uncertainty is what bothers him the most. No one has been able to tell when he'll get his check, he said.

"I really got the most frustrated when I couldn't get an answer as to a window when I could anticipate it," he said.

So far, the state has paid out an average of $10 million in refunds per week, Stevens said, for a total paid out to individuals of almost $1.4 billion.

The state owes those who filed their taxes on time 5 percent interest on refunds not paid by May 31.

"Better yet, just send me a check," Wichmann said.


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  • lizard Jun 18, 2010

    OhPleeze -

    I can relate. The problem is the governor is well-off public paid employee and she can't relate.

  • OhPleeze Jun 18, 2010

    We were going to use the refund to send our daughters to summer camp. We wrote Governor pleading for help. No response and still no check. It broke my heart to have to tell my daughters that they would not be attending camp. Although disappointed, they hugged me and said "Maybe next year". I wonder, how many N.C. kids could enjoy summer camp if our government were to stop wasteful spending?

  • WHEEL Jun 18, 2010

    This will be the last year that N.C. owes me any money. Noving to S. C.

  • louvpa Jun 18, 2010

    I filed my return March 15th and am still waiting. I own a small business, if I miss paying my state taxes or with holdings they get a hold of me within 30 days and start charging me interest. They don't start paying me interest until after May 30th, what gives?

  • Tax Man Jun 18, 2010

    They should have paid on first filed, first refunded basis. Some of my clients filed early and are still waiting, others filed late and already have their refunds. Does not seem to be any rational pattern. No fairness here either. Wait - seems those who contributed to conservatives are waiting longer... Some big ones came early and little ones still not paid. I just wish they would commit to a date certain like the IRS does and then just pay it on time. If you pay them late it is all hell to pay plus a minimum of ten percent penalty and interest! Why did they waste the money when they had it two years ago - should have saved it for just such an occasion.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 18, 2010

    I filed my in February and got the refund back in March.

    When you procrastinate, the state does so as well.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 18, 2010

    If our government quit spending more than it brought it, this wouldn't be an issue.

    We need to lower entitlement spending, eliminate waste, and reduce taxes.

    It's very simple.

  • PanthersFan45 Jun 18, 2010

    I've said this for months .... the state of NC CAN'T manage money and this will only get worse. Your better off owing than paying. Change your W4 now and take the money upfront, you won't regret it, trust me !!

  • Likestobearrogant Jun 18, 2010

    filed 3/31 got our 3k back 5 weeks later. Not too bad, thanks for the refund NC!!!

  • Big Mike Jun 18, 2010

    We got ours back in 40 days.Had it by the end of April.....not bad considering the financial woes of our State Government.