Local Politics

State to address backlog of overpaid tax returns

Posted August 17, 2010

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— The state Department of Revenue said Tuesday that it would use dozens of employees to address about 230,000 tax returns that likely included overpayments, with the goal of clearing the backlog by Christmas.

The returns were flagged by the department's computers as having paid too much, making the filers eligible for refunds, but Revenue Department employees never confirmed the overpayments. The backlog includes returns filed as far back as 1994, officials said.

“The department’s purpose is to fairly and equitably collect taxes owed to the state and to fairly and equitably issue tax refunds when they are due,” Revenue Secretary Ken Lay said in a statement.

Lay's plan calls for redirecting 80 department employees to address the backlog and using department computers six days a week to review returns.

Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a statement that she learned of the problem with overpayments last Thursday and asked Lay to have a plan by Monday to address the issue.

"Any further delay in processing this backlog is simply not acceptable," Perdue said in a statement.

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  • fatchanceimwrong Aug 18, 2010

    Bev Perdue is incompetent to be governor. Those who run the tax office are incompetent. How much additionally is it going to cost the taxpayers to get our own money back? Sounds like 80 employees getting paid overtime for being incompetent in the first place.

  • grimreaper Aug 18, 2010

    Wow, up to 16 years of this and they are just now learning about it...right.

  • whiteha Aug 18, 2010

    @monkeyboy: The article clearly states, "The returns were flagged by the department's computers as having paid too much, making the filers eligible for refunds,..."

    The tax filer paid too much tax and is due a refund.

  • Bendal1 Aug 18, 2010

    monkeyboy,

    Looks like you're the one not reading the article, or perhaps reading comprehension is your problem. From the article:

    "The returns were flagged by the department's computers as having paid too much, making the filers eligible for refunds, but Revenue Department employees never confirmed the overpayments."

    Plus, this has been covered by the local TV stations and the N&O, and they've all said the same as this article. The state moves quickly to get the money if you underpay your taxes, but if you OVERPAY, they have 3 years to get it to you.

    Plus, in the past if a computer scan noticed an overpayment, that was considered "within the 3 years" and they had to pay it back. Now though, they've decided that doesn't count, a living person has to review the case in 3 years, and until Purdue ordered them to get on it, they had no intentions of doing so.

  • monkeyboy Aug 18, 2010

    "So you two (kidw4legs & chfdcpt) support the state keeping the overpaid funds? It certainly sounds like it when the first words you type are "where's the money going to come from"?"

    what the heck are you babbling about? the state keeping what funds? did you even read the article? it claims the state has OVERPAID refunds, and is looking to recoup it's money from those it OVERPAID.

    bend over and grab those ankles, kids. the state's looking for money, and they make the rules for us. i see a lot of people gettin' seriously screwed on this one...

  • kikinc Aug 18, 2010

    About 4 years ago, I asked NC for my tax records. I was going back to school, and in order to prove my residency, I needed official copies of my tax returns, not just my copies. NC turned around and told me I hadn't filed for 3 years, which I knew wasn't true. I had seen a professional to have my taxes done because I was in school at the time, and I had scholarship income I needed to claim. I thought I was doing the right thing. I was then sent a bill for $2200, which included the taxes I owed, penalties, and late fees. I had 30 days to pay it, or else my paychecks were going to be garnished. I paid it, like an idiot, then was told I was right in the first place, and I HAD paid everything. It had been misfiled. That was in 2006. I'm still fighting for my $2200 back. I could have hired a lawyer, but didn't want to spend the money. Maybe I'll be included in this backlog? One can only hope.....

  • nighttrain2010 Aug 18, 2010

    About 4 years ago, I got this nasty little letter from the Department of Revenue about a back tax I owed. Apparently one of the 'wise' number crunchers in Raleigh determined I owed about $200 additional from 6 years previously. Thinking I did my taxes correctly went back and rechecked but with 'fines' the bill was now almost $500 so I went ahead and paid it (this was when Mike had already broken the budget and NC was creating all sorts of new taxes to 'help'). While doing so I decided to go recheck all my tax filings from then until the present at that time.

    I discovered I overfiled for one additional year and was off by $250 in my favor (was doing my own taxes at the time). So I simply called and asked about that as well. You would have thought I had committed the worst crime imaginable. Told me it was past my time to claim those funds. So the state can go back as far as it wants but citizens can't when the mistake is in their favor. Real fair system North Carolina

  • Bendal1 Aug 18, 2010

    So you two (kidw4legs & chfdcpt) support the state keeping the overpaid funds? It certainly sounds like it when the first words you type are "where's the money going to come from"?

    I applaud Purdue on directing the agency to get these overpayments taken care of; if the money comes out of the Revenue Department's or some other agency's budget, fine. Keeping an overpaid bill is the same as theft in my opinion, and interest should be paid on it as well.

  • Kidw4legs stops in Aug 18, 2010

    My thought exactly, chfdcpt.

  • chfdcpt Aug 17, 2010

    Ok, so where is the new fee or tax to cover these refunds?