Local News

Backlog of N.C. tax refunds should be cleared by May

Posted April 15, 2009

— The North Carolina Department of Revenue said this week it has issued more than 1.3 million tax refunds totaling more than $900 million so far this tax season.

But if you've filed your taxes and are expecting a state refund, it might take up to 12 weeks before you receive payment.

"We're about $400 million behind where we were last year," revenue department Secretary Ken Lay said.

With declining revenue and a growing budget shortfall, the state is managing its cash flow very carefully, Lay said, by holding refunds on processed tax returns for an average of four weeks.

North Carolina Department of Revenue Secretary Ken Lay Tax refunds may take up to 12 weeks

It's been taking up to eight weeks for taxpayers who filed electronically to receive a refund and up to 16 weeks for those who mailed in their returns.

Refund checks are going out every week, he said, and the department should catch up with the backlog of payments by May 31. Otherwise, as of June 1, the state must begin owing interest on processed refunds not mailed.

With the state of the economy, financial experts recommend using any tax refunds to pay off debt, specifically credit card debt.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, an average refund is about $2,700.

By applying that amount to a credit card, a consumer could decrease the card's balance and shorten the time until the entire debt is paid.

For example, with monthly payments of $200, it would take 62 months to pay off a credit card carrying an $8,000 balance with an 18 percent annual percentage rate.

By applying a $2,700 payment, it would take 35 months to pay off the remaining $5,300 and cut the total interest paid from $5,300 to $2,800.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • working for deadbeats Apr 20, 2009

    I could sure use my $340.

  • kellyaustin96 Apr 20, 2009

    "Handle with Care," the difference in your refund with the same amount of income is the "CHANGE" Obama promised, LOL.

    You know if a citizen or business acted as the goverment does with money they would be in prison.


  • tooblessed Apr 20, 2009

    Sure didn't take long for NC State to apply some of my refund to my proberty taxes which was filed on 03/02 and the check to them was 03/15/09. Where is my check, drawing interest. Take the money spent on the CEO for Public Schools and send me my money.

  • teacher101 Apr 17, 2009

    As one stated before, the only reason they haven't paid the refunds is because they were waiting until everyone paid their taxes. They will also make sure they pay everyone by June 1st so they don't have to pay the penalty. See, they have this all figured out, the government is not stupid, they knew exactly what they are doing, whatever works for them. Politics are never about the people, just them.

  • Handle With Care Apr 16, 2009

    Sadly I made the exact same thing as last year.This year I owed $337 and last year I owed nothing.I don't understand? The amount I put in did not change.....

  • Ladybug1 Apr 16, 2009

    Well, I can say I sure hope people have paid in money they owe. I want my refund back. I've been waiting for my $512 for 2 1/2 months now.

  • kimmimom Apr 16, 2009

    Now that has april 15 come and gone, there should be money flowing into the state from those of us who owe state every year. Yep, I did my taxes back in Feb, but if I owe the state, I am not going to pay them until April 15. So if others do as I do, the state will probably be receiving quite a bit of money in the coming days. Never understand why I always owe state and always get money back from fed despite my husband having fewer deductions on state and I actually have state taken out of my check and NO federal taken out of my check (due to the type job I have they don't deduct fed taxes, only FICA/Medicare).

  • Bendal1 Apr 16, 2009

    Thanks to the way NC calculates state income tax, it's hard to calculate your deductions so that you get a little refund. I've tried for years and if I'm not careful I end up owing several hundred dollars, so I err on the side of caution and have the state pay me a few hundred instead. Of course this year who knows when I'll see that check...

  • lizard Apr 15, 2009

    james27613 - you're right. They're also missing out on paying that money to the credit card account mentioned and putting themselves a year behind paying it off. Just think if they had saved that 18% interest on that amount of money instead of giving an interest free loan to the guberment.

  • FE Apr 15, 2009

    The moral of this story: Don't loan your money to Bev!!