Local Politics

State to address backlog of overpaid tax returns

Posted August 17, 2010 6:40 p.m. EDT

— 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.