A huge talker on social media Wednesday was income tax refunds.
Louisiana residents say they are still waiting for their
money or just some answers. The Louisiana Department of Revenue says
identity theft is part of the hold-up.
"In 2011, there were
nationally 1.1 million cases of identity theft tax fraud that were
tracked by the IRS," said Byron Henderson with the Louisiana Department
Henderson says this year, the state is attempting to
cut down on fraud by using a new processing system. He says it carefully
examines tax payer forms to make sure the person filing is not using
someone else's identity. Henderson says this adds about a two week delay
on getting back refunds out to tax payers, but some people say it's
been much longer.
"I just want some answers because me and my
clients are getting kind of upset, kind of hot because this it's some
money we worked for," said Tori Cosey.
Cosey filed her own, and
several friends and family member's taxes this in January. The State
Department of Revenue's website just keeps telling her that her return
has been received, but not processed. While she understands the state is
taking their time to protect tax payers, she's says they don't waste
time taking care of their money.
"They have federal offsets for
income taxes that were owed, but they didn't hesitate taking those funds
from one of my clients," said Cosey. "So why is it taking so long to
receive our payments?"
Meantime, Henderson says this new system
has worked exactly as they expected. He says they started distributing
refunds at the end of February.
"Since then, we've actually
gotten 157,000 of them out the door in amounts of about $71
million...with an average, per refund, of about $450. So they're moving
out at very rapid pace now, and they will continue to do so," said
For those of you who have not filed your income taxes
yet, the department suggests filing electronically because it's supposed
to be much faster. We're told if you send your form through the mail it
could take 12 to 16 weeks to be processed.
Also something to
remember, this year there are three different ways you can get your
income tax return---on the debit card, through direct deposit, or by
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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