Audit to see if income tax refunds on time
JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway wants to ensure the state is not holding on to tax refunds due back to citizens. Auditor Galloway announced she has started an audit of a state law that requires the Missouri Department of Revenue to process personal income tax returns and send out refunds within 45 days of filing. If refunds haven't been paid within 45 days, the state must pay them with interest.
"Missourians have a right to their money and to know the clock starts the day they file their income taxes," Auditor Galloway said. "The state has an obligation to process refund payments quickly and efficiently, and I've started this audit to ensure government is held accountable to Missouri taxpayers."
The General Assembly changed the law in 2015 amid criticism that the state was too slow in processing tax refunds. Under the previous law, the state had 90 days. The audit is part of the State Auditor's Budget Integrity Series, announced on March 2. The series is examining the contributing factors to Missouri's budget crisis and how state government is responding.
"I'm asking Missourians who have their refund held beyond the 45-day limit to contact my office through our Whistleblower Hotline," Auditor Galloway said. "Issuing refunds on time is the right thing to do for Missouri workers waiting on a check, and it's important to prevent the state from racking up interest charges and running up the current budget shortfall, which is estimated at a half-billion dollars next year."
Individuals who have their money withheld beyond the 45-day limit may contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline by calling 800-347-8597, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using the new online submission form at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.