Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Robert S. Hull and Acting Tax Administrator Neena S. Savage tonight testified before the House Committee on Oversight.
The presentation was titled, "The Causes of the Delay of Tax Refunds in 2016 and How the Department Will Address Them before Next Tax Season."
They said that the Division of Taxation has processed approximately 395,000 personal income tax refunds so far this year (through June 6, 2016). That represents about 95 percent of the refunds processed last year.
Among the reasons that some refunds have been delayed this year:
- an 84 percent increase in the number of potentially fraudulent refund claims (following a nationwide trend);
- a mandate from the Auditor General to review refund claims more closely;
- the rollout of a new, agency-wide computer system;
- filing errors; and
- staffing challenges due to increases in phone calls, walk-ins, and emails.
They told the committee that substantially all valid tax refunds on returns filed as of June 6, 2016, should be issued by mid-July 2016. They also made the point that safeguarding taxpayer information and money is the agency's primary objective. Plans for the coming filing season include expanding the Division's cyber fraud unit to streamline the process and further protect taxpayers.
|Rhode Island Department of Revenue Director Robert S. Hull and Acting Tax Administrator Neena S. Savage|