Lawmakers Push for Answers on State Income Tax Refund Delays

Iowa lawmakers sent a letter to the Reynolds Administration today to get more information for Iowans who have had their state income tax refunds delayed this year.

“We’ve been contacted by many constituents who are frustrated by the long delay getting their state income tax refund this year,” said Rep. Chris Hall, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Iowans deserve to know why the delays have increased even more this year and how long they will have to wait to get their money back.”

According to the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA), refunds are currently $41 million behind those of February 2017. Last year, refunds were 40% behind the previous year and many Iowans were disappointed to have their income tax refunds delayed by months without notice or warning.

Rep. Hall joined 40 other House Democratic lawmakers on the letter to Iowa Dept. of Revenue Director Courtney Kay-Decker. Below are the nine questions asked by the lawmakers:

1. What is the average delay for state income tax refunds as of today?
2. Will refunds continue to be delayed for Iowans who have not yet filed and what is the estimated delay they can expect after filing?
3. Is fraud prevention the only reason Iowans are experiencing delays in receiving their refunds?
4. How many Iowans have received their income tax refund to date and how many are still waiting for their state income tax refund?
5. What is the total amount of state income tax refunds that have not been paid to date?
6. As of February 28, 2018, did the state have enough money to pay the income tax refunds due to Iowans? Does the Dept. of Revenue estimate that the state will have sufficient cash reserves to pay income tax refunds due to Iowans for the rest of the fiscal year?
7. What is the process for protecting Iowans from fraud with their state income tax refunds?
8. How many DOR staff are working to verify state income taxes before refunds are processed?
9. Are additional fraud prevention steps being taken this year over last that account for the additional prolonged delay?