State Auditor Nicole Galloway today demanded answers from the Department of Revenue on the remaining delayed 2018 tax refunds. The Missouri State Auditor's Office continues to receive complaints from taxpayers who are waiting on last year's refunds, even as many Missourians prepare to file their 2019 returns.
"To date, thousands of taxpayers have reached out to my office asking for help in getting the administration to complete the simple task of getting their own money back to them. These Missourians have waited nearly a year to receive their money," Auditor Galloway said. "Taxpayers deserve assurances that this dysfunction will not carry over into another tax year."
Recent media reports have referenced thousands of taxpayers still waiting on tax refunds from 2018. Since May, the State Auditor's Office has received more than 3,000 contacts from taxpayers concerned about delays in receiving their refunds. Many of the individuals are seniors, those suffering from a disability or on a fixed income.
The State Auditor's Office started communicating directly with the Department of Revenue to try to get answers for taxpayers. To date, the State Auditor's Office has contacted the Department of Revenue on behalf of more than 2,500 taxpayers. These individuals asked for the office's help in getting their tax refunds and, with their explicit permission, the State Auditor's Office passed along contact information and some details about their refund.
This summer, as the problems related to refunds dragged on, Auditor Galloway called on Gov. Mike Parson to take immediate action to address the backlog. The Governor's Office failed to offer a plan to address these deficiencies.
In addition to concerns related to 2018 refunds, Auditor Galloway is seeking assurances that 2019 refunds can be processed efficiently.
"Missourians rely on their refunds to pay bills and afford necessities. They are tired of excuses," Auditor Galloway said. "The Governor's administration must take action to ensure the remaining delayed refunds will finally be addressed and that Missourians can have confidence that the mistakes of the past year will not be repeated."
Previous work by Auditor Galloway related to the timeliness of tax refunds includes an audit released in January 2018. The audit found that state income tax refunds to individual taxpayers had become increasingly and deliberately delayed. An audit released in early 2019 showed an improvement in the timeliness of refunds for fiscal year 2018. However, recent media reports and continued complaints from taxpayers over the past nine months indicate there are again issues that need to be addressed.
A copy of the most recent correspondence between the State Auditor's Office and the Department of Revenue is available here.