JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced on Tuesday that she will be performing a new audit of the Department of Revenue's timeliness in issuing refunds.
The decision comes after a January audit showed state income tax refunds to Missourians have been increasingly and deliberately delayed.
Galloway said that citizen feedback will be vital as she continues efforts to determine if the administration is complying with the law that mandates timely refunds.
“When we released the audit in January, we found the administration was balancing its checkbook on the backs of working Missourians. Taxpayers were rightfully frustrated because they waited months to receive their tax refunds from the state,” Galloway said. “This audit will look at whether the administration is addressing these concerns and getting taxpayers the money they are owed. If citizens run into issues again this year, I encourage them to file a complaint with our Whistleblower Hotline, so that information can be part of this latest audit.”
Missouri law requires any personal income tax refunds issued after 45 days past filing be paid to taxpayers with interest.
The previous audit found that delays in issuing refunds worsened considerably in 2017 with 155,000 refunds paid with late interest.
Galloway said the previous audit found that the refunds have been increasingly delayed at the direction of the administration in order to pay other state expenses first.
The report also found that Missouri taxpayers pay a significantly higher interest rate when making late tax payments than the state is required to pay on delayed refunds.
Galloway said she is currently supporting House Bill 2165, which would require the state to pay the same interest on late refunds as taxpayers are required to pay on late payments, and require interest to be paid on all refunds issued after 45 days.
Residents who want to file a complaint with the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline can call 800-347-8597 or by clicking here.