The state Department of Taxation and Finance will process all income-tax returns filed before Sept. 1 by the close of business today, which will bring an end to months of waiting on tax refunds for some taxpayers who submitted paper returns, Gannett’s Albany Bureau reports.
A “very small number” of refunds have yet to be issued, but they will be issued today, said Geoffrey Gloak, spokesman for the Tax Department. He declined yesterday to say how many tax refunds were outstanding.
Roughly 10 percent of state income-tax returns are filed on paper, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance.
As of early July, 96 percent of refunds—about 5.95 million totaling $5.3 billion—had been issued. Roughly 40,000 filers hadn’t received their tax refunds.
Processing issues with a state contractor led to significant delays for taxpayers who filed by mail this year, the agency said.
The state hasn’t elaborated why there were such long delays, and the Tax Department wouldn’t say how much overtime and accrued interest accumulated as a result, Gannett’s Albany Bureau learned.
State employees assisted a nonprofit contractor hired to process the returns—New York State Industries for the Disabled—as tax returns poured in. Tax returns with refunds that were filed by April 15 started earning 2 percent interest after May 30.
The processing period for taxpayers who filed paper returns after Sept. 1 will be six to eight weeks, Gloak said. The average turn-around time for online filers is three weeks.