State tax refunds coming in earlier than expected - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State tax refunds coming in earlier than expected

Gov. Linda Lingle Gov. Linda Lingle
Carl Bonham Carl Bonham
Gerald Hew Gerald Hew

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) - The delay of state refund checks has been lifted, somewhat. If you filed your taxes early you will get your check in the next couple weeks. Governor Lingle says state revenues are better than first forecasted, so some refund checks are being released early, before July 1st.

"The reason we are able to do this is that is that the council on revenues forecast was a negative 2% for this year but through the month of April we are down only 1%, so the revenues are improving," said Governor Lingle.

The first round of checks will go to taxpayers who filed their taxes in January and February. If you have direct deposit you should be get your money starting this Friday. For other, checks will be mailed out on May 28th.

Delaying $275 million dollars worth of state refund checks until the next fiscal year was one way to balance the budget. But one economist, who sits on the council on revenues, says the forecast was a bit conservative.

"There are signs that Hawaii's economy is improving. The visitors sector posted a strong March, April won't look as strong, but the summer going to look real good with the increased lift, more visitors from the Canada, more visitors from the mainland, all of that is going to bring in tax revenue," said Carl Bonham, UH Economic Research Organization.

The governor says she will watch the revenues over the next 6 weeks and if they continue to improve, more refund checks will be released before the July 20th deadline.

"I wouldn't expect her to give money back given the current financial situation. It's good that some people are getting their checks, but I will have to wait because I filed in April," said Honolulu resident, Gerald Hew.

The state is asking everyone to not call the tax office to get the status of their check because it will slow the process down.

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