State still needs to process nearly 8,000 tax refund requests

Published: Jul. 9, 2015 at 1:19 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 9, 2015 at 8:57 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For many taxpayers patience is running out.

"It's ridiculous.  I can see a month maybe even two months but from February til now," said Angela Kan Hai.

Kan Hai's son Austin just entered the work force last year.  The 19-year-old got a job with Maui County's Summer Pals Program.

"He's only getting back $139 but for a college kid that's a lot.  We've called back and called back. It rings and rings and rings or it's busy, busy, busy."
Austin's not alone.  State officials say more than 7,800 refund requests still need to be processed.  Officials say they hope to have the bulk of that knocked out in the next couple weeks.  The state has until July 20 to issue tax refunds before having to tack on interest.

"It's a little higher than our typical year.  And of course this wasn't our typical year," said Hawaii Department of Taxation public information officer Mallory Fujitani.

It's no secret the Hawaii Department of Taxation has been dealing with a back log.  Earlier this year officials told taxpayers to be prepared to wait up to 16-weeks for a refund.  That was to help cut down on a spike of bogus tax filings.

"This year we put in a lot more reviews.  Different types of reviews to try and catch this on the front in," said Fujitani.

As of June the state says those extra steps helped catch about 8600 fraudulent refund requests. That equals to more than $21 million that wasn't paid out to criminals.

Officials say another thing to keep in mind is that even if the state gets your refund processed by July 20.  It could take up to two additional week if you're expecting a paper check.

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