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Iowa income tax refunds to be delayed in 2018

December 16, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials warn Iowa income tax refunds will be delayed in 2018.

Iowa Department of Revenue Director Courtney Kay-Decker says the refund delays are a result of her agency doubling down on fraud prevention efforts, the Des Moines Register reported .

The news comes after Iowa residents were told this past spring that their state tax refunds would be delayed several weeks as a measure to combat identity theft and fraud. But the Register found another cause: The state didn’t have enough cash to pay residents at the same pace as previous years.

“When we said we were going to slow down refunds, perhaps people didn’t really believe us or they didn’t know what that meant,” said Kay-Decker. “So we’ve been working harder this year to make sure that we communicate we’re doing that again.”

Kay-Decker said potential thieves are aware that filing returns early offers the best chance of receiving a fraudulent refund without getting caught. She said best practices require state tax administrators to wait to send out refunds, ideally until tax season is over.

“I’m not suggesting that we’re going to do that,” she said. “I’m suggesting and letting you know that we’re going to take the appropriate amount of time to make sure we’ve looked at the claims that have been filed and send them out correctly. That being said, we’ll never be perfect.”

Iowa tax administrators are sharing information with other states to prevent fraud, according to Kay-Decker.

The Iowa Revenue Department stopped nearly 10,500 erroneous refunds from being processed this year through Nov. 12, accounting for more than $17 million, according to Kay-Decker.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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