ST. LOUIS ( -- From his home in St. Louis, Chris Goeckner has been checking on the status of his state tax refund for months.

He filed on February 11, and was told it would take six weeks.

During a recent check on his refund status, the system had updated to 12 weeks.

He then discovered that 12 weeks didn't start until mid-April, two months after he filed, which meant he's looking at getting his refund sometime in mid-July.

"I asked people on the phone what I can do,” he said. “No recourse.”

State Auditor Nicole Galloway wants taxpayers like Goeckner to call her office.

“We are aware of some of the delays this year with the Department of Revenue,” she said. “We found years ago they were increasingly delayed and there was an uneven playing field between government and taxpayer when it came to late refunds.”

Recent legislation evened the playing field a bit.

Anyone's who refund is delayed more than 45 days will get interest, but that policy means it will ultimately cost taxpayers more than if the state paid on time.

News 4 reached out to the Missouri Department of Revenue, who later released the following statement:

To date, the Department has issued 1,495,521 individual income tax refunds.

As of May 14, there were 40,595 refunds pending issuance. On the same date in 2018, the Department had 86,793 refunds pending. In addition to the 40,595 pending refunds, the Department has approximately 100,000 individual income tax returns pending a manual review or that have not been processed that may potentially result in a refund. Approximately 66% of the returns requiring a manual review have been filed in the last 45 days.

The following are some conditions that result in a manual review of a return:

  • The return was completed improperly
  • An error was made by the Department of Revenue when processing the return
  • Documentation needed to validate a particular item was not included
  • The return claims a tax credit
  • The return claims a deduction that is not consistent with other factors of the return
  • Paper filings generally take longer than electronic

The refund may also be delayed for an offset, if the individual has a debt owed to the state of Missouri.

Also call the state auditor, which could lead to an audit of the system. That number is 1-800-347-8597.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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