ST. LOUIS ( -- You may not want to wait till the last minute to file your taxes if you're depending on the refund. 

There's no doubt filing season is the busiest time of the year at Vault Income Tax on Natural Bridge. 

Tax preparer Dana Vault-McPherson said they're not only swamped with filing returns, they're also receiving a lot of phone calls.

"We have clients calling us daily," Vault-McPherson said. "One of the concerns is where is my refund." 

Clients who already filed are calling asking where their money is. Vault-McPherson said a quarter of their clients are waiting longer than expected for their state refund. 

Client Aisha Johnson said not finding answers and waiting is frustrating.

"Now I'm thinking maybe 6 weeks to 8 weeks and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it," Johnson said. "It's not fun" 

Tax preparer Patricia Vault said refunds usually come back 10 days after the paperwork is filed, but now, clients are waiting three to four weeks and even longer until they receive their money. 

"They depend on [the money] to decided is this for food, rent, medicine, or whatever it is," Vault said. 

Vault reached out to the Missouri Department of Revenue but she can't get anyone on the phone. 

"It's so unfair, you're holding on to their money without giving a reason," Vault said. "And then it outs us in a spot because they keep calling." 

The longer people wait to file, they longer they'll wait for a return as the system will get overloaded closer to the April 15 deadline. 

The Missouri Department of Revenue said it manually reviews a percentage of all returns filed each year, which can add additional days to refund those specific returns. 

The Department said these delays could be triggered for a number of reasons including taxpayer filing errors and possible fraud.

The Department said the average number of days to refund is about 8 and a half days this year, which is longer than 2017 and 2018's averages at 7.3 and 6.8 days respectively. 

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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