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North Carolina tax department vows to resolve overpayment refund backlog

Not surprisingly, a little public attention followed by public and political outrage has prompted North Carolina tax officials to change their tax refund tune.

As you might recall, the Tar Heel State tax department had interpreted a tax law change in such a way that it could allow the state to keep tax money that residents had inadvertently overpaid.

The problem was that although the North Carolina Department of Revenue computers flagged such returns, the overpayments weren't official until a human reviewed them.

And if that personal look-see didn't happen within three years, the state got to keep the excess payments instead of refunding the money to the overly-generous taxpayers.

But on Tuesday, just two days after the no-refund story broke, state tax officials announced that dozens of employees will now review the approximate 230,000 computer flagged returns with the goal of resolving them all by Dec. 22.

The plan, said Revenue Secretary Kenneth Lay, is to work equitably and fairly regardless of whether additional payments are owed or taxpayer refunds are due.

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