Finally – Our 2008 Tax Refund Arrived

Back in January, I reported what Arizona had done with our 2008 income tax refund (not the 2009 refund, mind you).

I called again in February and was told it was going to take some time for the money to route through the system so I needed to be aware of that and give them some time.

Okay.  In the meantime, I conveniently lost all the phone numbers I’d written down, all the names of the people with whom I’d been in contact.   Since I didn’t have the numbers or names, I decided to wait until tax season was over before attempting to call and start the process from scratch.

I called DOR last Friday and was told that the court had never returned the money to the state, and now I’d have to deal with the court directly.  They connected me to the court and I talked with a lady who told me I had to leave a message for her supervisor who was in charge of refunding money. I left a message, thinking surely I’d have to call back on Monday, but to my surprise she called me back and told me the check had been sent back to the state and should be with the Department of Finance. She said she would call me back on Monday and let me know what happened.

She never called me back and I didn’t get a chance to call her.

Yesterday when I got home I checked the mail, and once again to my surprise I found this. Notice the arrows:

The check was dated December 15, 2009 and received by the Department of Finance on December 22, 2009.

I think the broke state of Arizona has been holding onto our check as long as they possibly could.  Why else would it just be sitting around? Waiting until they had money for postage?

I think it’s a real possibility that they are holding onto people’s money for as long as they can, maybe until the person calls and complains. They didn’t have the wrong address, so I don’t have any idea why they would suddenly locate our check and send it to us.

By my records, we should have gotten back $145.22, but we were only refunded $139.28. Somewhere along the line, someone took $5.94.

Well, the good news is they finally sent us most of our refund.

And I learned an important lesson. If you own a business in the state of Arizona and are liable to pay Transaction Privilege Tax in the month your refund is to be paid, the state will take your refund to pay the TPT first, and send you the remainder, that is if you don’t have any other outstanding debt to the state, like outstanding tickets or maybe child support.

I’m glad that’s done and over with!  Has your refund ever been “intercepted”?

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10 thoughts on “Finally – Our 2008 Tax Refund Arrived

  1. This is going to be a bigger and bigger problem as the states edge closer to complete insolvency. California is already there. I think Californians would be best served to make sure they actually owe money at tax time in the coming years unless they want to be paid in worthless IOUs.


    Len Penzo dot Com


  2. Oh, Mrs. A… They are just SO incompetent everywhere downtown! Dealing with the state bureaucracy — just to get unhooked from a state job! — developed into weeks and months of hassle, because no one knows the answer to the simplest issue, and there’s not a single right hand that knows what any left hand anywhere is doing.

    I’m with Len Penzo about next year’s tax bill. I’ve always overpaid (not understanding how the state tax bite worked), but even though I did get my refund back this year, I have no intention of forking over enough in 2010 that they’ll owe me anything next April. Especially if they vote the sales tax down — and with the flap over SB 1070 (the infamous immigration bill, for out-of-staters) going on, a lot of people are voting no just because they dislike and distrust anything our honored elected representatives say or do — there won’t be any money to refund.

    BTW, you realize they’ve changed the tax law. You’ll need to file a new state withholding form (A-4). Instead of taking a percentage of your federal income tax, the state is now glomming a percentage of your gross income.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Funny, yes it is pretty frustrating how disorganized our state is. No wonder we are broke. I need to look at my own tax deductions and make sure to have less taken. It is just so difficult to figure with Mr. A’s businesses and no way to know how much he’ll net. I do know about the new withholding – I work with payroll at my job and I’d seen that more changes were on the way for July. I downloaded the new form on Tuesday for my supervisor – the state has not sent any letter of notification so she didn’t know about it. We have to get new forms from 21 employees and I know she likes to be on top of any changes.


  3. Unbelievable huh! I heard about this tactic used by states…

    Perhaps this is a good reason to start taking allowances after all. Previously, I’ve always taken 0 allowances, but if my state start to do that kind of stuff, I’m going to change my ways.

    Luckily, the Fed doesn’t do that trick yet (whew)…


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