Loughlin Says State Should Pay Interest on Late Tax Refunds
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
“It’s patently unfair that the state can hold on to YOUR money for an indefinite period of time but can charge interest and penalties if you are just a few days late in paying them,” said Loughlin, a Republican state rep from Tiverton who is running to fill the seat being vacated by Patrick Kennedy.
Earlier today, GoLocalProv reported that as many as 53,000 Rhode Islanders were waiting for $36.3 million in refund checks. The state has held up payments, in part, because the deadline for filing taxes was extended from April 15 to May 11. The state is releasing the payments as revenue from other sources coming in to cover them.
Payments are now arriving three weeks later than processed, rather than the normal one to two weeks. By law, the state has up to 90 days to send out a refund before it has to pay interest.
As a state rep, Loughlin has filed a bill that would instead mandate interest payments after 60 days, at the same rate that the state uses to charge taxpayers for overdue payments.
“The state is using the taxpayers’ money to stay afloat while the taxpayers are worried about putting food on the table,” Loughlin said. “We have to remember that government is here to serve our needs, not the other way around.”