Tax refunds: Who doesn’t want one?
They’ve been in the news quite a bit lately, for reasons both good and not-so-good.
“It’s a pretty messed-up season,” said John Hogg, owner of 10 Jackson Hewitt Tax Services offices in Sacramento and Roseville. “The amount of refunds is far behind last year,” he said.
While the IRS isn’t putting out numbers on how many refunds have been issued so far this tax season, refunds got off to a bit of a bumpy start this year.
Blame it on a perfect storm of events: A late launch to the filing season, which started Jan. 30 – eight days later than usual – due to last-minute, “fiscal cliff” tax changes enacted by Congress; the inability of taxpayers to file for some credits until early March; and more diligent – but time-consuming – scrutiny of tax returns, part of the IRS’ beefed-up efforts to thwart identity theft and tax refund fraud.
Even Wal-Mart said it’s felt the impact of later-than-usual refunds. By this time last year, the giant retailer had cashed about $ 3 billion worth of checks related to tax refunds. This year, that amount is just $ 1.7 billion, the company said Thursday.
Some tax professionals like Hogg said they’re seeing lots of disappointed tax filers – who either can’t file yet or whose refunds are taking longer to arrive. Others, like Michael Hayes, H&R Block regio…………… continues on Sacramento Bee