Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't Hold Your Breath for Alabama Tax Refunds

It came as little surprise this week when the Alabama Department of Revenue announced that it was holding refund checks for more than 120,000 Alabamians due to the State's significant shortfall in tax revenue for the year to date. The Birmingham News quoted Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell as saying "The refunds have not been paid because the cash flow has been limited because of the recession, the serious recession we're in."

Even more important is the fact that the concept of "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" clearly does not apply to the Department of Revenue. The ADOR does not have to pay interest on unpaid refunds until 90 days after the later of the due date of the return or the date tax return was filed. It doesn't seem to be enough that the ADOR has already had an interest free loan from the taxpayer for up to a year and a half previous to the earliest deadline for paying the refund.