Computer issue delays Pa. tax refunds for nearly 40k

Still waiting on your Pennsylvania tax refund?

You are not alone.

Nearly 40,000 taxpayers are still waiting for their 2013 state tax refunds, four months after the filing deadline.

A computer issue has delayed payments to 39,000 filers, including those seeking property tax rebates and personal income tax refunds, said Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell.

State Rep. Mark Cohen (D., Phila.) said he has gotten calls from four constituents complaining about the missing refunds.

"For most people it's no big deal but some people need the money," said Cohen, adding one constituent said he was owed $538.

Brassell said the delay was caused by a changeover to a new payment processing system and that the agency is working quickly to "diagnose the issue."

"It's not an insignificant number but it's a small percentage when you consider the 2.2 million refunds processed," she said.

She said she had no information about when the problem would be resolved, nor did she know how much money in total was being held up.

Taxpayers are not being notified, Brassell said, rather the agency is responding to calls as they receive them.

Does the computer malfunction hold up sound familiar? It's happened more than once in the last several years across state agencies.

Just two weeks ago, state employee paychecks were held up by a computer glitch in the Treasury Department.

In Oct. 2013 a federal computer issue caused food stamp cards to malfunction in 17 states, including Pennsylvania. That same month thousands of unemployed workers were unable to file compensation claims because of a computer malfunction during an upgrade of systems in the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Also in 2013 a consolidation of payments to home health care providers under one out-of-state contractor left some health aides for the disabled without paychecks for months.

Yet another computer glitch linked to an upgrade occurred last month when the agency that sends out draft registration notices, sent reminders to 14,125 Pennsylvania men who were not only too old to be drafted, they were all but certainly dead.

Selective Service, which keeps draft records, sent registration reminders to men who were born between 1893 and 1897.



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