State Refund Tax Headaches

Tax Payers Overpaid, Refunds Not Accurate

Normally, being overpaid wouldn't be a bad thing; unless it's on your state tax refund check.

More than a handful of people contacted 7News after a story ran Monday about a Parker woman who received a bigger state tax refund than expected.

Tuesday, 7News discovered that's not the only problem people are having with their state tax returns and many believe it's the result of a computer glitch.

But the Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch said, "we have no reports of a computer glitch affecting refunds." In fact, Couch said the new computer system which went online Nov. 1 works much better than the old one.

But several taxpayers disagree.

Brian Baumbach of Parker received a state refund check for $307 -- $28 over what he should have received.

"When you get overpaid by $28 you think you made a math error," said Baumbach. "So I went back and quadruple checked my return and couldn't find any error."

He tried contacting the Department of Revenue, but could not get through to a person.

"You go through phone limbo and you get the final message that says, 'Everybody is busy we can't take your call now click'," said Baumbach. "They don't allow you to leave a message, they don't allow you to wait in line, they just hang up on you."

The same thing happened to Ann Senetar, of Parker.

"I spent a half day calling and couldn't leave anyone a message," said Senetar. "I couldn't get anyone on the phone."

Senetar said her refund was for $12 more than she filed for, it was not directly deposited as requested and it had the wrong tax year on the return.

A spokesman for the Department of Revenue said there are no major issues and that these are isolated incidents. "I can't imagine that I'm the only one in Colorado that's experienced this," said Senetar.

7News has learned she's not the only one. On Tuesday, 7News received nine e-mails from viewers who received too much money, whose tax year was inaccurate on their refund, or where the state's system could not read line 21 causing refund errors.

"I hope they are just small errors and they are not giving away too much money," said Baumbach.

Senetar wonders how much money the state now has to pay to correct these errors.

"How much is that costing Colorado tax payers," Senetar asked.

The Department of Revenue said 3 million people file income tax returns in Colorado. Couch said if this was a widespread issue, 7News and the department would be flooded with phone calls.

The department also said it will personally work with anyone who has an issue to resolve the situation.

People can contact the Department of Revenue through its tax information line at 303-238-7378 or through its Web site www.taxcolorado.com.

Couch said people need to understand it is tax season and they are busy. He said people need to be patient and persistent.