BY REP. PONO CHONG – Governor Lingle today signed into law HB1948, a bill that requires the Department of Taxation to provide refunds to taxpayers in a timely manner.
The legislation, now Act 171, states that the department must provide refunds within 90 days from the date the tax return is filed, or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later.
One of the main benefits is that the state must pay interest to the taxpayer if the return is not paid within the required time frame. The legislature was concerned that using the refunds as a way to balance the budget was merely delaying our fiscal responsibility.
In addition, I think most taxpayers understand that the overpayment to the government is their money and they expect a return in a reasonable period.
The bill also requires that all general revenues collected from an increase of any general excise or use tax be used first to pay tax refunds delayed from fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2010.
Rep. Pono Chong is the introducer of the bill.