LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
Haste makes waste.
That is why the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration is slowing things down.
It is an effort to prevent thieves from stealing tax refunds.
Those who filed their taxes last month and are waiting on refunds are starting to send us impatient emails.
Like this one from Jim: "I entered my info and found my return had been processed on February 14th but not issued yet. The site said their refunds are slower this year for "security reasons."
Charlotte writes "I spent the extra $19.99 to have my taxes e-filed through the state just for them to continue to hold my refund."
And Donald suspects that "They are really using the so called identity theft delay time to steal taxpayers refunds."
"Someone from the outside looking in may say you're just holding the money,” says Scott Hardin with DF&A. “You need it. I can assure everyone...we here at DF&A...we're taxpayers also. We go through the exact same steps. We want to get that money out the door as quickly as possible. But we want to do it quickly and responsibly. So...to someone frustrated by those few extra days I would say we understand, we're sorry, but we're going to keep doing this."
This...is double and triple checking refund claims to make sure that the Arkansan who deserves the refund is the Arkansan who gets it.
Which...slows things down.
So...has the state caught any instances of attempted fraud this year?
"Oh absolutely,” says Hardin. “Absolutely. It's safe to say we're saving Arkansans millions of dollars. Saving the state millions of dollars in potential fraud."
And this year DF&A has added a new feature on its web site that allows you to track the progress of your return in much the same way shipping companies allow you to track a package.
To use the "Where's my refund?" feature just visit www.dfa.arkansas.gov.
Air date: March 9th, 2018