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Some state tax refunds delayed

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

If you expect to owe money you are probably in no hurry to do your taxes.

But if you have a refund coming...you don't like to wait.

State tax refunds are delayed this year, and many are wondering why.

$331.00.

That is how much money Gillian Whitney is waiting for the state to refund to her.

And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

"Like you said...it's not a lot,” says Whitney. “But it is mine. I paid for it. And I'd like it back."

Whitney says it usually takes the state about two weeks to mail her a refund check.

This year it has been nearly a month.

"There's a note on there that says taxes are being held a little later than usual,” says Whitney. “That it is due to identity theft."

"We're about two weeks slower than we were last year at this time," says Jake Bleed with the Department of Finance and Administration.

Bleed says that there are a couple of reasons for that.

First, there have been some delays at the federal level.

But the primary reason for the delays are new anti-fraud measures that the state has put into place to battle identity theft and help identify fraudulent returns.

"It's been a constant problem for years,” says Bleed. “And it is something that every year people try to misrepresent themselves, misrepresent their income. And it is something that as the taxing authority of the state we have to take very seriously."

Late Friday afternoon Whitney called with some good news: her mail contained her state tax refund.

For those of you still waiting, the state encourages patience.

And because April 15th falls on a Saturday and Washington DC observes Emancipation Day the following Monday...taxes are due this year on Tuesday, April 18th.

Air date: March 3rd, 2017

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