Tax Refunds Delayed In NJ This Year

Published: 1/8/2019 12:41:20 PM

Just like last year, you're going to have to wait a little longer to get your money in 2019. But is the government shutdown going to have an impact on your federal refund?

Taxpayers will experience a delay in receiving their state tax refunds this year, according to the state Division of Taxation. And the Internal Revenue Service reversed course on Monday and said the government shutdown will not prevent or delay taxpayers from getting their federal refund in 2019.

The IRS, which has a vast majority of its employees on furlough, said it will process tax returns beginning Jan. 28 and provide federal refunds to taxpayers as scheduled. Many of the agency's workers are being called back to work, although they may not be paid.

Federal officials initially said tax refunds may be delayed indefinitely since there wasn't anybody at the IRS available to process them.

"We are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown. I appreciate the hard work of the employees and their commitment to the taxpayers during this period," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

The IRS says it has authority to pay refunds despite a lapse in annual appropriations.

The NJ Division of Taxation, meanwhile, says it is taking steps to protect New Jersey taxpayers from refund fraud and identity theft. These enhanced efforts will result in early filers getting their refunds starting March 1. Normally, refunds come as early as mid-February.

"Similar to prior years, this is due to the utilization of tougher anti-fraud measures and is in line with dozens of other states," said Jennifer Sciortino, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Taxation. "Anti-fraud protections need to be revised every year because perpetrators of refund fraud change tactics frequently."

The timing of a refund depends on when and how a return is filed, she said. Most taxpayers will get their refunds within four weeks if they filed electronically, and within 12 weeks if they used a paper return.

The division processes individual income tax returns on a daily basis beginning in January. This processing includes the following:

  • Transferring information from the returns to the state's automated processing system
  • Checking to see that we transferred the information correctly
  • Checking to see if the returns had any mathematical errors
  • Checking for inconsistencies and other possible errors

The majority of this processing is automated, state officials have said. However, some returns go through an additional manual process to make sure they were filed correctly, according to the division.

This manual process includes checking to make sure income, deductions and credits were reported correctly. In some cases, the division says it can't complete the processing of a return without additional information from the filer of the return.

Allow for the minimum processing time before contacting us about your refund status. More questions can be answered here: 1-800-323-4400.