Delaware still working on 32,000 tax refunds, new system

Sam HautGovernment, Headlines


Delaware has over 30,000 tax refunds it’s still trying to give out.
Photo by Alexander Mils, Unsplash

Less than 10% of Delawareans who were due refunds when they filed their taxes are still waiting on them.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Delaware Department of Finance has received more than  387,000 requests for a 2022 tax refund.

Its completed 355,641 of those requests, which totaled about $230 million.

The number of outstanding tax refunds is about the same number due this time last year, said Kathy Revel, director of the Division of Revenue.

Most of what the state is dealing with now are returns received in the past two months, she said.

Refunds moved more slowly this year than the state is known for, however.

Complicating matters is the Division of Revenue’s new tax filing system.

A new system finished coming up to speed in 2020 for business taxes. The second phase, focused on personal taxes, didn’t come online until October 2022, taking 22 months to complete.

The third and final phase will involve corporate filings, said Revel. That should take about 18 months to return to a more seamless processing season.

Revel said that the Division of Revenue hired 12 seasonal staff to help deal with the 2022 tax season, and the department is still working on some issues.

“We’re working to resolve all issues as quickly as possible. We are dedicated to getting refunds out as quickly as we can,” Revel said. “We know this tax season has been a little challenging for some individuals.”

While the state received 387,000 requests for a refund, they’ve received a total of 570,000 tax returns. Those include people paying the state because they didn’t pay enough in taxes. 

The benefit of the new system, Revel said, is that they will be able to reduce the amount of manual work state employees have to do by replacing it with more automation.

Right now, the average time for an automated return to be completed is about eight days, while manual returns take an average of 44 days.

“The first year, because you’re being so cautious, you seem to stop a lot more returns,” she said. “So long term, we’re going to program the system to follow more business rules and less manual intervention. That’s our goal. It’ll take us a little bit of time to get there. But that will mean faster processing times and faster refund times for taxpayers.”

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