Why Iowa Tax Refunds Take Longer to Receive

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Many Iowans say they haven’t received their state tax refund even though they filed weeks ago.

An Iowa Department of Revenue Spokesperson said as of April 12, they have processed more than 979,000 individual tax returns and paid $247 million in refunds.

Iowans like Jeff Alaimo said they are still waiting for their state refund.

“Our accountant did say the state may take longer this year but this is a lot longer than it has been in the past,” Alaimo said.

Others said this year didn’t seem much different.

“I got my federal back fairly quickly and the state took a little longer obviously but I got it last month I think,” Nicolas Johnson said.

Shaul and Desmond PLLC Tax Manager Patrick Mansheim said the delay is nothing new to them and they often advise their clients they may not see their state refund until 14 weeks after filing.

“Iowa has been notorious for being slow about getting refunds out. They’re very quick to cash your check and very slow to give you your money back,” Mansheim said.

The Iowa Department of Revenue said efforts to fight fraud and inaccuracies takes a lot of time and in the past the bulk of refunds are issued before May.

“Overall the states are slower, although some states are a little quicker than Iowa, but overall the states do wait for the federal to say, ‘yes we approved this one here’s the money being sent out.’ Then they have to wait until they receive notification from the federal so it does end up taking a few weeks longer,” Mansheim said.

In addition to taking longer, Mansheim said state refunds are also lower this year due to changes in tax law.

“So obviously now they had a greater taxable income, which meant their refunds either went down significantly or they were having to pay in as well for this year,” Mansheim said.

If you want to check the status of your state refund, click on “where’s my refund?” on the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

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