La. accidentally sends out $26 million in ‘double’ tax refunds

Taxpayers urged not to take any action
(ROMAN | Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published: Mar. 15, 2019 at 1:48 PM CDT
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(WAFB) - Louisiana has accidentally paid double tax refunds for nearly 66,000 taxpayers amounting to almost $26 million.

The state is in the process of trying to recover the money, said Division of Administration spokesman, Jacques Berry.

Berry says a file ran “abnormally,” causing the duplicate refunds, which were discovered Wednesday, Mar. 13. Most of the refunds were sent by direct deposit and banks are being contacted to reverse the overages. A small amount of the refunds were placed on debit cards and those amounts are being “backed out,” Berry said.

The spokesman urges anyone who received a larger refund than what they are actually due to not spend the money.

Taxpayers do not need to take any action. The vast majority of the duplicated funds will be recovered electronically, according to a statement issued by Berry on March 15.

As the State of Louisiana continues to recoup more than $26 million in duplicate individual income tax refunds that were erroneously issued as the result of a computer error, taxpayers are being urged not to take any action. The vast majority of the duplicated funds are expected to be recovered electronically.

“There is no need for the taxpayers to take any action as the department works to recover the overpayment of funds directly from their bank accounts,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said. “With the cooperation of several financial institutions, the process is working.”

A computer error affected direct deposit and debit card refunds processed for payment on Tuesday, March 12. This resulted in those same refunds being duplicated on Wednesday, March 13. The error was identified and the state immediately began the reversal process, as well as implementing procedures to prevent any recurrences.

If the state is unable to recover the refunds directly from the banking institutions, those taxpayers will receive a letter from the Department of Revenue with repayment instructions.

More than 66,700 Louisiana individual income taxpayers received duplicate refunds. The computer system error did not result in any breach of personal taxpayer information.

Additional updates will be available as the reversal process continues. There will be no interruption in the regular processing of returns by the Department of Revenue.

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