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May 31, 2018

Department of Revenue Recaps 2018 Tax Season Numbers

JEFFERSON CITY

The Missouri Department of Revenue is reporting final numbers for the 2018 tax season. Updates were previously provided on April 23 and May 10.

“The Department of Revenue has made an earnest effort these last months to be more open and transparent about the tax return and refund payment process,” said Department Director Joel Walters. “Employees at all levels have worked incredibly hard throughout the entire 2018 tax season to reverse the trends we’ve seen in prior years, which left Missouri taxpayers feeling frustrated and confused.

“Today, we are excited to share that, thanks to the determination of our Department staff and better overall cash flow, we’ve processed over 3 million returns, already issued 1.8 million refunds, and the remaining refund checks will be heading out the door shortly — a month sooner than in 2017, when we were issuing refund checks through the end of June.”

Director Walters noted that the Department is still working through roughly 91,000 tax returns that need to be reviewed manually. Those will be reviewed throughout the summer, and any associated refunds will be subsequently issued.

As of Wednesday, there were 1,091 individual income tax and property tax credit (PTC) refunds pending, totaling about $1.1 million. In comparison, on May 30, 2017, the Department had 434,324 refunds pending, totaling about $199.7 million.

 “I can’t begin to express how hard our Taxation Division employees have worked this year to reduce the average turnaround time for tax refunds while providing exceptional customer service, striving to answer 100 percent of calls received and resolving customer questions and concerns during that first conversation,” said Taxation Division Director Mark Godfrey. “Thanks to our employees’ efforts, when comparing our 2017 and 2018 end-of-season averages, we’ve significantly decreased the turnaround time for tax refunds from 35 days in 2017 to 13 days this year, all while processing several hundred thousand more refund checks during the same time frame as last year.”

In addition to more closely analyzing the Taxation Division’s call center data to better track and react to customer issues, the Department launched a new version of the Missouri Return Inquiry System that allows customers to sign up to receive text and email alerts each time the status of their state tax return is updated. More than 50,200 taxpayers had subscribed to the service as of Wednesday.

Added Walters: “Heading into the 2018 tax season, we knew that things needed to change from how they were in previous years. Our customers deserved better, and that’s exactly what we set out to give them. Implementing new processes and procedures didn’t happen without some growing pains. Yet looking back over these last five months, and the cold hard numbers, I’m very proud of what’s been achieved.

“We’re still focusing every day on becoming the best Department of Revenue we can be.  Although our work will never be done, real progress has been made. Our outstanding employees and leadership team deserve a great deal of credit for leading the charge when it comes to transforming how our state government operates and, most importantly, putting our citizens first.”

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