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Tax Delays: Employees Want Truth Known
Not exactly happy returns.
On Tuesday, CBS 6 reported that viewers were asking us to look into some apparent delays at the state tax department, processing paper returns this year.
A spokesperson told us there were no unusual delays, and that paper returns just take longer.
But then, people began contacting the newsroom (some of them employees at the tax department), to say we'd been misled.
Taxation and finance spokesperson Geoff Gloak told us there were no unusual delays.
"The processing of paper income tax returns takes longer,” he wrote in an email.
But how much longer? Viewers like John Tunney wrote in to tell us he filed months ago.
“We mailed it February 16th and so far still waiting.”
And Robbin Colandrea said the tax department told her they were experiencing delays.
“They were like, ‘Oh well we're backlogged.”
We contacted Gloak again, requesting an on-camera interview, letting him know that CBS6 was receiving calls and emails from people who'd heard there was a software glitch, and were upset there was no public admission of the delay it was causing.
His answer? "We responded to your questions yesterday."
But then, tax department worker after tax department worker contacted CBS6 in an attempt to get out the truth.
We were forwarded an email that was sent to tax and finance employees in February that said "there has been major delays in processing all PIT (personal income tax) returns."
The email went on to say the "vendor" had informed the department when they expected to be "caught up with processing the backlog of returns".
We discovered that until 2012, Bank of America had been the 'vendor' that processed returns for New York State. In 2013, a new vendor was chosen.
Tax department workers, who requested anonymity, told us they have been working overtime since last month, trying to make things right, and that, because of the vendor's errors, some returns were now being processed for a third time.