By Andrew Thomason, Illinois Statehouse News
Illinois may be five months and $7 billion behind in paying its vendors, service providers and hospitals, but that won't stop state taxpayers from promptly getting their income tax refunds, according to state officials.
Residents file their taxes with the state Department of Revenue, which then sends the information and money for refunds to the state Comptroller’s office, which is responsible for the state’s checkbook. Brad Hahn, a spokesman for the Comptroller’s office, said the money used for tax returns is segregated from the state’s general fund. The general fund cash is used to pay the backlog of bills. “As soon as we receive (tax refund) information the process starts and checks are mailed,” he said.
The comptroller’s office will send out checks within days of receiving the return notice from the Department of Revenue, according to Hahn.
For those wanting their return in their pocket quickly, Susan Hofer of the Department of Revenue, suggests turning to the Internet. Refunds are paid on a first come, first served basis. Filing online cuts down on the time it takes for the state to process the paperwork from its more than 6 million personal income taxpayers. State taxpayers can file online at no cost at http://tax.illinois.gov/ElectronicServices/Individuals/FileorPay.htm. "So if you’ve done your federal returns you can go to (the Web site), file your state returns, and we should have that processed in about a week and have any refund due you sent to the comptroller,” Hofer said.
About 62 percent of people paying taxes in Illlinois chose the online option last year, she said. “It’s free, it’s accurate and you could get your return in months less time,” Hofer said.
You can read Andrew's full report at: http://illinois.statehousenewsonline.com/5036/tax-returns-running-on-schedule/