Finance releases tax refunds

THE Department of Finance says it has released the first batch of 2016 tax refund checks. These include child tax refunds, tax rebates and American Opportunity Tax Credit checks.

The first batch includes those who filed on or before the April 17 filing deadline and were cleared of any errors as of May 16, 2017.

Finance Secretary Larrisa Larson said the Saipan refunds will be released in the mail while refunds for Tinian and Rota will be released at their respective Department of Finance offices.

She said if there are any issues from prior year tax filings, filers are asked to clear them as soon as possible to expedite the processing of their checks.

“If any issues from prior year tax filings are still pending, this may delay the release of refund checks. I respectfully remind filers to clear those prior year items at their earliest convenience in order to expedite the processing of the checks,” Larson said in a statement.

Gov. Ralph Torres, in a separate statement, commended the Finance staff for their work in processing and disbursing the checks.

“We want to recognize the employees at the Division of Revenue and Taxation, the Division of Electronic Data Processing and the Treasury for their hard work and effort to get these checks processed and released as quickly as they did. Their jobs are difficult and stressful, and we want to acknowledge them for their great service. We also want to thank the community for their patience and cooperation as they wait for the release of these checks,” Torres said.

Finance said the first batch of refunds and rebates included $4,841,304.58 in child tax credits for the entire CNMI; $58,382.65 in American Opportunity Tax Credits; $5,659,364.10 in refunds and rebates for Saipan; $386,326.71 in refunds and rebates for Tinian; and $395,199.54 for Rota.

Finance said $454,660.68 was also released for loan programs at various banks that allowed loans against the tax refunds or rebates.

A total of $11,795,238.26 million was released in this first batch of refunds, the department said.

Finance at the same time is asking all taxpayers to allow time for the U.S. Postal Service to sort and distribute the mail.

Taxpayers are also asked to contact the Division of Revenue and Taxation to clear any issues that may be pending for filing if they do not receive their tax refunds by May 31, 2017.

Taxpayers may call 664-1000, 664-1040, 664-1043 or 6641098 with their questions and concerns.