The Department of Revenue and Taxation began accepting 2018 income tax returns on Jan. 28. No 2018 refund checks have been issued yet.
Refund checks are mailed out by the Department of Administration after Rev and Tax has processed the return and given DOA clearance to issue tax refund checks.
As of Wednesday, it had been only nine days since Rev and Tax started accepting 2018 returns, and DOA acting Director Edward Birn said he was not aware of any refunds having been cleared for release for the 2018 tax year.
For taxpayers who want to know when refund checks for the 2018 tax year will start going out, the answer “depends on when the return was filed,” Birn said. “That starts the clock running.”
The government of Guam is under court order to pay out tax refunds within six months after an error-free tax return has been filed.
“We're following that schedule,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said Wednesday. She added that money is being set aside and her administration is committed to abiding by the court order and paying returns within six months.
Leon Guerrero said she has been working with Birn and Rev and Tax Director Dafne Shimizu. “We’re going to be paying the tax refunds,” Leon Guerrero said, adding it's still uncertain when 2018 tax refund checks will start going out.
“Returns are continuously filed. That actually causes refunds to be paid out all the time," Birn said.
DOA continues to pay tax refunds every week for 2017 and prior tax years for those who submitted tax returns beyond the April deadline. Last week, about $400,000 in refund checks were mailed out, Birn said.
To date, Rev and Tax has completed refunds for all error-free tax returns filed on or before Aug. 9, 2018.
A notice on the Rev and Tax website states, “DRT is reviewing the numerous programming and processing needs as a result of the new streamlined and consolidated Form 1040 recently introduced by (the Internal Revenue Service).”
It isn't clear whether that will cause a delay in processing 2018 returns.