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Department of Revenue put wrong numbers on tax refund forms

1099-Misc form

So you’ve got all your W-2s and 1099s and you’re ready to start doing your taxes.

But if one of those forms is about your state income tax refund, here’s a piece of advice: Don’t.

It turns out that the Department of Revenue put the wrong numbers on those 1099-G forms, the ones that are supposed to tell you how much of a refund you got in 2016 on your 2015 taxes. As it turns out, the numbers on the form are from 2014.

And the agency’s problem becomes your problem if you file your returns with using the wrong numbers.

It means that what you list on your federal tax return as your refund from the state won’t match what the state is telling the feds. And that’s exactly the kind of thing that is likely to kick out your return for the kind of special scrutiny — or a letter in your mailbox from the IRS — that sends shivers down the spine of taxpayers.

Don’t take it personally. Out of about 3 million Arizona individual tax returns, about 580,000 generated refunds last year.

And the 1099-Gs sent to each and every one of those taxpayers is wrong.

Department spokesman Ed Greenberg said Tuesday his agency, which learned of the problem only after calls from Capitol Media Services and others, is working to send out corrected forms. But he had no answer when that will happen.

So what went wrong? Greenberg said no one currently knows.

“That’s part of the root-cause analysis that was launched,” he said. “We’re going to pinpoint how this error occurred and prevent it from happening in the future.”

But he said the more immediate goal is to get corrected 1099-G forms out so that taxpayers have the correct information to put on their federal tax returns.

All that comes at a cost — and not just in postage for 580,000 new forms. There’s also the staff time to make the fixes and even having to reprint all of them.

Greenberg said, however, he has no idea at this point of what the price tag will be.

In the meantime, taxpayers who got the incorrect 1099-Gs have two options.

One, obviously, is to wait for the state to get around to mailing corrected forms.

But Greenberg said those who are in a rush to file their returns can simply pull their 2015 state tax forms, locate the refund they received, and use that number on this year’s federal 1040 forms. Unlike W-2s, there’s no requirement to attach an actual 1099.

9 comments

  1. Another fine example of the fine leadership of our POS Governor. The way they keep cutting school funding, our entire school population will be able to rival this I.Q.

  2. Has anyone received their 2016 AZ Tax returns yet? I filed on the 23rd and still shows “processing.”

  3. I efiled my taxes on January 17th. It had nothing to do with 1099Gs. The wheres my refund site went from shiwung processing to we have no information. Then when I contacted AZ tax people by phone, I was told efilers will not get a refund till about 6 weeks and paper fulers till 12 weeks. Seriously? I get my federal tax within 10 days by efiling. And AZ thinks 6 weeks to handle efiling is normal? AZ is the most screwed up state for taxes Ive ever lived in! Ive been here since 1995 and every year they have some lame excuse for why they cant complete the job we hired them to do in an accurate timely manner.

  4. Seriously, six weeks is rediculous! My AZ return was accepted 1/25 and has been into”processing” status for almost 14 days now. I love AZ, but we must be the most inefficient when it comes to technology and efficiency. I use to work in one of the State agencies, I could not get out quick enough! Very disappointed in the new Governor.. Seriously he thinks paying teacher a measly percentage over years is humiliating to them, they deserve better! Shame on you D. Ducey!

  5. I got mine the other day from Arizona but what I what my tax forms said I was to get and what was deposited is $100 difference and nothing to explain why!!!

  6. This must be so frustrating for AZ residents, I concur that the system in your state needs some looking into.

  7. Arizonans should file a class action lawsuit for interest on their money that the state is keeping for 14 to 15 months!!

  8. Suzanne I filed February 3rd, Ive made four phone calls to the ADOR and not once did they tell me they needed additional information. They all said everything was fine and each time told me to wait another two weeks. Finally I had a supervisor call me and she lied directly to me saying they didn’t have my phone number to call me, then said my number was missing the last digit. Total lies, my correct phone number was all over my paperwork and I verified this with my tax filings. I asked her why they didn’t request anything the last four times I called and she said the people below supervisor level didn’t know. Then why are they answering the phone and telling us lies that all is well?? It’s been ten weeks and Arizona has held tight to my refund. The supervisor said she needed my W-2, which I already included in my tax filing, another absolute lie. They screwed up all the paperwork and then lie to your face to cover up the fact that they are bumbling idiots!! So glad I am moving soon!

  9. Oh my goodness, I’m relieved to see that I’m not the only one. I filed my taxes on March 10th 2017 and have waited patiently for the next month. After April 15th came and went, I checked the “Where’s my refund” link from aztaxes.gov and it said:

    “The Arizona Department of Revenue is currently processing your tax return. Please check back on 4/12/2017 for an updated status.”

    I began double-checking when to expect my refund, and aztaxes.gov says 6 to 8 weeks, while azdor.gov says up to 12 weeks.

    Every week or so I’ve checked aztaxes.gov and the SAME MESSAGE with the SAME DATE as listed above it returned. So, today, I decided to call the phone number, and the automated system says that THEY HAVEN’T EVEN PROCESSED my return yet!! So the web site has been stating for the past month that they are “processing” my taxes, present tense, and the phone system says that they haven’t even processed them yet.

    This whole system is so dysfunctional and so many levels. Why have an electronic system (or systems) in place that don’t even work correctly; the phone and web service are both contradicting each other, and the web-based system keeps telling me to check back “in the past,” and it all appears to be a sham.

    Looks like I’ll have to wait an indefinite amount of time for these state employees who are obviously overworked and understaffed to “get around” to processing my return. However, if you have to pay in, you’re expected to have the balance in pull submitted by April 15th.

    Never, ever have I seen such a dysfunctional system. I didn’t realize that Jerry Springer was the Governor?

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