Thousands of Rhode Islanders are asking a very pricey question tonight: "where is my tax refund?"
ABC6 News investigative reporter Mark Curtis went looking for answers. Here's more on what he found out.
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Like many Rhode Islanders, Virginia Cooke of Woonsocket, has been waiting and waiting and waiting for her Rhode Island tax refund. She filed her taxes electronically over two months ago
Virginia Cooke, Rhode Island Taxpayer says, "I think it's ridiculous. You know, I know Rhode Island is having a lot of problems, but I just that, you know, I am a long time resident an you know you should at least be able to talk to a real person."
Cooke also works in Massachusetts, and received her tax refund from the Bay State within just one week.
Mark Curtis says, "While some of our viewers have complained about where their tax refunds are, I've fallen into the same trap. I filed electronically well over two months ago; I go online to check the status of my refund. It tells me I have to call a special telephone number, and I do."
I called for weeks, and could not get through, so we went to Smith Hill looking for answers. The good news: Over 400 thousands Rhode Island tax refunds have been issued, that's up from last year.
The bad news: about 10,000 Rhode island tax returns still need to be processed, leaving few people to answer phone calls for help:
Michael Canole, RI Dept. of Taxation says, "We have four people staffing that full-time. We try to get more people onboard that number to answer the phone calls, but they are working on the returns trying to get them straightened out, so it's a catch 22 sometimes."
The state says new measures to detect tax fraud, have also slowed down processing some returns and refunds.