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First batch of tax refunds set for release today, $600,000 released

[SN file photo]

Utulei, AMERICAN SAMOA — More than $600,000 in tax refunds for tax year 2017 is scheduled to be released today, according to ASG Treasurer Ueligitone P. Tonumaipe’a in a brief statement yesterday afternoon. 

All those who filed taxes between Jan. 1st and 24th will have checks released Tuesday, Mar. 20th, according to the Treasurer’s statement, which also notes that total refunds released today amount to $684,905 — with $254,369 for local and $430,536 for the Additional Child Tax Credit, which is funded by the US Internal Revenue Service.

Tax filers are reminded that refunds are disbursed based on the person’s date of filing with the Tax Office. “We thank the public for their patience,” Tonumaipe’a said.

Release of tax refunds comes amid many complaints within the community, people calling into the Samoa News wondering why it’s taking so long for ASG to release refunds, especially those who filed early – like in January.

Samoa News understands that complaints were also directed to the Tax Office and ASG Disbursing for the late release of refunds.

While most people claim that those who file taxes in January generally get their refunds in mid to late February, Samoa News points out that in the past two years — for tax years 2016 and 2015 — the first batch of tax refunds weren’t released until the second week of March.

Cannery workers are usually the ones who file early in January and get their refunds checks first.

Tax refunds also come at a time when those who are expecting checks are looking at using the money to make necessary repairs to their homes, damaged by Tropical Storm Gita, while awaiting any federal assistance from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).