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First batch of tax returns to be released today

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Code Red restrictions are being enforced at the EOB

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Just in time to provide financial assistance to workers, impacted with Code Red restrictions, the local Treasury Department announced that the first-batch of tax refund checks totaling more than $1 million is being released today, Friday, Mar. 11.

Treasury also says that the Tax Office is open from 8a.m to 2p.m daily “only” to receive tax returns and tax payments, while other services offered are suspended momentarily until the Code Red is downgraded.

Those who will receive their tax refunds today, are taxpayers that filed their 2021 tax return between Jan. 3 and Jan. 28 this year, said Acting Treasury, Levi Reese in the Treasury statement.

Taxpayers with mailing addresses — 231 of them — will receive their checks in the mail; and taxpayers without mailing addresses — 38 fillers — can pick up the refund checks at the Treasury Disbursing Office on the ground floor of the Executive Office Building in Utulei - where facemasks and social distancing is “strictly enforced”.

Treasury said that 50 of the taxpayers have direct deposit. And today’s total distribution is just more than $1.34 million — with $428,441 paid by ASG revenue and $925,608 for the Additional Child Tax Credit — funded by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The refund checks will not only provide new cash infusion into the local economy but assist many workers who are laid off due to COVID-19 restrictions, especially cannery workers. And some are expected to benefit from today’s tax refund check distribution.

Due to the Code Red declaration, Treasury “highly encourages” tax payers to sign up for direct-deposits and take full advantage of this service.

Direct deposit forms and other tax forms can be found on the ASG Tax Office web page, ( Treasury advises that if you filed a joint return, both spouses are required to be bank account holders.

If a tax filer is expecting a tax refund but didn’t receive it, call the Tax Office and an officer will be assigned to assist the caller. “Please do not visit the [Tax] office,” said Treasury.