Refund Payment Delay Has Cost Treasury Nearly $5.5M in Interest
SAN JUAN – Delays in the payment of the income tax refund have cost the puerto Rico Treasury Department nearly $5.5 million, La Fortaleza has confirmed.
Some 35,400 refunds have yet to be returned. These total $103 million.
Treasury has paid 514,000 refunds, or some $390 million.
La Fortaleza said that it has paid exactly “$5,495,478.80 in interest on the late payment of refunds.”
Last summer, Treasury had estimated it would pay a maximum of $2.5 million in interest on refunds corresponding to the returns filed last year.
The amount paid has already doubled and refunds remain to be returned, which means interest paid to the people of Puerto Rico may reach $6 million due to the government’s lack of liquidity.
Under the law, if the government has not issued a taxpayer’s refund check after August, it must pay in the same check 6% interest on the amount to be refunded.
In the summer of 2015, Treasury Secretary Juan Zaragoza believed all refunds would have been paid by September that year. At the time, the end of fiscal year 2015, he said the close of the fiscal year is usually the most difficult for government finances.
A week ago, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla raised doubt as to whether the remaining refunds could be paid before the end of fiscal 2016.