Treasury sends out over $400 million in tax refunds
Representing half a million filers; secretary reminds taxpayers of July 15 filing deadline
SAN JUAN – Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea announced Thursday the disbursement of an additional $26 million in tax refunds for 2019 income tax filings this week, bringing the total of tax refunds sent out to more than $400 million.
The Treasury Department sent out approximately $26.3 million in refunds to 35,116 taxpayers this week, Parés said in a press release, adding that the payments increased the total amount of 2019 income tax refunds sent out so far to $413 million corresponding to 546,412 filings.
“Our commitment, and that of Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced, is to continue to disburse all of the aid and payments that correspond to us, with the greatest possible diligence for the benefit of citizens impacted by the changes provoked by Covid-19 in the economy and in our lifestyles,” the Treasury chief said in a statement.
Parés reminded taxpayers who have yet to file their returns for 2019 that the filing deadline is July 15, noting that the agency extended the deadline twice since the novel coronavirus emergency began in March.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department on Thursday disbursed $99.4 million in Covid-19 economic impact aid payments to 75,874 families. Parés said that close to 60,000 checks were being sent through the mail while the rest of the payments will go into direct deposit accounts.
To date, the government has disbursed $2.1 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act aid to 1.4 million families in Puerto Rico, the Treasury chief said, stressing that the distribution of the funds will continue until December.
Other Covid-19 aid funds being disbursed include payments to additional self-employed people who qualified for $500 and $1,000 payments, after the program requisites were recently relaxed to include applicants registered with the agency after March 15. Parés said that some $12.03 million were paid to an additional 24,065 self-employed workers, bringing the total disbursed for the program to $240 million.
“The relaxing of the parameters has allowed the incentive to reach another group of self-employed people just days after the [Treasury online] link was enabled so that the newly eligible could apply for the aid,” he said, noting that most of them work as independent contractors for other businesses and are up to date with their tax filings.
To qualify for the aid, self-employed workers should have a Merchant Registry Certificate (Model SC 2918) that is valid as of June 11, 2020, Parés said, adding that they should also have filed a 2019 tax return that shows income generated from self-employment.
Parés said these workers may register with the agency and apply for the aid on the agency’s online Unified Internal Revenues System (SURI by its Spanish acronym) for a limited time. He said that those eligible for such payments have until June 30 to provide information on the bank account to which they wish their payments be sent.