Erroneous tax refunds called 'isolated instances' (KS - computer problem) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


TUESDAY December 14, 1999

Erroneous tax refunds called 'isolated instances'

Mistakes latest problem for much-criticized Department of Revenue.

Associated Press

LAWRENCE -- When the Kansas Department of Revenue sent Cindy Stanphill a refund check for $112.72, she knew she didn't have it coming.

"I'm from Kansas, but I'd been living in Missouri and then, in October, I moved back," Stanphill said. "So I only had two months' income -- November and December -- for my Kansas return."

"There was no way I had that much money coming back for that short a time."

Stanphill, who works in the financial aid office at the University of Kansas, called the department after getting the refund check in June. When she couldn't reach anyone, she sent an e-mail.

A worker e-mailed her back, saying she was right, a mistake had been made, and Stanphill returned the check.

She said a college friend of hers who recently moved from Topeka to Texas had a similar experience, only her refund was for about $1,500.

Revenue spokeswoman Angela Goering said Stanphill's and her friend's refund checks were "isolated instances."

Goering said that the agency doesn't know how many people were sent money they didn't have coming, but that she was sure such instances are rare. She said the agency couldn't say how many checks had been returned by scrupulously honest taxpayers without being provided a list of names to check.

Legislators have been critical of Revenue Department officials throughout much of Gov. Bill Graves' administration, accusing former Revenue Secretary John LaFaver of being anti-business and antagonistic.

A new computer system chosen by LaFaver and implemented by his successor, Karla Pierce, has become a lightning rod for the department's critics.

In recent months, the department was late in sending retailers their October sales tax forms. And last summer, hundreds of Kansans received erroneous tax bills.

The Legislative Division of Post Audit recently completed an investigation of the department's operations, due to be made public Wednesday.

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 14, 1999


Come on Toto! We're movin' to Kansas!

-- Hokie (, December 14, 1999.

A lot of people wilL ask no questions and cash those checks. Then what? How will they chase them all down and get repaid?

It's going to get very confusing soon.

-- Forrest Covington (, December 14, 1999.

SEEE!! We don' need yur steenkin' y2k. We can screw it up by ourselves!!

Lordy, just imagine what next April will be like if they insist on using the systems now in place. For once in my life, I'm glad I quit accounting and started in medicine.

-- Lobo (, December 15, 1999.

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