RI tax administrator says refund problems have been fixed

The 2018 tax season is underway. (WJAR)

Income taxes contribute more than $3 billion to Rhode Island’s budget.

These days, 85 percent of those returns are filed electronically, which saves time in processing and sending out refunds.

It also opens up the system to fraudulent claims, and two years ago, checking for those bogus returns slowed the system down.

This year, tax administrator Neema Savage said the bugs are worked out, and there should be no delays.

“We hope to make this season seamless and quick,” she told NBC 10 News on Thursday.

As the season begins to heat up, she is reminding Rhode Islanders that there is a tax amnesty program that still runs until February 15.

“This is a rare and unique opportunity for Rhode Islanders to get a break on their penalties,” she said.

The program waives all criminal and civil penalties and reduces the interest payment on back taxes by 25 percent.

“It’s also for non-filers," Savage said. "So, if you haven’t filed your tax returns and you know you should have, you can also participate in this program."

The department has ways of making life difficult for those who don’t pay.

“We block their DMV licenses, their professional registrations, we offset refunds, we have a number of collection tools that we use," Savage said.

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