In the past, Alabama has been very quick with state refunds. If you filled your tax return electronically, then your refund was usually sent within a couple of weeks. Many people, including me, got used to that. Being used to it makes it seem even harder when they no longer come so quickly.
This year, our state refunds are slow. I was living in la-la land and not even aware that we were having difficulty in our state. I filed my tax refund electronically thinking that the payment of the electronic filing fees would mean that I would get my refund in a few weeks. When it did not arrive when I thought it should, I went online to find out why. It seems that the economy is hitting everyone hard, even the state governments. They do not have the funds available to send our refunds. Not only are we having to continue to pay taxes for this year, but we are having to wait on getting what we overpaid back. The kicker to me, is that their website says that the refunds are being issued as soon as the money becomes available in the Education Trust Fund.
Wait a minute. They are paying our refunds from an Education Trust Fund? Should that not be money set aside for our children's education? So by wanting our overpaid taxes back are we hurting our children's educational futures? Even in a government that tells us more information, the information is not clear enough to settle my worried brain.
I think that whatever is good for us is good for them. If we have to learn to budget to pay our bills, then so should they. If I told the power company that I could not pay my power bill and even though I was not sure when I could pay it, they should keep my power on and not charge me any late fees, the only thing I would hear is laughter as they hung up the phone. I would not be able to keep my power without paying. Sure they would try to work out payment arrangements with me, but they will not wait indefinitely.
Yes, I'm old fashioned. I believe that income tax withholding should be held in a trust until after tax filing season. NO, it probably isn't logical that a government should be expected to do that. I just think of it as still being my money that I can't get. For years, we have been told that our goal should be to zero out on taxes so that we do not owe a lot nor getting much back.
My refund is not a huge amount. Not getting it within the few weeks that I expected it will not either make me or break me. Sure it would allow me to do a few things that I need to do, but they are things that I can wait a bit on. When it comes in, I'm sure that will be the time that I need it most. I just don't like knowing that I am waiting on money to be put into the Education Trust Fund to pay my refund. Where is the money coming from and why are they paying refunds out of that particular fund? When I get a few spare minutes, I think I will see if my state government is being open enough to tell me that information.
Is your state processing refunds at the same rate as before?