Checks for tax refunds, COLA mailed today - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Checks for tax refunds, COLA mailed today

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Over 17,000 island residents showed up in swarms Friday and Saturday to pick up their tax refund checks. And after a chaotic two days at the island's shopping centers and malls, the Department of Administration this morning sent the remaining 57,000 tax refund checks to the post office.

If you're one of the over 34,000 tax refund recipients who opted not to line up at the island's malls this past weekend - whether you're expecting one, two or a multitude of tax refund checks - they should be in your mailbox in the next couple of days. Volunteers from DOA, the Department of Revenue & Taxation and the Governor's Office came in on Sunday to help speed up the process of putting refund checks in envelopes and preparing for them to be mailed out this morning.

DOA director Benita Manglona says although Friday was chaotic, officials were able to iron out some kinks and went into Saturday better prepared and with more volunteers and staff. She apologizes for any inconvenience this past weekend may have had on residents, saying, "A lot of you waited many, many years and we're just asking you for your patience and a just a couple of more hours on Friday or maybe a couple of more days until you get your refund checks in the mail."

Officer in charge postmaster Greg Wilson tells KUAM News the remaining tax refund checks did arrive this morning where they will then be processed tonight and will go out for delivery tomorrow to the P.O. boxes and street addresses. "It's not going to be much more of a process for it, because I have a process in place to process those separately. And they will be co-mingled with the outgoing mails tonight to the different stations and the carrier sections," he said.

Although he does expect it be busier in addition to the holiday season, post office employees will be monitoring lobbies and assisting customers. Manglona says you can already see the immediate affects the distribution is having on the island, noting, "The restaurants are full, the restaurants are buzzing with people, the gas pumps are, a lot of people are going out and about, people are shopping and the banks. You've never seen the line go out the doors - you can feel the festive mood of all the people you see in the streets."

Moving forward, Manglona says the Deficit Elimination Committee will meet with the fiscal team to work on the Series 'B' bond, which is needed to pay for 2011 tax refunds. "And it's our plan and the Administration's plans, that when tax payers file their return they will be paid promptly, so we're talking about maybe two weeks or a month in getting their refund checks," she added.

Manglona adds that COLA checks will be mailed out today as well. If you are expecting a tax refund check or COLA check in the mail and haven't received any by the end of the week, you can call Rev & Tax at 635-1840/41.

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