Guam - Christmas came early for thousands of island residents who were fortunate enough to find a tax refund in the mail. The $12 million infusion into the island's economy is a result of the Calvo Administration's commitment to paying residents what they're owed.
"I'm happy that the people are getting their refund and we're working very diligently to try and get as much refunds as we can," said Department of Administration director Benita Manglona. She added that $12 million in tax refunds should be in the hands of about 4,000 island residents as half were mailed out Wednesday with the remaining this afternoon. "So we look at the cash on a daily basis and we set aside what is required amount that needs to be set aside to pay their refunds and once we accumulate a certain amount then we release the refunds," she said.
Department of Revenue & Taxation director John Camacho says the $12 million covers Tax Year 2011 and prior. Since January the Administration has paid out $133 million in refunds. Of the total count, approximately 3,449 checks or $8.7 million were for 2011 with 683 checks, or $1.7 million for 2010 and at least four checks dated back to 2005. He says those who filed by September 6 of this year should expect a refund check in the mail.
But millions more still needs to be paid. Camacho said, "We have about based on the reports that $4.7 million that are still A-status and about $8.4 million that are still under error and suspended." Of the $13 million processed and waiting for the availability of cash, an additional $4 million is needed to pay for those taxpayers who have yet to file from past years.
Manglona meanwhile says there's still the ongoing tax refund case to think about with the proposed permanent injunction spelling out timelines for GovGuam to pay out future tax refunds. She's working on the declaration that needs to be filed with the court by next week. "Hopefully the judge, when she reviews the information that's going to be provided to her, she can see how GovGuam has struggled for the last 20 years to pay tax refunds and how this administration has worked diligently since day one to pay tax refunds on a timely basis," she explained.
She adds if the government is required to pay the refunds within six months of filing, as proposed by the plaintiffs, GovGuam will be challenged in meeting that timeline.