State auditor issues subpoena to Department of Revenue over tax refund management

Auditor Nicole Galloway has issued a subpoena to the Department of Revenue (MGN Online)

For the first time in her tenure, the Missouri state auditor issued a subpoena to a government agency or department.

According to a release from her office, Nicole Galloway said she is auditing the Missouri Department of Revenue "to ensure Missourians receive the money they are owed under a law requiring taxpayers receive their tax refunds on time or be paid interest."

"If the new administration intends to operate behind a wall of secrecy, I will use the full authority of my office to ensure transparency and accountability when taxpayer dollars are involved," Galloway said in the release.

She issued the subpoena Wednesday to the Department of Revenue, requiring the department turn over information on its management of income tax refunds. The subpoena was issued six weeks after Auditor Galloway first requested the information as part of an audit to ensure Missourians receive their tax refunds within the time period required by law, the release stated.

Galloway said the Department of Revenue agreed to provide information for previous years, but said it will not provide any information for the current tax year; request for information includes no personally identifiable taxpayer information.

The Department of Revenue has repeatedly refused multiple requests to provide the state auditor with the number of people waiting on refunds or the number of days they've spent waiting, Galloway's release said. State law requires income tax refunds be paid out within 45 days of filing. If refunds haven't been paid within 45 days, the state must pay them with interest. The department also did not say whether any refunds have exceeded the 45-day limit, and if so, whether interest had been paid.

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