“I’m not in a position where I can say that I don’t need $1,200 or $1,500. I don’t know too many people who are,” says Chris Choppie who is filing his taxes early.
If you’re counting on your California tax refund, don’t hold your breath. But that’s whyChoppie came in to theH&R Block in Palm Desert, hoping to get his tax filings in before the delay deadline.
“I heard that they weren’t going to be able to give tax refunds except IOU’s after a certain time and when I had heard that I thought the smartest thing to do was to do my taxes quickly,” says Choppie.
But he could very well be out of luck. State controller John Chiang has told the Franchise Tax Board to not send him any more refund requests because they can’t be sent out by February 1.That’s when the 30 day delay on tax refunds takes effect, because the state is running out of money, due to state budget problems. But it takes five to seven days to process the refunds, putting any tax filings after Tuesday within the February1 window.
“The state will stick with all those tax returns that we’re preparing at this time and they’ll just sit in their files until the controller says, ‘ok, I’ll pay them’…we’re having all of our clients just file as they normally would but they just, we’re telling them don’t spend the money until you see it,” says tax preparer Oliver Kloehn.
For now, the state says it may have to issue IOU’s, and that doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to Choppie.
“If they set it up so that when you get your California state IOU, you could then apply that towards things that the California state does such as DMV or property taxes,” Choppie says.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislative leaders will meet again in hopes of reaching an agreement on a solution.