NewsCovering Colorado


State issuing refunds for tax overpayments on vehicle registrations

Posted at 2:13 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 16:13:53-04

DENVER – More than 51,000 car owners in Colorado will receive a refund for an overpayment on car registrations due to a computer glitch in December.

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles created the refund process with local Clerk & Recorders offices to issue checks for people who were impacted by the glitch in calculations of the Specific Ownership Tax.

Back in January, it was estimated some 100,000 car owners were overtaxed.  The problem only impacted people with 2014-2018 and 2010 model year vehicles with registrations that expired in December 2018.

Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman estimated around 4,000 vehicle owners in El Paso County were overtaxed by the computer error.

You’ll receive a check from the Colorado Department of Revenue or from your local Clerk and Recorder office in the coming weeks. Anyone who has already received a refund or paid the correct amount will not.

So here’s what happened.

“When your registration expires in December, your new registration year actually begins in January,” spokesperson Sarah Werner explained earlier this year. “And because it’s a new calendar year, the system just didn’t change the calendar year which makes those specific ownership tax rates go down.”

Those rates are staggered to drop for every that a vehicle ages. For example, a new car with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $20,000 will be charged a specific ownership tax of 2.1 percent or $420. The following year, the tax rate drops to 1.5 percent of MSRP, or $300.

On average, people overpaid anywhere between $50 and $120 depending on the value of their car. The state has identified all of the affected owners and will be contacting them individually.

Check the state website to find out if checks have been issued in your county.