DENVER — "Where is my TABOR check? And why haven't I gotten it?" It's a question Contact Denver7 keeps getting about those tax refund checks that were issued back in August.
The Colorado Department of Revenue asked people who had not received their checks to wait until after September 30 to call about them. Now, many are asking for answers.
To give some context, in the last two months, the state has paid out more than $2.3 billion as a part of the Colorado Cash Back program, and the Department of Revnue (DOR) reports 91 percent of the nearly 2.5 million checks issued have been cashed.
However, that still leaves hundreds of thousands of refunds that have not been received or have not been cashed. About 55,000 of those have been returned to the state.
Jolene Merritt has watched as her friends and coworkers received their checks. She planned to use hers for her son's senior pictures, yearbook and other activities.
"The extra $750 of my tax dollars that I paid in would be nice to have," said Merrit.
She called the state at the end of August to find out why she still had not received her check.
"My check had been returned because I have a P.O. box for delivery, and I didn't put that on my tax return because I get direct deposit when I file my returns. They said it could be up to eight weeks to reissue a new check," Merrit said.
Many have taken to social media to share their frustrations regarding their missing refunds.
"After a while, everyone got theirs. No one had not gotten theirs, and I knew something was up at that point," said Oscar Munoz.
Munoz said he called weeks ago to report his missing check.
"But they said I needed to call back after September 30th. Now, they tell me it's been reissued and should be here in five to seven weeks," he said.
The Department of Revenue said only two percent of checks have been returned. Mark Ferrandino, the DOR executive director, is encouraging people to call the Colorado Cash Back hotline at 303-951-4996 if they have not received their checks.
"We want to work with them," Ferrandino said regarding the 55,000 returned checks. "We know we issued it to the wrong address, because that's the address we had on file. We don't know the new address. So, we can't just go mail it out. We have to wait for you to come and call us so that we can go and reissue that to you."
However, if you have not received your check, and it was not returned to the state, Ferrandino said there is an extended affidavit process to prevent fraud, which takes time.
It is not too late to file your 2021 taxes, either, even if you made no income, because this is a sales tax refund. The federal extended deadline is October 17. For more information on how to file a zero tax return, click here.
Ferrandino pointed out that if people do not receive or cash their checks within 12 months, the money will go into their unclaimed property fund. People would then have to go through the state treasurer's office to access the funds.
Meanwhile, Merritt is hoping her check gets to her before Black Friday, and she'll have her money in time for Christmas spending.
"Don't spend the money until it's in your pocket," she warned.
According to the state, to receive a Colorado Cash Back check, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years of age on or before December 31, 2021;
- Be a Colorado resident for the entire 2021 income tax year;
- And file a state income tax return for the 2021 income tax year or apply for a Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) Rebate.
Anyone moving to Colorado in 2022 is not eligible.