Ask 13: Is there a tax refund delay at the state level?

It's tax season, and those who like to file early are looking for their returns. But is there some sort of hold-up this year?

A local tax preparer said there have been some delays, and one viewer is anxiously awaiting his refund.

"Returns were accepted at the same time the federal returns were, but it seems no one has gotten a refund in the first four weeks. Can you shed some light on this subject?" Mike Whitmire wrote Ask 13.

The IRS and North Carolina began accepting tax returns Jan. 23, 2017. That's almost five weeks ago.

Some people who filed on that earliest possible date believe they should be seeing refund checks by now.

A spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Revenue said that is not the case.

"The viewer is incorrect. North Carolina is not delaying refunds. The tax season opened on Jan. 23, and, as stated on our website, it can take approximately six weeks to process a refund request for a return that was filed electronically," NCDOR public information officer Trevor Johnson said.

"This time allows the department to process returns and determine which refund requests are legitimate and which could potentially be fraudulent. This timeline and process is the same for at least the past four tax seasons."

Johnson said sometimes the process doesn't take the full six weeks. He said checks have already gone out to more than 16,000 tax filers. As of last Thursday, North Carolina has mailed out more than $2.6 million in tax refunds.

So hang on, your check will be in the mail as soon as possible.

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