Tax Commission News Release
Tax Commission makes holidays brighter with refunds
BOISE, Idaho — Dec. 20, 2012 — More than 200 taxpayers are going to have a happier holiday season, thanks to the efforts of a few employees at the Idaho State Tax Commission.
The agency recently stepped up its efforts to locate individuals and businesses that had been sent tax refund checks in the past year, but the checks were returned to the Tax Commission because they had incorrect addresses. Malia Thomas, a technical records specialist assigned to deal with returned checks, spearheads the search effort and said the rewards of locating missing taxpayers have made her work especially worthwhile.
“I’ve gotten so many hugs from kids,” she said of the children who come with their parents to retrieve the money they might have forgotten by this time. “One little girl told me, ‘I’m going to get a Barbie doll’ after I handed her mom a check for $4,000 just in time for Christmas.” Malia said a typical response from the surprised people she contacts is, “For you to actually take the time to call us and give us our money is amazing!”
Clearing a file cabinet full of returned checks is no easy task, but so far Malia and her helpers have made a big dent by returning anywhere from $20 to $5,000 to about 231 people. They use a variety of tracking methods to locate taxpayers, and even managed to find a homeless person whose refund check had been returned to the Tax Commission.
“It’s the taxpayers’ money,” said Chris Barry, Revenue Operations bureau chief. “We want to reunite them with it just as much as they want it.”
Besides, Barry added, “It’s nice to be on the other side of the collection table, especially during the holidays.”