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Year after delays state urges filing taxes online

ALBANY -- The State Department of Taxation says there will be no delay in your paper filed refund this year.

On Thursday, the agency urged New Yorkers to file online, saying it is the fastest and most effective way to get a quick return.

Pushing their e-filing system the New York State Department of Taxation says two thirds of New Yorkers qualify to do it for free. Taxation officials say when you file, by paper, the return goes through many steps and people.
Nonie Manion, Deputy Commissioner of the Taxation Department, said Thursday if you do it online its literally twice as fast.

"With electronic filing the information goes directly into our system," Manion said. "Our system has thousands of rules where we check to make sure the return is valid."

As they push New Yorkers to file their taxes online, the New York State Department of Taxation will once again use the same company to process paper returns, that was used in 2013, when thousands of taxpayers refunds were delayed.

According to a spokesman with the Department of Taxation the state agency and the hired outside company, who will again process paper returns, have a four year contract. The agency and the company are in the second year of the deal.

"There are always delays with a new system." said Manion.

Some taxpayers told CBS6, in September of 2013, they still had not received their state refund.

The delay caused a pile of overtime at the state agency. According to records from the state Comptroller`s office, in 2012 the Department of Taxation paid $1.6 million in overtime. In July of 2013 alone, the same month CBS6 filed a Freedom of Information request, OT at the agency was $1.4 million. In all of 2013 the taxation office paid $8.3 million, records show.

"Recovery of the Department`s costs associated with this effort, including staff overtime and interest payments, is provided for in the contract and will not come at additional taxpayer expense." a spokesman for the Department of Taxation said through email.

However, when asked about the cost of the initial contract the spokesman did not comment.