When the New Year begins at midnight, a new law takes effect that its author says will speed refunds to Oklahoma taxpayers.
Senate Bill 11, by Senator Jay Paul Gumm, was passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor during the 2009 session of the Oklahoma Legislature. The measure requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission to make speedy refunds to taxpayers, or pay the same interest to taxpayers that taxpayers would have to pay on delinquent tax payments.
“If the state is going to charge taxpayers who make late payments, it seems only fair that state government be held to that same standard when it is late returning taxpayers’ money to them,” said Gumm, a Democrat from Durant.
Under the law, taking effect on Jan. 1, 2010, the Tax Commission will “pay interest on a refund at the same rate for interest specified for delinquent tax payments” if refunds are not made within 20 days for state tax returns filed electronically and 90 days returns filed by mail.
The lawmaker said the bill reflects a “simple fairness” in the way state government should treat the people it serves. The measure passed both the Senate and House on unanimous votes.