The following is a news release from the Office of the Governor of Guam:
Fulfilling a promise to get the government of Guam’s financial house in order, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration announces that, as of today, it is well ahead of the 2013 federal court order requiring payment of income tax refunds within six months of due date or date filed (whichever is later).
Since 2019, the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) and the Department of Administration (DOA) have been working to ensure refunds are processed and paid on a consistent, expedient basis. Today, DRT is just over 60 days in terms of processing and paying income tax refunds. Tax refunds have not been paid out this quickly in two decades.
In FY2021, over $200 million in income tax refunds were paid. Through the efforts of DRT and DOA, an additional nearly 1,779 residents who filed error-free returns on or before August 5, 2021, will also receive their tax year 2020 and prior income tax refunds, which were processed and transmitted to the Treasurer of Guam late last week. The refunds processed are the first for FY2022 and total nearly $5 million, including garnishments.
“Since the start of our Administration, we committed to finding ways to improve government financials, make good use of existing resources, and pay our people what is rightfully owed to them,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our fiscal management practices have had positive ripple effects across the government. Vendors are being paid on time, resulting in better pricing, resulting in more and more savings. We followed our commitment to only borrow when it results in savings or building something new. We ended costly receiverships, and we have automated functions that were once manual, like the BPT filing process, making payments by direct deposits, and developing lookup portals to give taxpayers the ability to access their refund and other information. Little things add up to big savings.”
“Though some of these programs are partly federally funded, they were built with local hands and minds, through the dedication of our government employees, who have worked countless hours to ensure our people receive these funds,” explained Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio. “The health and financial well-being of the people of Guam continues to be our top priority, and helping our people receive their refunds sooner than they ever have before is a testament to our commitment to them.”
“Beyond implementing six COVID-19 related direct aid programs, our DRT team has also been working six days a week to ensure the quickest turnaround possible for tax refunds,” said DRT Director Dafne Mansapit-Shimizu. “Additionally, in the last year, we have expanded our online services, enabling more filers to file their forms 1040 online. This has helped increase the number of online filers, which has averaged less than 2% for more than a decade to over 9% for 2020 income tax returns. Our goal is to continue modernizing our system to allow even more residents to file their income tax returns online. This will result in continuous improvements in the turnaround time of refunds for our people.”