Most people don't look forward to doing their taxes, but everyone looks forward to their refund check. But this year, Georgia taxpayers could be looking at a long wait before they get their money.
The Georgia Department of Revenue is using a new fraud program that will seriously hold up refund checks.
Filing your taxes electronically used to get you your money back within two weeks. It was almost immediate gratification after getting through doing your taxes. Now, the Georgia Department of Revenue says that wait is going to be much longer, in some cases even more than 3 months.
Beth Yuschak has big plans for her basement renovation.
"It's really a gut job," she said. "We're opening up walls, taking out beams, putting in a kitchen. So, big job."
To finish it up, she was counting on tax refund money. They file electronically every year to get the money back as quickly as possible.
"Really quickly, quick turnaround. So that will be different, having to wait 3 months," Yuschak said.
The Georgia Department of Revenue is using a new tax fraud system to catch people trying to cheat or steal refunds.
"We're looking at every single return now. And comparing it to a lot more information, both current and historical, to give us a better picture if that return is coming from the true taxpayer."
Georgia Department of Revenue Director of Investigations Josh Waites says it's worth it.
"So far to date, we've blocked $78 million in fraud. And that's money that would have gone out the door to bad guys, and every other Georgia taxpayer would have had to pony up money throughout the year," he said.
He says waiting three months for your return is better than the alternative.
"If a bad guy files a return and we give them that money, it's going to take a lot longer than 90 days to get that money back, so we just want to do it right the first time," he said.
Beth Yuschak agrees. : "It changes things up a little bit. You just have to plan a little bit further out."