State tax returns not in the mail

RALEIGH It says it's doing it to balance the state's budget. It claims checks are being delayed by four weeks.

Revenue Department Secretary Ken Lay said Thursday the delay is on top of the normal four-week turnaround for an electronically filed tax return. A return filled out on paper and mailed this month may take as long as 12 weeks to process.

The state Revenue Department said it's holding on to money due back to taxpayers as state leaders manage the books. The state's budget must be balanced when the spending year ends June 30.

The Revenue Department explained the delayed refunds Thursday on its Web site, which also allows taxpayers to track the date their checks should arrive.

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