The Bureau of Internal Revenue has about 5,708 remaining tax refunds to process, totaling about $15 million, for the 2015 tax year, IRB Director Marvin Pickering told senators during budget hearings Thursday.
At the end of FY 2015, IRB had processed 22,797 refund returns, totaling $60 million. As of Thursday, IRB had paid out on 22,593 refunds for the current fiscal year, totaling $61 million, he said. Of that, most – 16,885, were for tax year 2014 and earlier, totaling $46 million.
"As a highlight of our achievement, in January of this year, the bureau processed $22 million of this fiscal year’s refunds, within a five-day turn around period. This was a major accomplishment for the staff, as it was one of the largest refund schedules processed within a short period of time," Pickering said.
IRB’s tax collections for FY 2015 totaled $654 million, with $352 million from individual income tax; $161 million in gross receipts tax; $77 million in corporate income tax; and $23 million in excise tax.
As of May 31, FY 2016 revenue collections were at $429 million, with four month remaining.
Sen. Kurt Vialet asked Pickering if the next several months were likely to be on track and bring revenues in line with last year.
"The last numbers I looked at, collections seemed to be steady. But I feel optimistic that, other than corporate income tax, we are on target with the other categories," Pickering said.
Pickering presented the IRB’s budget request of $13 million, all from the territory’s General Fund. It is $3.5 million more than last year, which Pickering said primarily reflected pay increases and 18 funded positions the department hoped to fill. The increased staffing will help IRB collect more revenue, he said.
No votes were taken during the budget discussion. Present were Vialet, Sens. Marvin Blyden, Myron Jackson, Sammuel Sanes, Positive Nelson, Tregenza Roach and Clifford Graham. No members were absent.