Computer problem leaves Washington tax refunds backlogged

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state official says a computer system installed in 2014 is still unable to process certain tax refunds owed to businesses.

The Seattle Times reports that Lisa Marsh, deputy commissioner of the Employment Security Department, told lawmakers Wednesday that approximately 4,200 refunds for worker unemployment insurance must be manually processed.

She said manual refunds take a long time and the department won’t be caught up with refunds until the computer system is fixed.

The 2014 computer system was meant to reduce the manual workload and let the agency process refunds faster. But Marsh says it isn’t working with the state’s accounting system.

The ESD’s Brenda Westfall says the department has manually processed about 900 refunds since the new system was installed in March 2014.

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