- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The state has ramped up their efforts against tax fraud, which has delayed the time it takes to issue legitimate refund checks.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1LfjdXL ) state tax director Maria Zielinski says a tax fraud unit has caught nearly 8,600 suspicious tax returns and prevented close to $22 million in phony refunds from being issued this year. All the scrutiny has resulted in up to four-month delays for refund payments.

In May, the state had returned only $275 million in refunds, which is about $160 million less than what they returned at the same time last year.

But, another round of refunds totaling close to $100 million is expected to be paid out after the end of this month.

Zielinski says next year will be a much smoother process.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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