More than a million Virginians won't get tax refund checks, report says
By Keya Vakil
September 13, 2019

More than a million Virginia taxpayers will not receive tax refund checks approved by Virginia lawmakers, according to a new analysis by The Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit, Richmond-based thinktank.

Many taxpayers – primarily lower-income Virginians – won’t receive checks because their state income tax liability is already offset by existing state tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits low-income working families.

Gov. Ralph Northam and fellow Democrats tried to extend the refund checks to additional taxpayers by excluding tax credits from eligibility determination, but were blocked from doing so by the Republican-controlled state Senate.

The report also highlights that while these lower-income taxpayers may not owe state income taxes after applying deductions or credits, they spend a significant share of their income on local taxes. “Households with annual income under $22,000 pay, on average, 9.6% of their income in state and local taxes, while households that have annual incomes of $587,000 and above pay only 7% of their income in state and local taxes,” the report reads.

Black and Latinx Virginians are particularly likely to miss out on the refund checks, as are taxpayers from smaller towns and rural communities, where roughly 1 in 4 filers receive the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, according to the report.

There are other reasons taxpayers may not receive refunds, too. Some taxpayers will have their refund used to pay off outstanding debt, and anyone who filed their taxes after the July 1 deadline will also miss out on a refund check.

Those individuals who are getting the $110 refunds – or $220 for joint filers – should expect to receive them by mid-October.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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