Computer error briefly gives 66,700 Louisianans double tax refunds

The duplicate payments totaled $26 million. But officials have fixed the program that controls tax refunds and are now recouping the wayward funds.
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A “file error” in Louisiana’s income-tax refund system caused the state to erroneously send 66,700 people twice the amount they were owed by the state, tax officials acknowledged this week.

The accidental refunds totaled $26 million, Jacques Berry, a spokesman for the Louisiana Division of Administration, which includes the state Office of Technology Services, told the Monroe News Star.

Berry said refunds were initially issued Tuesday, in the form of direct deposits into residents’ bank accounts or debit cards mailed to taxpayers. But the refunds were issued again Wednesday when the program that distributes refunds was run again, sending out the same payments for a second time. The error was noticed almost immediately and corrected, Berry told the News-Star.

The state is in the process of recouping the second wave of refunds, Administration Commissioner Jay Dardenne said in a press release Friday.


“There is no need for the taxpayers to take any action as the state works to recover the overpayment of funds directly from their bank accounts,” Dardenne said. “With the cooperation of several financial institutions, the process is working.”

Recipients of accidental refunds the state can’t take back from bank accounts will receive letters instructing them how to repay the funds, officials said.

Lousiana Chief Information Officer Dickie Howze and other officials declined StateScoop’s requests for additional comment.

Ryan Johnston

Written by Ryan Johnston

Ryan Johnston is a staff reporter for StateScoop, covering the intersection of local government and emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence and 5G.

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