Happy tax day everyone! *ducks* Right now, our friends over at the Department of Revenue are buried in pixels and a few paper returns. As FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman showed yesterday, there is a bulge of tax filing activity right at or near the deadline. It takes a week or two to process all of these returns.
That said, what really matters for revenues are the size of payments (or refunds) attached to each of those returns. While there is a steady stream of filers in recent months, the bulk of the payments are still outstanding, or at least have yet to be processed. The former matters quite a bit for DOR workloads, but the latter matters for tax revenues and our office’s forecasts.
At this point we typically have about three-quarters of all refunds issued, but less than half of the payments received. We will know more here in a couple of weeks. Our office’s next forecast is scheduled for May 16th and this is the big one, it sets the baseline for the upcoming budget and any potential kicker calculations*.
* Officially, the kicker calculation is based on what is called the Close of Session forecast. The COS is our office’s May forecast plus any legislative changes made between that outlook and sine die, or when the legislature adjourns.