Adelup: $70M received; tax refunds coming up

ERROR-FREE RETURNS: A worker reviews a man’s paperwork at the the Income Tax and Processing Branch counter at the Department of Revenue and Taxation office in Barrigada Heights. Post file photo

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s office announced Thursday that Guam residents won’t wait much longer for tax refunds.

The government of Guam received the anticipated $70 million in Section 30 funds from the federal government Thursday, the governor's office stated in a press release. The administration plans to use some of that money to pay refunds to people who’ve filed error-free returns.

Last week, $1.8 million in refund checks were sent to those who filed their tax returns by Feb. 20.

The press release didn’t specify how much of the $70 million would go to tax refunds and how many taxpayers would get their checks. The government first has to set aside $20.9 million of the Section 30 money to repay bonds, which leaves about $49 million.

The administration has always prioritized paying tax refunds, the press release stated.

Section 30 funds are primarily withholding tax payments from federal employees and military service members who work on Guam. The federal government remits that money to GovGuam every September. The fund also pays World War II reparations and bond debt.

Delegate: Support my tax bill; Governor: It’s not needed

The governor’s announcement was made after Del. Michael San Nicolas introduced legislation in the U.S. Congress to amend the Organic Act of Guam – a federal law that established Guam’s government – to specify when Guam tax refunds should be paid.  

In a letter yesterday to Sen. Amanda Shelton, San Nicolas asked that her office introduce a legislative resolution endorsing HR 4262. He noted that she had introduced a resolution supporting San Nicolas’ war claims bill that corrects a technical error in the original legislation introduced by former delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo.

"It is my hope that your zeal for the passage of war claims reflected in your Legislative Resolution endorsing HR 1365 will be extended to HR 4262 ensuring that our tax payers finally receive the priority they deserve in the allocation of local government resources," San Nicolas wrote.

According to San Nicolas, HR 4262 specifically requires the government of Guam to process a tax return and pay the related tax refund within 90 days of the tax return’s filing, in contrast to the current court order to pay refunds within six months of the tax-filing deadline.

The governor responded, “No Organic Act amendment is needed to do what we have done through diligent work and implementing sound policies geared towards fiscal solvency.”