BATON ROUGE, LA — Louisiana tax payers will have an extra-long wait for their state refunds. However, the wait is to protect your identity.
The state has seen thousands of "fraudulent returns" over the past two years. NBC33 News learned that the extra time for refunds is to help save the state money.
"They are not starting to send out refunds until February 26, so were seeing a lot of delaying in Louisiana state returns," says Tax Preparer, TJ Soni.
Soni has filed taxes for over two decades and she has never seen so many delays on the federal and the state level, until now.
"Ever since electronic filing started, people have been filing electronically the fraud has been increased because of that," says Soni.
A new department of revenue software program will check all returns for security reasons, to make sure no fraudulent returns make it through.
"Louisiana is one of the top states that have had this fraud," notes Soni.
But locals don't seem concerned about the longer wait-time. Celeste Simpson says it's just another few weeks. “We had a child so the child always makes it go up," says Simpson.
And even though sooner would be better than later, the last thing Simpson needs is her identity stolen. "I’m ok for waiting for security purposes, I would rather that be checked off before I get my money," notes Simpson.
So Louisiana is not only protecting your identity but your wallet as well.
"If people are patient eventually they will get their refund and hopefully soon," says Soni.
If the Department of Revenue does find a problem with your return, you have a few options to fix it.
Visit the Louisiana Department of Revenues website; just click here for more information.