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Emails reveal backlog of unprocessed tax returns dating to 1994

Internal emails requested by The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) showed that the North Carolina Department of Revenue had an undisclosed backlog of unprocessed tax returns going back to 1994 and, in thousands of cases, taxpayers were owed money for unknowingly overpaying their taxes. The e-mails also showed the department had quietly changed its policy on these kinds of overpayments so that it could get rid of the backlog without having to refund the money. After our reports, the governor announced that the backlog would be tackled immediately and cleared up by year's end. Shortly after, the Revenue Secretary resigned. Thousands of taxpayers now stand to receive checks for their overpayments, and the total amount of refunds could reach into the millions.

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